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Old 06-08-2007, 06:12 AM   #7
Ecosamurai
 
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Dojo: Takagashira Dojo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 519
United Kingdom
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Re: Things to look for in a teacher

I think some of the original post at least needs a bit of changing, specifically the 'hands on' stuff. As an instructor I certainly don't put myself on a pedestal etc etc but having said that there is no guarantee that I'll be practicing with you hands on if you're a beginner with us. Not because I wouldn't like to but because lessons vary and change depending on who is in attendance and who has certain needs.

For me, I try to teach the beginners as much as possible and pay them the most attention. This sometimes involves me being their uke, but more often than not involves me demonstrating a technique with one of my more senior students and helping the new guys to interpret and understand it as they themselves practice it. Occasionally they get me as uke if there are odd numbers of beginners or if I feel that the easiest way for them to quickly understand a technique is for me to be the uke and fix them as they throw me.

Other times my senior students need help because they've got a test coming up and I'll try as much as possible to be their uke and help them with their stuff. So, in reality you're more likely to get hands on practice with me once you've been training for a while. A lot of the time the most efficient way for me to teach is to demonstrate a throw or technique and wander the dojo making corrections, often by simply demonstrating it again or being uke for a student. This could give the impression of being a bad teacher according to the original post. I'd like to think that wasn't the case to be honest.

That doesn't mean that what was said in the original post wasn't a good point, just that it makes sense to consider circumstances too. You might walk into your first session and everyone is desperately preparing for an upcoming grading so it's not a regular session for example.

I don't think you should walk into a dojo and expect to have one to one training with the senior instructor and then if that doesn't happen walk away saying he's a bad teacher. It's not a reasonable position to take IMO.

Regards

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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