Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring
Thanks Lynn, I appreciate the comments.
Ikeda Sensei is something of an oddity (right now, Endo Sensei also falls into this category for me). He is one of those instructors who is almost impossible to decipher because of his skill and experience; he has to exaggerate his movement for anyone to figure out what he did. I remember seminars from years back where he would demonstrate something, say "understand?" then have all us idiots (nodding enthusiastically) go run off to do something that was almost completely not what he was doing. He was so freakin' good no one really knew what or how he worked - I think during this time he would have been difficult to emulate as a model of aikido. I'd give him some time... if he keeps doing what he has been doing he'll have a group fall in line and they'll have something to share with us.
Over the last several years Ikeda sensei has refined his seminars (personally, I think his time with Ushiro Sensei has a lot to do with his changes). His more recent seminars have been some of the most interesting and useful seminars I have attended in recent years. Ikeda sensei is one of those instructors who teaches kihon in his kihon waza and you feel like an idiot because he talks about it like we've been doing it all along... but we haven't. It makes me feel like those elitist college kids that drop names at a coffee shop and you answer just to feel cool. "Well, you've read Keats, of course?" "Yeah, she's awesome." Dang.