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Old 06-17-2012, 05:05 AM   #39
Nicholas Eschenbruch
Dojo: TV Denzlingen
Location: Freiburg
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 323
Re: Teaching .... I have a question.

So I realise I may have been too globally pessimistic instead of locally constructive...

First, I do see great teaching happening, but more as a one-on-one relation in a very intensive context: wonderful and encouraging to see, but limited to very few.

Second, even outside the context of kata I really like Chucks's take here:

To instruct in a kata you should be licensed showing that you've been through a thorough formal schooling and have a signature that is from a very high dan that is really proficient in both demonstrating the kata and teaching it. Not just a "run of the mill" demo type skill but a very deep understanding and ability to show the subtleties of target, distance, and timing; also thorough understanding of the use of sente and the strategic use of many facets of soft kuzushi, tsukuri, which causes and ends in very powerful kake of the waza by using the aite's intent and power.
So, somebody would then be certified to teach a certain part of the curriculum they have understood deeply. However, it seems to me that teachers would have to be quite experienced (sandan?) to be able to make anything of this intensive instruction? I am not against that at all, but it certainly was not the model how aikido spread in Europe.

I am not sure "aikikai" (as opposed to Tomiki) aikido uses kata in a classical sense, are you? Also, I do not mean to be adversarial but I think the shu-ha-ri model, while it certainly has truth to it, has also been used too often to glorify shu and mystify ha and ri, justifying mediocre teaching in the context.

Finally, to throw in a new idea: In terms of teaching and transmission, I like the idea of having a web of dojos with one in the middle where uchideshi training with a high ranking teacher is possible in a time frame ranging from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. This can make sure that whoever feels they need to make a new step as a student or teacher and is dedicated enough to take time out will have the opportunity of focused instruction.

I may be off until Wednesday, thanks all!
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