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Old 12-21-2002, 11:15 AM   #7
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Thank you for your reply.

I have read this article and realize that one principle of the first stage of training mentioned is FAITH. faith in one's path, faith in one's teacher. the implication seems to be, IMHO, that unless one gives a near-deity reverence for one's teacher, one may never progress to the next stage. is my understanding correct? while i feel strongly about aikido being the right path for me, i have felt badly let down by teachers before (not just in aikido -- but my sensei is only human, and i forgave his imperfections in judgement, especially when my perspective of a pear-shaped situation that we disagreed on in the dojo was validated after i took a leave of absence) and perhaps am currently incapable of this level of faith in any teacher. part of the reason i train at two dojo now was my attempt to try to work through this issue, see if i could trust a different sensei more -- and i like and respect him just fine, but it doesn't feel anything like a total devotion described above. i feel at sea, knowing that i don't know enough to take complete responsibility for my training, but still feeling unable to feel at peace giving that kind of trust to any teacher, the way i did when i first started the art. that initial stage of beginner's mind -- i really put my faith in my sempai, unwisely so, to protect my safety so i took some (what i would consider now) to be pretty high risks to my body. but my aikido grew really fast at that stage. i took some falls better then than i do now. i know this issue of trust -- who do i trust to push my limits -- is what is holding me back. it feels like my instinct for survival is clashing with my calling on this path. and this feels like an illusion, a false choice -- my path for growth should not lead to destruction. i know that i'm a better uke and nage now, and that my risk of being hurt the way i was previously is much diminished. but once bitten, twice shy, and i don't know how to get past the defensiveness that prevents me from having twitchy connection.

this feeling shows up physically -- my breakfalls are like watching a kid on a bike with training wheels -- you can see if he has the confidence of knowing that they're attached, he never needs them; but take them off, and suddenly the kid's falling off the bike all the time. even though you and he know that the kid has no technical physical problems, psychologically there's a huge one of confidence that threatens the success of the whole experience.

to all the senseis out there: if you feel trust has been broken between you and your student, is it ever recoverable? or is that just part of the lesson for the student, that we're all fallible, and that it's the student's responsibility to find a way to trust you anyway? or is my illusion trusting so much in the first place, and trying to recover something that is best outgrown?

what i know about me right now is that i can't blithely follow any sensei without the defensive wall of constantly questioning, where am i being led? distracting me. i'm still kyu rank, i know that i don't know enough to be taking charge for my training.

has anyone else gone through this stage of finding your teacher has feet of clay and won't always do things in your own best interest (sometimes not even protecting your safety), because he's got all these other priorities too? how did you meet your own needs during this stage? how did you take your training wheels off and not fall off the bike knowing that they weren't there anymore?
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