George S. Ledyard wrote:
This whole "steal the technique" thing we have in Aikido makes me crazy. I have trained in various koryu and am familiar with the training of more than I have done myself. Things are not made purposely obscure in these arts. They have an organized, step by step teaching methodology. You don't go to the next step until you have mastered the previous steps. Teachers are not purposely obscure but actually explain what is going on. I realize that one great advantage these art have is that very few people do them. So the transmission is VERY personal.
Whilst I do agree that certain arts (perhaps more accurately "systems") do have an organized, step by step teaching methodology, particularly with technique-based systems, I do believe that at some level, there is still an element of making the student "steal the technique".
Call me "old school", but.... I would go so far as to say that stealing technique is actually part of the teaching/learning paradigm itself. In order to steal, one is required to first exercise superior observation, listening and intuition skills. These basic skills are part and parcel of learning to learn a martial art. Without these basic skills, one is invariably consigned to martial mediocrity.
Call me "old school".... but I'm reminded of the story of Sakyamuni smelling a flower and why Kasyapa inherited his robe and alms bowl.