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Old 04-21-2009, 10:34 AM   #31
Location: New York
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 164
Re: Seishiro Endo Shihan - Montreal April 7 - 9 2009

An interesting discussion.

My knee-jerk reaction was to respond with something like "do you really want Endo Sensei to travel half way around the globe to teach ikkyo?" . Then I thought - why shouldn't he? Ikkyo is an Aikido technique, Endo Sensei is an Aikido instructor - what's the problem then? So I took some time to recall the practice at the seminars with Endo Sensei that I attended in the past, and remembered quite vividly that we did practice standard Aikido techniques, ikkyo included.

An important point, however, is that I assume Endo Sensei would like to be able to teach his ikkyo (if we can agree that there's more than one valid interpretation of this "basic" technique). And in order to be able to do that, he needs to establish a common vocabulary, intent and feeling with the practitioners in attendance. To this end, my understanding is that he developed a number of exercises, and he asks the practitioners to go through these, as building blocks for the material to follow. I didn't attend the Montreal training, but my guess is that there were quite a few practitioners there for whom this was their first exposure to Endo Sensei's style, so it would seem only natural that Endo Sensei took considerable time to explain what was supposed to be going on.

Sometimes the "shut up and train" approach is useless - if the practitioner didn't understand the goal or the method of the exercise the instructor is asking to practice, what is the instructor to do? Just let the students in attendance do whatever, and move on? What is the point of this training?

To address Szczepan's remark "you can't teach beginners very sophisticated elements" : I never got the impression that Endo Sensei was trying to do that. During a Toronto seminar a few years ago, Endo Sensei specifically insisted on teaching a separate class for white belts only, and worked only on the basics. Something as basic as giving a proper yokomen strike and taking a proper ukemi from yokomen-uchi shiho-nage, for example.

Ron, I'm curious: are you saying that Szczepan's point about using the kind of training described for beginners vs advanced students is very well taken because you attended Endo Sensei's seminars, and reached the same conclusion - that he teaches things way too advanced for the attendees (if this was indeed Szczepan's point)? Or simply that the point itself, that instruction should be appropriate for beginners or advanced students, is a valid one (which, as I understand, noone here disputes) ?

With best regards,

Last edited by DanielR : 04-21-2009 at 10:36 AM.
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