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Old 02-20-2009, 09:57 AM   #38
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
Re: Underqualified Sensei

Nice post George. I would like to add that some may also achieve mastery through perseverance and an innate ability to observe and "figure out" what is really happening via personal study, experiementation and observation. As my sensei (Hiroshi Kato) states: "Aikido is not something to learn from others, but to learn by oneself. Ideally, the practice should be for oneself, and it should be rigorous and sternly self-disciplined, by one's own choice."

"Learning to learn" can hone one's ability to evolve with exposure to a master. Observing the master in person, feeling the technique and follow-up observation on video can help someone with this ability to significantly improve their understanding and ability to transfer what is learned (to me a good teacher). Approaching the teaching responsibility with the mindset of a student-i.e, every time you step on the mat you should expect to learn somehting yourself. Whether it be a distinction, an aha moment of what your master instructor is doing, or a new way of interpreting what you have been doing so to better communicate it to your students. With the "student" mindset it forces you to evolve and avoids stagnation. I took this mindset when I started and transfered it to teaching when I started teaching. I found it makes me constantly strive to develop new insights into my practice and helps me pass on what I learn to my students. It also helps me make the necessary changes I need to make in my art due to the fact that once I "understand" change is natural and has to happen because my brain no longer accepts doing something incorrectly.

I have also noticed, with this mindset, that sometimes aha moments come randomly. I have experienced them sometimes as much as a year after observing something. An incident may trigger it, had that happen last night, and cause me to connect something I did or needed to do to make it work. That happened to me last night on something my sensei does with kotegaeshi, which I had already incorporated, where I had not seen the connection as to why he was doing it that way. The aha happended when I was demonstrating with one of my students that is a "bull" and likes to resist.

This mastery we all seek to me is an evolutionary process along a continuum. If approaching one's training with the right mindset, you move toward it.

Last edited by aikidoc : 02-20-2009 at 09:59 AM. Reason: forgot something.
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