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Old 01-24-2006, 01:10 AM   #7
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Article: Teaching Aikido as Michi - A Path Up the Mountain by George S. Ledyard

Dan Rubin wrote:

Thanks for visiting this topic again. Your position has become much clearer to me. I have a question. You write:

"Find one of [the teachers] and show them you are hungry, be so serious that they can't ignore your search for the answers as they pursue their own. Make them want to help you, don't sit around expecting them to."

Do you think that, in addition, a teacher should be scouting for promising students, approaching them and inviting them to come study with the teacher?

Hi Dan,
There's an etiquette that functions here... it's considered bad form to go after the students of another teacher. I know of this happening and there was quite a bit of bad blood afterwards. I think that it's really the job of the student to find a teacher. I would mistrust a teacher who actively solicited my joining up... although it would depend on some other factors, how I'd be inclined to take it...

There are a number of teachers who built quite large organizations in this manner, often you could get a Dan rank out of it if you played your cards right when you joined.

I would certainly never try to entice a student to come train with me unless he wasn't training at the time ot he had already decided to leave the person he had been training with and was actively looking for another teacher. Even then I would be quite careful because most of the folks I've run into who left their teachers over some set of dissatisfactions turned out to be problem children who weren't happy wherever they ended up.

In the past, most of the folks that have come to me from other teachers were looking for someone to acknowledge them when they felt the previous teacher had not. I welcoms them in and they typically last about three weeks or so. Then they leave because they discover that they must actually train to get the acknowledgement they want. On the other hand, a student just moved to our area from the East Coast just so he could train at our dojo. I met him at Summer camp in DC, he liked what I was doing, he came out to visit and liked that so he has moved out to train with us. He hasn't asked for anything and is training hard. He definitely gets my attention. Looks like he'll be a great asset to the dojo. But I would never have suggested that he move out to train with me. People need to make their own decisions; that way they can be clear about their commitment.
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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