Re: Article: Thoughts on Teaching by Chuck Clark
There is no one way to do things. The means of teaching Aikido which was employed by O'Sensei has some universal merit, but we must also be mindful that it was used to teach Japanese students at that time in that place. Today's Japan is very different, and today's US is very different, as different again as is today's EU and UK, etc.
In my journey, I have attempted a few times to teach concepts (because Americans always ask Why, and because I wanted them to have their answer so they could let go and take in the experiential knowing.) Sometimes it helped, sometimes it hindered (as they got too far into their heads, started TRYing instead of just DOing.) What I eventually came to (and of course this may not work for anyone but me at that time and place in my life either,) was to stick to the traditions, as they serve several purposes at once, and spice it up with some variations... but to NOT try to reinvent the wheel.
Sorry, in advance, if this candor offends that offshoot, but reinventing the wheel is how we ended up with Tamiki Ryu and their notion that one can be an instructor in 2 years, a 6th Dan in 6-7 years... while the rest of us are very clear that we're just getting our feet and understandings wet at the latter time.
One time Reynosa Sensei came to visit the TenShin Dojo. I was practicing with him and he took about 5-10 seconds to provide a verbal suggestion, while we were practicing. It was a slight bump, an impetus to get me rolling on the right track/direction. From that point on, it was still up to me to take it in, learn experientially, let my BODY learn/feel what worked and how. The mind wants to get all hung up in the Why. The body just learns what does and does not work, and this is a much deeper, more innate understanding, IMO.