Re: When Can an Instructor Stop Training?
I guess that I am specifically referring to training as in your #1 example above. The rest are methods of learning, to be sure, but are not specific to the role of being a student (as opposed to being an instructor).
I think we have a great deal of agreement on this subject now that I understand better what you are saying. We both do not want to allow ourselves to use instructor-level or instructor-roles as an excuse to end our training, and we both recognize in instructors that have stopped training that their aikido has suffered. That is their decision, true, but that doesn't mean that we cannot look at their choices and form our own judgment about those choices, and it is from that feeling that thoughts and threads like this one grow... trying to understand why they might have made the choice to stop training.
I know that some of the instructors that I am aware of who have stopped training would say - if confronted or asked about it - that they haven't stopped training at all. That they apply the other situations you list (other than #1) and that they are therefore - nearly pompously - training all the time. I don't buy that, and I think you and I have hit on why, coming at it from two different directions. As I said, I think it comes down to being willing to ask a question regarding our aikido, and only #1 is aimed at asking a question. The rest seem aimed at providing an answer. And while #1 might provide answers, I think it is unique in the cases you presented that it is focused on the question, and on acknowledging that there are answers that will come from outside of us. That's a lot of talking around and about the subject without just naming it what it is: a beginner's mind.
Too many instructors forget that there questions to be asked. Too many others get wrapped up in themselves as the only valid poser of questions, and in so doing, become wrapped up in providing the "answer." They have lost focus on the question.
Eh... thoughts running through my head... the focus of my training recently. Sorry if they are not completely coherent.