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Old 06-21-2012, 08:29 PM   #55
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 292
Re: Teaching .... I have a question.

Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Yamada Sensei from what I've seen doesn't fail people easily and gives a lot of consideration to many different things when testing people. When he does have to fail some one it definitely is very disappointing for him. So for people to say it is politics are being very disrespectful. When Yamada Sensei has to fail some one it is definitely upsetting his evening... at least from what I've seen. And the Sensei's of failing students definitely hear about it.
This is sort of the problem. I've watched Yamada pass a group of tests and then give a 5 minute speach on how he was being generous, and how his own student embarassed him. Would you want to get your grade under such conditions. I'd rather fail and do it over right.

Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
As for the Technical committee... where Yamada Sensei runs a 10 minute Dan test, I've been seeing a trend of the Technical committee running 25-45 minute test these past few years.
The shihan are the ones who've received full transmission in the art. I think it is a good move to require fukishidoin and shidoin to attend regular instruction from their shihan to maintain their instructor's rank. It is good for all Aikidoka in my opinion to get out there and see the broader world of Aikido in general. Sometimes you can spend so much time in your own little dojo that you start to believe your own hype, and you forget there are giants out there. A reality check is important for all Aikidoka from time to time in my opinion. I think the USAF understands this, so much so officially 1st kyu and higher are also required to attend these seminars if they plan on gaining rank.
I tested for shodan at one of the first big seminars where there was a panel of shihan from the technical committee (Yamada, Berthiaume, Waite and Bernath). More than half failed (including the guys I had mentioned in my previous post. They hadn't reaqlized that I had passed at the same seminar when they made their comments, until I told them). Standards seem to have been tightened, but my impression is that they seem to vary somewhat from seminar to seminar.

As far as seminar attendance is concerned, you don't have to convince me. I've more than met the seminar requirements for instructors every year I have trained, even as an unranked beginner thirteen years ago. However, I'm not a certified instructor and for the moment there is no need since we have two senior shidoin at our dojo, but I do think about all this now that I meet the minimum requirements for fukushidoin, including having had a regular class to teach on our schedule all of last year.

Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Also I've seen lately these instructor's classes Yamada Sensei has been holding at seminars.. Teachers only. I sat in to watch a few. He's become very strict on what he expects people to be teaching at their dojo. And very strict on what he expects students to look like when they come up to test for a dan test. I think this is a very good step.
The official big seminar with Yamada that I go to is the May seminar in Montreal and I haven't seen any mention of an instructor class there. I've been kind of curious as to what is taught. Please give details if you can.

Jonathan Olson
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