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Old 05-30-2004, 05:51 AM   #2
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 522
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

My highest-ranked teacher, a fourth dan, has been working with me a lot on kokyo dosa (both partners kneel, nage puts out her arms, uke grasps them, nage unbalances uke backwards and then takes her to the side). Many times, I'll do what I think is a good kokyu dosa entry and she'll sit there unmoved, shaking her head and smiling, and make me try again until something clicks.

At our recent seminar, there was a sudden moment of stillness in mid-practice, and all of the junior students quietly turned to watch our teacher doing kokyu dosa with the guest sensei. She was practicing the entry with immense intentness and concentration, and he was smiling, shaking his head a little bit, and not moving. It was amazing to see.

She doesn't get as many opportunities to train as we'd like, but she's definitely still learning.

She's also still learning how to teach, as became obvious when I was struggling with forward rolls. I was our dojo's worst forward roller ever, I think--it took me five months to learn how--and she would come back from seminars with new teaching techniques and patiently try them on me. She found several that were helpful for students in general, though none, alas, that seemed to work on me! (One of the senior students finally taught me to roll, quite suddenly, but I'm sure sensei's five months of coaching and tooth-gnashing were essential in getting me there.)

Mary Kaye
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