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Old 04-04-2010, 11:09 AM   #14
Aiki LV
Location: Las Vegas/Henderson
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 73
Re: Instruction vs. Teaching, some thoughts

I read this post last night and have been seriously pondering it. I've been trying to think of a way to articulate my thoughts on Instruction vs. Teaching. I think the best way is for me to relate it to my own personal experiences.

For me, the first thing that comes to mind was a decision I had to make a few years ago. I had been training in aikido with a club that was unfortunately going to be coming to an end. It was at this point that I started putting serious thought into the idea of starting my own dojo and becoming a teacher again (previous to this I had not taught aikido for about nine years). The funny thing is it was not the instruction in technique that gave me pause, it was taking on the responsibility for other people. Teaching technique to people is the easy part (well most of the time), the hard part is being a good teacher to these people. It made me realize that in order to really know these people they would in turn get to know me also. This meant I had to be an example. If I was going to aide them on their journey to becoming better people I was going to have to work at being a better person myself. Being a teacher is easy when things are going really well. It is much harder when at times you must be brutally honest with people and tell them things they might not want to hear.

Now as a teacher and a student I am a work in progress, just as they are. I try to see them not only for what they are today, but for who they were and what I know they can become.

I hope my rambling made sense to someone out there.

Thank you Takahashi Sensei for sharing your thoughts and insights with us.

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