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Old 06-23-2011, 10:19 AM   #9
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: Am I Tough Enough to Be a Beginner?

Thanks for the column. Very well put.

When you mention the anonymity freedom for the student it reminds me of the most daunting thought for a Teacher in the beginning which is that they will now have to get it right all the time or look a fool.

With these type of thoughts comes the dread of losing face. Thus the teacher has indeed to learn there's no escape from the student mind.

For me when it comes to finding improvement needed in an area I don't see say changing the way I do shihonage as something that puts me back for a while. It means on that particular new way I am back at level one learning going through the process.

A subtle difference of mentality and that is that it is natural progression rather than slump or setback or hassle.

On the teacher/student relationship or difference I would say actually mentality wise there should be none really.

For many years friends of mine would wonder and ask me what is it with me and my son. They would tell me how they tell their kids this or that and lay down the law etc. and were and still are on the most part confused and say things like 'your not like father and son your like brothers or mates.

When I explain how simple it is not many get it. The simplicity for me is this: I drop all 'identity' ideas and should be's and supposed to's etc. and know that we are friends. Since a baby if he did anything wrong or out of order then to me it never was a matter of punishment or scalding it was time for jokes, fun.

I would usually laugh and proceed to say ah, lets have a little look at this so he could willingly share what he'd done and I could relate them to my past or get us to look at it together to see what could have been done differently and better.

No different to teaching for me. Someone always says 'what if blah' and I inevitably say 'well I don't know let's see.' Thus students feel free to ask anything from technical to even something not in the curriculum like 'what if I gave you a roundhouse kick' or something.
Always 'I don't know, lets see.'

To me part of a dojo experience of discipline in an evironment where there is no crime and punishment, no fear only sharing and the spirit of joy for all is learning and progress.

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