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Old 04-04-2012, 01:21 PM   #158
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,237
Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Jackie Adams wrote: View Post
I hope everyone is having a great day,

Looking at the Founder's life and his attitude it is clear he was a generous teacher who invested in his students because he had an altruistic vision toward his students. A key element if the Founder wanted his art spread carrying his spiritual message.

How could anyone say he held back the goods when he provided so much information and was so available and open to his students. I never measure a teacher's ability based solely on the performance of the students. We can't blame Socrates/Plato for all the problems education has today. We can't blame them for the drop out rates, or why a child is left behind. We can't blame them because little Sally failed to go to college and be come a Noble Peace Prize winner. More importantly we can't blame him for all his students for not being an Aristotle or Aristotle surpassing Socrates/Plato. How can we blame Socrates as a lousy teacher because none of the students surpassed him/Plato. The student isn't absent of the onus that comes with learning. There are great teachers who have had students failed.

Great people have had lousy teachers and have done remarkable things why beyond the teacher's capabilities. Even common people like me have had lousy teachers, and still succeeded. It isn't an uncommon event.

Measuring the Founder's teaching ability and the idea he with held information from his students can be easily answered, not by looking at his students. Instead, by looking at the Founder's life and the success of his mission.

It has been my pleasure to have the opportunity to express my thoughts and opinions here. Thank you everyone.
I strongly agree with your ideas about good and bad teachers/students in general. I have little to go on for exactly how well O Sensei taught, but I'm sure it could be viewed in positive or negative terms depending on which criteria we use.
In a "non-budo" society (perhaps exemplified by post-war adjustments in Japan), I see bujutsu as relatively less important, and so I'm not sure how crucial physical potency is compared to other, perhaps more holistic, benefits. This isn't to say it isn't important or that there shouldn't be people who uphold this very central (if not absolutely critical) aspect of budo and budo-based practices, but I think it points to one possible reason why it might not have been held as the highest priority in all or even perhaps most cases.
I get the sense O Sensei was primarily concerned with seeking an understanding of the universe and his place within it; his practice was an extention of this; those around him could learn from his example, but it was up to them to really make it happen; and that he probably focused different efforts in different places based on what seemed most appropriate. Whatever he deemed as being most appropriate probably wasn't viewed in quite the same way by those he was teaching, so in some cases I'm sure there were people who thought they were being taught "everything" when in fact they were being taught whatever O Sensei believed they were able to manage.
Ultimately, of course, I have no real idea. This is all academic and fun to think about and try to flesh out the puzzle of history, but the "real" issue is "what are we doing with our practice today and where are we headed?" I think.
Thank you for the great food for thought!
Take care,

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