Hi Paulina and Phi
I believe in our western hemissphere we tend to rely too much on our individual personalities and personal gain when we practise.
I prefer the Japanese approach where students are not allowed to ask too many questions.. For a westener this is a huge challenge, I´ve been there, and I have to admit it changed my concepts of learning and teaching considerably, so no, I don´t think it is merely a progression of learning because even the most
advanced students fall from grace when they place too much trust in their personal achievements and as a consequence become slacking.
Funny.. I am very far from agreeing with you.
Of course there is a risk that students can become sloppy, but I would think the same could happen for those who are being taught a specific way to do things in a very rigid system since they come to rely on the system rather than on their own common sense and feelings.
I think it's kind of like learning a language. You can have a CD or book with set frases that you practice over and over until you know them all by heart. Copying them to down to even the tiniest detail like intonation, pauses etc. You are just not speaking the language untill you begin to break the patterns and use the words in new constellations in order to mediate exactly the nuances that you want to express.
I've been to Japan a few times as well, and I belive I've met a few senseis (and shihans) who expect and prefer for their students to develop their own aikido by being critical - in the most polite and constructive manner of course - so as to add to the continous development of the art. So.. please don't cut all japanese teachning along the same ruler.
There is of course a time to ask questions and a time to shut up and practice. But in my book that is not the same as disbanding all creative and challenging thought all together.
It's all about finding the right balance I guess
Great weekend to all