Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
One interesting question that I've been chewing on is how to teach someone to learn how to learn aikido. I very much believe that pretty much most, if not all, of us can teach people, but it seems to be a much deeper task to teach someone to learn how to learn aikido.
Basically, I think there's a difference between learning something and learning how to learn something and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on how to teach someone to learn how to learn aikido.
an interesting topic, and I think we all have different approaches in not just teaching Aikido, but teaching how to LEARN Aikido.
I never thought about it until your question, and we actually (or I) do teach how to learn Aikido, in my own little way i guess. I'll try to make it brief, as I tend to go all over the place in long posts.
When people enter the Dojo, I have noticed they have some sort of preconceived idea what it is going to be like, and unless they have already heard or read something on Aikido, they are either overjoyed with their first experience, or very dissapointed. Some think it is going to be like Karate, others think Tai Chi, and some have abosolutely no idea!!
But, to the point of teaching how to learn, I think it comes down to the basics, depending on what each Sensei considers basics.
If a student can go home at the end of class and say " I learned something today", wether it be a technique, movement, or even something philsophical, then we are succeeding in showing them how to learn, because they have got passed the "how the heck do I learn to do that!!" stage, and ARE learning. If a student cannot grasp the idea how to learn Aikido (now that can be anything from Tai Sabaki to Ukemi) it is up to the teacher to find another way to help them, So long as the student WANTS to learn mind you.
When a student or newcomer say's "how do I learn to learn Aikido", my answer would be "We'll teach you". I think it's all about helping them to understand themselves, and my reward is seeing them do something they thought they could not do. I think in this day and age, we need to explain things more to people in order for them to understand.
I was teaching a student to do Munetsuki Kotegaeshi, when he said " but I would'nt hit someone in the stomach like this so why am I doing this".
I then put a knife in his hand, and told him to do the same thing. His reaction was quite different, he realized I wasn't just teaching one technique but how to move from several techniques, also showing him the Shomenuchi variation. My whole point was to help him with his movement, at the time he did not realise this, it took a little longer to get him to understand, but for the next 3 weeks all he wanted to learn was Munetsuki Kotegaeshi!! His movement now is much better too!!
I think I've rattled on enough, I did say brief!! I hope you see what I am getting at about how we teach to learn....I think I do