Re: Teaching Aikido, an Aiki perspective
Memories of teaching and learning are drawn out by this column which I see is from last month. Perhaps I didn't see it, or perhaps passed it by until later because our work schedule left little time even for proper sleep -- and it was hard to think of eventually training, and teaching again.
In my situation, and in (re?) reading this column I wonder again whether I will teach again, and so I think back to the circumstances in which I first found myself when I began teaching soon after returning from Japan. My mother had sent me a course announcement about the local Y, and it was indeed time to return anyway. The class had fallen thru and I never knew who or what group was to offer it, or whether it was aikido or hapkido because of the misspelling...
So they asked me if I could teach it. To make a long story short there were always people who drew out what they wanted to learn whether they were from another martial art or not, teaching was easy. I don't know if they were "empty" I like to think they had something, but room for more. Not sure if I am saying this right, but those years were great and I learned a lot with a chance to more fully understand what I had picked up from my teachers by working on it with my students. Although I continued to visit other dojos and attend camps and seminars, in a sense I received second dan from my students. Of course I am grateful to my teachers, senpais and fellow students, but I think much is drawn out of ourselves that we may not realize we know, until we teach.
If I taught again, though, I would be careful, I hope to look to see what each entrant into the classes might want, even if they don't express themselves very clearly. I tried to make sure people didn't give up if they made mistakes, but I should take that one step further, to draw out people more to find out what they might need...
Anyway, I may not be good at concepts but maybe a few of these memories fit into the topic. I hope so. I enjoy everyone's perspective and experience on these columns, including the ones where I seldom post, Ross and Dr. Seiser!