Jun Akiyama wrote:
So I asked on Aikido-L a few days ago, "What do you think are important characteristcs for a teacher of beginning aikido students?"
Is the question only for teachers?
If not, I'll give you my humble answer as beginner... if yes, sorry
Here i go with what i think has tied me to my sensei in my first months of training, and really made me interested in training and improving my aikido.
I've even added/modified entries which i really like as beginner.
5% honesty and equilibrium, in and outside dojo
5% open to answer questions about whatever
10% contagious enthusiasm/passion for the art
10% connect teachings/techniques/principles through class
10% clarity in verbal communication
15% ability to interpret reactions (and adapt, even improvise, if necessary for didactical reasons)
15% use of atemi and reversals to show the "why and why not" in every aspect of a tecnique from the start
15% clarity in physical demonstrations
15% real talent for aikido
I *really* like the "why and why not" explanation/decomposition part, both from tori and uke perspective, often involving the use of weapons (he's a KSR Shihan and this surely reflects in his teachings), or less conventional but surely more "realistic" attacks/behaviors, apparently unrelated to traditional aikido material.
Some tecniques looked very odd to me before this kind of explanations, expecially the uke part.
Ude kime nage -sp? sorry, still confused with some names - comes in mind.
They clearly shows that Aikido is a general training method which applies in many situation... you may not catch the logic at the first LOOK, but then your BODY will recognize the infinite variations as long as the competence increases... I'm starting to see this even now, after only 10 months, first test yet to come.
I think it's very important to give this clues to beginners.