Christian Moses wrote:
Here's my question. And by the way, I don't discount your teacher's ability or where he learned it at all. But how many people at your school do you think can also perform on this level? The problem I have with how this sort of thing is 'taught' in aikido/ki-aikido is that it isn't actually taught. The best analogy I can think of is trying to teach someone long division by giving them the final exam over and over again. Some brilliant people might figure it out over time, most won't, but many will eventually memorize the answers. They however won't have any understanding of how really to get the answers or why it works the way it does. And when it comes time for them to teach it, they will 'teach' the same way they were taught...
Funnily enough I agree with you and was thinking to post as much. I know that I personally can't do what my teacher does. I know that some of my sempai who are my sensei's senior students can do them but I've not got much of a clue as to exactly how well they match his skill, perhaps I'll ask him when he comes to visit this weekend.
FWIW those of us who stay with him do definitely seem to be improving and developing similar skills. Those that hit an impass tend to leave after deciding its too hard or something similar. My teacher is a 7th Dan and I'm only a 2nd Dan. Sensei's senior student is ranked 4th Dan, it'll be an interesting question to ask again in a few years when sensei tests his first 5th Dan
I think that it is usually as Ellis Amdur said over on aikidojournal and others here have said 'hidden in plain sight'. All too often I think people are probably promoted for knowing nothing more than the empty shells of the aikido techniques. I can't see my sensei ever doing that, he usually gives us a thorough going over for our Dan ranks, I only passed my 2nd Dan on the fourth attempt (though some of that was probably due to me moving to the other end of the UK). Our dan tests usually take between 2-3 hours which many people hear and are horrified by.
Disclaimer: I speak for nobody but myself, and I'm not very good at that...