Don J. Modesto wrote:
Having taught language at a level deeper than the typical EIKAIWA, let me ask you this, Peter: Do you think we could posit aikido pedagogy as largely parallel to the Audio-Lingual Method, i.e., lots of pattern practice and occasional role plays, as opposed to the Communicative Method which emphasizes communication over form?
When I did my EFL training, the accepted wisdom was to use the audio-lingual method for beginners and the communicative method for advanced students and I'm sure you see the idea behind this. Similarly, people who are used to training in set patterns do not have a clue what Yamaguchi is doing and then, at some point, if they train long enough, they 'get' it. For me Yamaguchi's training is like thinking in Japanese. I can do it but cannot really trace the steps taken or isolate the method used to achieve this. I think henka are pointless unless the kihon or oyo, the building blocks, are so internalized that they just 'pour out', so to speak.
And in response to another comment, of course, each waza is slightly different, but these slight variations of the same waza are not henka waza, at least as this term is understood in Japanese.