View Single Post
Old 11-21-2011, 12:56 PM   #50
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
Re: A Primer on Aikido, Aiki and IS

The teaching model of old was a close-knit, family-based system where the person spent most of, if not the entire day learning from the teacher, every day for a substantial period of time. As we know from our own studies, that there is no replacement for hands-on with learning a martial art, let alone the deep, deep stuff like IS, Aiki, ect..This model put a premium on hands-on experiences and tended to intentionally cloud the written transmission to prevent others from stealing the "secrets." There was a minimum of verbal instruction and written instruction. That family model protected secrets in waring times and served to "hard-wire" in this material. The transition from warring states, to a unified nation served to make the minimize the need for people to spend a good portion of their lives learning in this manner. This teaching model was brought forward into the Edo period and this model is still prevalent in the Asian martial arts community. The problem with this model is that students do not spend many years living with their teachers. Hands-on with the teachers constitutes hours a week, month,..... This model is not practical in the manner in which our teachers learned it and taught it to us.

Finding a balance between accurate verbal instruction, along with substantial hands-on experience seems to be the most efficient model, based upon the manner in which most people train today. Myself and some other instructors have even shifted away from a waza-based teaching model to one the emphasizes the verbal and hands-on instruction in the teaching of important principles and allowing the waza to emerge from the application of those principles. This model is by no means set in stone as myself and other instructors struggle with finding efficient and effective means of transmitting the heart of our arts.

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote