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Old 10-28-2009, 03:33 PM   #13
Russ Q
Dojo: Shohei Juku Aikido Gibsons
Location: Gibsons BC
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 192
Re: Managing Change in Aikido

So I think that, to get more people up to the level of our teachers, we are going to have to innovate on the training. A critical element of this ability to innovate is, quite frankly, distance. George's Law of Innovation in Aikido says that there is an inverse relationship between the proximity to ones teacher and the level of innovation taking place at your dojo.

If you have had a great teacher for decades, if you haven't done so already, move as far from him as possible and start figuring things out for yourself. You will almost certainly not do so training with that teacher for another decade or so, in his own dojo.

Another thing I'd recommend to most folks... don't advertise what you are doing. A wonderful piece of advice given me many years ago by one of my mentors was "Sensei doesn't need to know." Personally, I am a huge advocate of change, cross training, etc and I have a teacher who has always been very supportive about training with a variety of teachers in many styles. So I am always up on the web telling people what I am doing, encouraging them to do likewise. But I wouldn't recommend being that visible to most folks. Get this training and go home and work on it. You don't need some sniveling toadie going back to your teacher quoting what you said about your Daito Ryu experiences or your Systema work on the Internet (and believe me they will, even if they are continents away). Does your teacher, hundreds of miles away need to know that on Tuesdays you are working on this weird stuff you got from Mike or Dan? Probably not. He's most likely happier not knowing. Then, when you see him the next time, he will most likely go, "Ah, you are starting to get what I've been trying to show you all these years! Good." Letting him think it's because he finally got through to your duncelike self will not hurt your relationship at all, whereas saying "Yes, I found someone who could teach it, finally" will not put you on the fast road to promotion

Ha!Ha!Ha! - you said it! Bloody spot on!!!! I will chuckle to the dojo for kids class now.

Thank you Sensei,

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