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Old 12-09-2011, 07:35 AM   #92
Carl Thompson
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Location: Kasama
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 488
Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Apart from a few people aggrandising themselves by calling themselves Shihan, Soke or whatever, generally those within Japanese M.A. know we're showing respect to other people when we use Japanese honorifics, so just to bring things back on topic…

George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I think we might change the question from teaching "ability" to teaching "methodology".
Thank you very much for your post Ledyard sensei. While I think the methodology is totally pertinent, the main thing I was interested in clarifying when I started the thread was his ability as a teacher to impart his knowledge. I think the way he did it is just one important aspect of that. For example, a change in methodology might reduce that ability but then so could sticking to the same method while being "away with the fairies" (or even the kami). So method is only one variable. Madness could be another or maybe something else?

Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Did Takeda changed his teaching method because said enlightenment?
I haven't seen any evidence for that. Perhaps enlightenment is a normal part of the process of becoming a "Takeda" or an "Ueshiba" and is a result of unchanging teaching methods for a range of subject material (both physical and spiritual)? Maybe Osensei took the spiritual training further (too far?) even building a shrine to the deities of aikido. Perhaps that expanded repertoire on the spiritual side took time away from teaching the physical, but I don't think that would diminish the potential ability to teach it. Not if it was a choice to mainly teach a particular aspect of the repertoire with steps taken to ensure the other important stuff was still taught. If it was an irrational compulsion rather than a choice then you could call it a drop in ability.

So people not getting the goods from him physically in the former scenario (choice of repertoire) could think that it was no longer important to Osensei to get those particular goods. In the latter scenario he was ineffective at achieving his teaching goal.

Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I don't see how his beliefs in Oomoto doctrine could have affected his teaching method?
One view is that he tied the spiritual and physical training inextricably together in which case I'm inclined to agree that there was little change in method for either. As his understanding of both grew it would be a matter of the content of both changing rather than the method of transmission. From what I gather of Shamanism in the Japanese context, we are talking about Shinto and agriculture which makes me think of buno ichinyo (the union of budo and agriculture) in the aikido founder's case. Again, this seems to combine both physical and spiritual misogi (purification). I think you could describe it as "additional teaching material" (Mother Nature as the partner for training the body and mind) which is not necessarily a significant change in method that would affect teaching ability. It's more like fleshing out the content.

So we could assume that as time passed, Osensei still regarded transmission as important but gradually taught (with little change in effectiveness) a different part of the same subject more often. Clearly he observed the instructors he had created. Did he want them to just do kami-waza? Would he have approved if his instructors spent half the session talking about spirituality and kotodama before doing quick kagura mai demonstrations and claiming it came from the kami?

Could it simply be that Osensei gradually moved away from the hands-on teaching work and delegated it to the instructors he had created for that very purpose while he focused more on teaching the spiritual side for his retirement? If we are to believe Chiba Sensei, he watched them with the eyes of an eagle in the fifties and people have already described the founder flying into a rage when he saw his students not doing his aikido later on.

O-Sensei also taught evening class occasionally or would come to watch the class. He sat in front of the kamiza with the eyes of an eagle, wordless and motionless, while Saito Sensei led the class. O-Sensei often emphasized the importance of katai-keiko, which can mean in Japanese "stiff", but it really means to be rigid, vigorous, with full force, without sparing any power, without play.

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