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Old 05-25-2004, 08:37 PM   #11
Sue Trinidad
Dojo: Island Aikido
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 41
Re: Beginner Teacher "Survey"

Speaking as a beginner, I have found openness, good communication skills, patience, gentleness, and sense of humor to be the things I appreciate most in my teacher. And by "gentleness," I don't mean wimpiness -- what makes aikido so cool is that there is power outside/besides muscle.

I'm learning an awful lot from the senior students, too. In sempai, in addition to the above qualities, I really appreciate those who are able to "do" the technique in a way that allows me to feel (as uke) how it's supposed to work (ie, with some flow/speed), but don't force me into some fall I haven't learned yet. I definitely feel like I learn more with the sempai who push me a little, as compared with the nice ones who fall when I haven't really done the technique properly.

It also helps to have someone explain and/or demonstrate why you do or don't do certain things. . . for example, "if you don't keep your arm in front of you, she can control you (like this)." I'm not studying for self-defense, really--so it helps to have these reminders of what uke could or would do if we weren't friends. It's helping me to think more defensively, which is good!
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