Michael O'Brien wrote:
Interesting and insightful article ... However, the last line "20 months to be an Aikido instructor" ruined it for me, even if it was tongue in cheek.
Actually, I meant it in all seriousness. Now let me see if I can rescue my credibility.
First, I think most traditional training methods are terribly inefficient. O-Sensei told Robert Nadeau that "if you can catch the secret, you can do what I do in three months." I take those kinds of statements seriously, and I think it's important to look for those central ideas that make everything else fall naturally into place.
Second, I come from a tradition where we were always exhorted to "share what you know." A sincere student who had trained in an efficient system should learn a lot in two years. I wouldn't expect them to go out and open their own dojo, but they should be able to "share what they know," especially if they are working under the guidance of a good chief instructor. Of course, a lot depends on the situation, but I can see instances where it would be both wise and necessary to deploy mudansha instructors and give them adequate support.