Ruth McWilliam wrote:
In the 'bad old days' when I was a beginner, I was ridiculed, humiliated, made to feel incompetent and weak, and avoided by others who felt that I wasn't worth training with. I will not tolerate any of my students having to go through this as I know what it does - it makes your ukemi about 100 times worse than it should be.
Understanding and respect are the keys, compassion is the way.
Understanding, respect and safety
are all very important. My experienced students tend to resent the nights that I want everyone to concentrate on ukemi; I guess it's not exciting enough for them. When my senior students look bored, I'll call them up and throw them a few times to show the importance of good ukemi. The closest I come to "ridiculing" anyone is if one of my senior students minorly botches a roll. In this instance, I'll sometimes say "See? Everybody needs to train for ukemi waza!", and I always say it with a smile.
My newbies aren't high flying aikidoka yet, but their day will come. I try to accomodate students that feel adventurous, but my focus is on everybody leaving the dojo feeling empowered, injury free,...
...and respected by their fellow students.
I'm glad to hear that you run a nice, positive class.