Re: Aikido Transmission and Class Size
A phrase that Chuck Clark Sensei just used grabbed my attention -- "the tools to receive the transmission". Since transmission exists between teacher and student and some very good points have been made on the attitudes of the teacher, in this ideal pedagogical model, what are the required attitudes and responsibilities of the student?
From my own perspective, it's been very helpful to have a background in other arts prior to starting aikido. I like to think that it's helped me begin to figure out how to observe and learn. I also believe that my improvement/advancement is my responsibility and I try not to wait until I have to be "told" something in order to figure out techniques, respect, etc. I also try to steal everything I can in terms of skill, technique, coordination from everyone I work with. I am not content to train without reflection/critical examination/solo work and assume that I will someday get "it".
But how do you train a new student and inform them of such responsibilities? In some dojo, a sempai will take new students under their wing, in others, the student is told to model all of their dojo behavior on the seniors. At what level is the student encouraged to make the training their own? At what level should they only "just do what they're told"?
I'm genuinely interested in thoughts on this topic.