Peter Rehse wrote:
Must say that after someone has been training for oh say 35 years how can someone with let's say less than five judge. It's not the level of skill but the rate of progression.
I agree with Peter but also with those that can see a lack of progression in their teachers. While a newer student might not be able to judge their teacher's technical growth, there are other important aspects of aikido that don't neccessarily depend on years and years of experience to judge, especially if a student is serious and spends a lot of time with their instructor.
While it is not appropriate for me (after 4-5 years) to judge the technical growth of my teacher (with 23 years of experience), I can tell when he is truly engaged in improving both his own aikido and his teaching ability/style. So while I can't neccessarily judge WHAT progress he is making I can clearly tell that he progressing. It shows in the way he runs class and in new techniques and ideas he shares with us.
The more energy he puts into his own growth and that of the dojo, the more energy and time the students contribute and the healthier the whole community becomes. It is easy to see.
May we all continue to grow and change for as long as we live!