Excuse me, but this set off my bull meter. Really? All (even "most") teachers can't explain what they do?
I've known teachers who don't. But those who are good, and try, but can't?
Never met one.
(Edit: Well, there is the discussion of Ikeda Sensei upthread. But he's explaining what he's doing with the vocabulary he has available. He's not doing one thing and saying another.)
I should clarify that I didn't mean that good teachers *always* fail to explain well what they are doing, but that they *sometimes* explain something different to what they are actually doing, without necessarily realising it.
In my experience this occurs sufficiently often that it is worth pointing out (could it even be "all teachers some of the time, some teachers ... - maybe an exaggeration!). Or maybe it is all my fault in that I understand something different about what and how they are doing something than what they explain.
Learning by observation and feeling is a very useful skill which ought perhaps to be more prized than it is. Having said that, I also value very highly some explanations, and have found that I can learn much more sometimes from teacher X who is (in aikido terms) lower ranked and perhaps less skilled than teacher Y, because teacher X explains in a way that makes sense to me, whereas teacher Y has to overcome perhaps a language and cultural barrier. I agree with George Ledyard that there are some truly excellent western teachers who have great understanding and can explain things really well, have a great track record of teaching, and yet aren't valued as highly as they should be (as evidenced by attendance at their seminars for example).
Does that make sense? If it's still all bull, then maybe just check my surname and consider it hereditary