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Old 06-27-2009, 11:14 AM   #17
Ivan Lezhnjov Jr.
Location: Ukraine
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5
Re: Who's eligible to teach Aikido? And what level a sensei should be?

Thanks everyone for your replies and some good thinking on the questions raised.

It both helped me realize and reminded all at the same time (since I was really oblivious of the fact) that one should be flexible and not judge someone solely by their exterior characteristics such as a rank; rather look deeper into what a person has really to offer and how that correlates with such subjective, formal characteristic as a rank.

I believe a high rank is a desirable characteristic a sensei should have but not necessarily mandatory.

Personally I often find myself teaching someone something I've gained a profound understanding of even though I'm far from a master and would never really call myself even an expert in the field. Nevertheless, people benefit from me sharing my knowledge and experience and it seems to be working for them.

So, yeah right being a student of a student doesn't sound that bad after all given a person teaching you can do that well.

It makes perfect sense. Thanks for helping me to get a grip on this one.

Jason Morgan, thanks for a good piece of advice on checking up a sensei's credentials. Much appreciated.

Jason Morgan wrote:
I know that "Real Aikido" or "Realnog Aikidoa" can be found in that part of the world.
Never heard of neither of those. Also, I'm not really sure what part of the world were you referring to exactly?

Peter A Goldsbury, hey you made a typo when you wrote my name! Wait did you know that it should be Lezhnjov instead of Lehznjov since that's how my last name is actually spelled (I made a typo when I was entering registration information for my AikiWeb account.... for the first time in my life actually... I'll send admins a message and ask them to correct it :] )?

Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
The point of all this explanation is that aikido has not yet 'matured' in the Ukraine. I do not intend to be condescending or arrogant when I say this. I am simply stating that aikido has not been around long enough in the Ukraine to ensure the level of 'consumer choice' that exists in the USA.
FIrst off, this is a great explanation and an insight you gave. I'm with you on the opinion that aikido awareness and it's maturity level is pretty low in Ukraine.

This is particularly frustrating for me. It's not about aikido only, I feel constrained living in Ukraine actually if you see what I mean. Don't get me wrong I love my own country and people, I just wish it was more developed and people had higher standards... just for themselves.

I digress.

You hit the bullseye pointing out and saying that Aikido in Ukraine isn't mature enough. This is exactly what concerns me personally and that's exactly why I have raised the question of verifying eligibility of someone to teach Aikido.

I'm not really enthusiastic about studying a modified, localized version of Aikido. I want to experience the true Aikido. And it seems I have very low chance of meeting my goal in Ukraine.

So, I guess I'll think twice before joining a local dojo.

Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
Your second general question: what level should a sensei be to effectively teach aikido. The explanation you give after your question reveals (to me) that you see a major gap between 'learning' and 'teaching'. Of course, you 'fluff' the question with remarks about 'philosophical' etc, but I believe that you are uneasy about entrusting your aikido training to someone who is only 2nd dan.
Assuming that "the higher the rank the better teacher someone is" holds true, yes. But that's not really the case as so many people have already pointed out. I guess I just have never given it a thorough thought before asking my question.

Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
Apologies for the length of this post, but I hope it goes some way to answering your questions.
Apologies? Peter, your post was most informative, interesting and to the point. I loved it and it surely went a great way to answering my questions.

I feel like truly thanking you for such an interesting perspective.
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