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Old 06-16-2012, 01:18 PM   #31
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,153
Re: Teaching .... I have a question.

1. I think it is important to highlight those challenged with the obligation of teaching. I hope most teachers have sought and received permission to instruct from their instructor or organization.

2. I think it is important to support teachers by assisting them to teach better. It sounds funny, but I know many good martial artists who cannot teach for anything; I also know a few martial artists who are not excellent but are excellent teachers.

Given these two points, I boil the issue largely down to competency and transmission. Teachers need to be competent and they need to successfully transmit curriculum. I do not know if credentials are as important to these two issues as identifying and designating teachers. I think right now, we have "teachers" who when put in the spotlight back away from their status, rather than accept they have additional pressure to correctly instruct. "Your footwork was wrong in the video. Well... I wasn't teaching when we made that video..." I think designating instructors and assistant instructors is a good way to begin, rather than a credential process. If you see a teacher who is not competent, you will leave. If you cannot learn anything from a teacher, you will leave. Just because someone has a certificate hanging on the wall does not mean you will learn from her.

Tangental to the question, but I feel appropriate to mention is that I do not believe the role of teaching [in aikido] should exclude spiritual development. I believe spiritual, emotional, and moral leadership falls outside the realm of technical instruction.

In ASU, Saotome Shihan is very encouraging of instructors. We have seniors who will take extra time with younger instructors to help develop teaching styles and point out important issues. We have seminars that focus on proper technique and transmission. Sensei has highlighted a few of his direct students for us to emulate. I think he has talked about a certification for instructors but has not put anything into play yet. Right now his big guys get fancy gis. I feel very encouraged that my peers will help me to be a better teacher and I am empowered to become better.


Last edited by jonreading : 06-16-2012 at 01:27 PM.
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