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Old 01-05-2010, 04:21 AM   #1
"Someone anonymous"
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The path to becoming a sensei

I'm posting this in the anonymous forum as I don't want to include any names, affiliations, locations etc. but would like some genuine feedback.

I'm an assistant instructor at our dojo and in the grand scheme of things a very lowly student (only training for seven years and the paint still wet on my shodan grading). I've been a student of the martial arts since I was eleven and had a solid background in kyokushin karate before coming to Aikido.

Last night I ran a class on some basic bokken suburi trying to emphasise considerations on distance, timing, kokyu and zanshin. The movements were reasonably straightforward with the exception nage performing nukitsuke from the outset.

The class was moving along with a few minor corrections until I started to see a pattern of students cutting incorrectly or ending up in the wrong place. I made some suggestions on how to correct the footwork and handgrip, but it wasn't until one of the students asked me to re-demonstrate the draw and stated that they could see me "...moving my whole body forward with the bokken to make the cut, not just swinging my arm". The particular student has been training for about six years and even though he is kyu-graded has a good level of experience.

I stopped, ran through the movement in my mind and realised that inadvertently I was drawing and cutting with one movement and using my center to drive the strike.

The thing that struck me upon realising this was that although the resulting demonstration was what I had intended to convey, I hadn't specifically thought to emphasise this to my students.

I've taken dozens of classes before, both in karate and Aikido as well as training in my normal job, so I'm comfortable and familiar with the role, but it just grated that I'd moved beyond needing the think through a particular technique but hadn't really converted that into my teaching method.

Is this something that other people experience? If you have experienced it what did/can you do to minimise the chances of it occurring again?
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