Running a good, high-spirited dojo is a team effort. I encourage all students at 2 kyu and above to begin to observe the entire class structure and teaching techniques, and to properly assist in the instruction. When students begin to truly understand not only aikdio waza, but how classes are run and how to teach, the rate of progress and satisfaction can be multiplied for everyone, including the teacher.
Teaching is like being in the driver's seat. You have to pay a lot more attention to all sorts of details. Being a pure student is sometimes like being a passenger -- it's easy to just pay attention to your own thing, and awareness, especially after you "think you got the hang of it," tends to decrease. This is when students start to feel like they're in a rut. They're not learning any more about ikkyo because they think they know it. At that point, I have them teach it -- sometimes in front of the class. When they basically bummble through it, I tell them to start paying more attention to "how to teach ikkyo," and other basic waza, because I need them to help me teach the beginners.
This then becomes a win-win situation -- the student doesn't fall into a rut (and hopefully they stay humble), and I get more people the can help me teach quality aikido.
Last edited by mike lee : 09-28-2002 at 04:12 AM.