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Old 10-24-2000, 10:45 AM   #4
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 17
Fabris wrote:
Hi everyone,

I would like to know your opinion about somethink I've been thinking about for some time now.

The Japanese aproach to teaching Aikido (and other MAs as well) is that the student has to feel the technique to judge if it's right. And that's all there is to it. Talking about the technique would spoil the feeling part thus diminishing the effectiveness of the learning process.

But I wonder: Is that aproach right to our western minds raised in a scientific mindset that demands a logical explanation for everything?

I am not by any means trying to say that the Japanese way is not a valid one. I think it is valid. It's a mindset that has worked for thousands of years and will still work for years to come. But is it right for us?

So, should we try to adapt to the eastern way or stick to our "logical" way of life? Or is the truth between the two aproaches?

Fabrício Lemos, Brazil Aikikai
Hello Fabricio,

I believe that different people learn in different ways. Some people are very visual; they have to SEE something to understand it. Others need to HEAR it; still others learn best only when they FEEL it. That varies by individual.

So, why not try to learn by the method that works best for you? I know several instructors that make a distinct effort to teach using as many of these different paradigms as possible.

It's difficult, and more work for the instructor, to be sure. To explain each technique taught by exact words, then by analogy, then show it, then have people feel it... That's a lot of work.

However, I think it helps more people learn, because it tries to explain things using a variety of methods so (hopefully) all the different types of learners can get something out of the lesson.

Difficult, but worth it, IMHO.

Also, I would be careful of describing one method of teaching and calling it "The Japanese Approach". There are many methods of teaching, even within Japan.

If you don't know what I mean, try to find a copy of "Total Aikido" by Gozo Shioda Soke (founder of Yoshinkan Aikido).

You'll find very specific, detailed, logical explanations of aikido technique. And Shioda Soke was, most definitely, Japanese.

There are many paths called aikido. Sometimes they diverge, and go different directions for a while, but they all go in basically the same direction.

As always, YMMV.

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