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Old 10-15-2004, 11:28 AM   #26
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Re: When Can an Instructor Stop Training?

In response to leaving an instructor, Bryan wrote:

Bryan Bateman wrote:
I'm not sure that it would really impact me, unless I have decided to to stop learning myself. By the time I have stopped learning from said instructor, I should already be well on my own path and able move on without it really affecting me.
I think we are into the realm of semantics now, Bryan. I would argue that by having to leave your instructor, your training is affected in that it is not the same as it was before. I am saying nothing of your desire to learn or your desire to train, but only point out that the decisions your instructor makes about his/her own training *do* impact you in some form.

The 75 yr. old instructor that you mention is, indeed, a great example of continuing to train.

Daren, you ask what I think the purpose of the martial arts is. I would say that the simplest way that I could phrase that answer is that the arts are a vehicle for self improvement, though there is obviously much more a blowhard like myself could say about it. Until I understand better where you intended to take the conversation, I will leave it at that.

You also questioned whether Shaolin Monks have forums where they talk about how we aikidoists are lazy for only going to the dojo x number of times a week. My first answer would be yes. Not that they have these forums, but that they have answered for themselves that simply going to the dojo 3 or 4 times a week was not enough for them, else they would not have chosen such an immersive life of training.

However, that misses the point. The matter at hand is not *how much* one should train. Such a line is inherently arbitrary and nebulous, with 10 different practitioners having 10 different levels of acceptability. No, the matter at hand is whether or not an instructor must continue to train at all. Now, the amount of training is very quantifiable, and the question becomes emminently more simple.

I suppose that my personal position on that question is that a person who instructs *must* continue to train. Once a week, once a month... but done so that when that instructor steps on the mat as a student, the student mindset is at the fore. They might very well be the *senior* student on the mat, but they put themselves in the hands of the instructor of the day.

I have known dojos to say that if you teach at all during the week, you must train in at least one class during the week. I do not think that is asking too much, though, as I said, this is more nebulous and individual. I don't think that the question was worried about how much the person trains in a week or month, just that they *do*.

David, very interesting take on questions in general, and on this one in particular. Do you see non-Japanese dojos and instructors now catching up with regard to not using some neo-confucian excuse to limit their training?

It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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