Don Modesto wrote:
The Jpn are very much Jug/Mug teachers, i.e., they are the jug of knowledge filling up the mugs of students.
I remember when my first son was an infant and it was my turn to change him. I placed him on the changing table and, of course, he was all angles and squiggely movement. Not having much experience at this sort of thing I decided that the process would go more smoothly if he would just straighten out his legs. Needless to say reasoning with him was out of the question, so I grasped his ankle with on hand and placed my other hand on his hip and proceeded to gently pull. Much to my amazement his leg refused to move. I tugged a little harder before deciding that this perhaps wasn't such a good idea after all and that I'd be the one who'd have to adapt...
When I first learned unbendable arm this memory came back to me in sudden realization. What I experienced with my son was an extension of his Ki, a perfect coordination of his mind and body. I believe that from birth each of us contains the knowledge that Aikido principles are based upon and that it takes a great deal of unlearning to turn us into adults who have, for the most part, forgotten this gift. This belief has formed the foundation of my teaching style. As an instructor I seek to awaken my students to what they already know, to let them find Aikido in themselves. Maybe this is why I'm very open to taking questions and encouraging discussion.
Using the analogy that Don propounded as a take-off point I guess I'd be a can opener teacher or a twist-off cap teacher