Re: Instructors first impressions turning away prospective students
[quote=Katherine Derbyshire;344826]Is aikido only an art for young people?
No, Its for any age. There has been 60+ Instructors who I was actually impressed with and learned a lot from.
How do you define "quality" of the art being taught?
Keeping students interested, bringing new things to the table, most importantly evolving without ever forgetting the basics. If you teach dancing and it fails them they will blame you. Don't portray it as a martial art if you don't teach it that way.
What is the demographic profile of your community, and where do you expect new students to come from?
A good mix of demographics. People come from the the surrounding city.
If you think it is impossible to practice or teach aikido effectively with bad knees, might I suggest that your concept of the art is a bit limited?
Knees joints are nothing to play with when injured. I know this as having partially tore a mcl and lcl ligament a couple years ago. It will put you out 2 month minimum. I was still young so I got lucky. I healed fast.
If you think it is impossible to improve while teaching, might I suggest that your understanding of the art of teaching is limited, too?
Teaching is a totally separate skill. You either have it or you don't or you can take time to learn how to do it. Having a 20th Dan does not mean you are effective at teaching. The 2 instructors only taught once a week for the past 7 years. ( 2 classes per week) That was there" training time", when they taught. If you are teaching ONE technique for the past 7 years once a week, spending 60 mins out of a 90 min class doing warm ups with only 30 mins left to practice the same ONE technique for 7 years, would you stay? To them Aikido was a one technique ballet dance. I was the last student left. Honestly, I did thought of leaving. During that time some new students started and never returned after the first month. If I left and hadn't push for a immediate change the school would have been closed after 50+ years. I was fortunate when I first started aikido from day 1 back east. The chief instructor and his sempai didn't bullshit me or taught me dance-kido. Its was because of this I immediately joined. There were serious and safe about training. The current dojo where I eventually made my way to became a joke dance studio by the 2nd year. When people see this they will run for the hills and that is what happened. The leadership failed and had to be removed. I have been practicing for 13+ years ( still a newbie) and had exposure (not ranking) to other styles of Aikido. (Iwama, nishio, tenshin ex.) I try to attend at least 2 seminars a year (regardless of style) locally so I don't get stuck in the "aikido box". There is always something new to learn. What you have been doing there always might be a better way of doing it. Take in everything and discard the nonsense bullsh*** without forgetting the basics because that is the foundation. I make sure to tell my students there is NO MAGIC or no "no touch throws" in aikido but there is hard work and a little pain to make it become a part of you.