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Old 01-15-2004, 08:35 AM   #11
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Teaching as a Goal

Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
I can give you my own experience if it helps. I have my fukushidoin certificate, which I got by recommendation through my teacher under Shibata Sensei. I was already a nidan of two years at that time, and had been asked to test for the certificate under Chiba Sensei, but our dojo split with Shibata and didn't get the chance. When I decided to open a dojo, I went ER and simple protocol was that I have my certificate reinstated with the ER.

I would not have felt comfortable starting a dojo without this certificate, as I was only a nidan when the dojo opened (now sandan). It isn't required for having a dojo, but is required to test your students.

The length of time it takes you to be able to be proficient enough to start a dojo is really quite individual. Going into aikido with the idea that you want to be a teacher is quite premature IMHO. I've been practicing regularly since 1982(3) and only started teaching in 1994(5). I didn't open a dojo until 2002. When I started, teaching was about the furthest thing from my mind. It has just been a natural progression of my practice.

Both Jorge and Peter R. are teachers and can talk about their experiences too to help give you some perspective on the time and commitment required to do this.

best, Rachel
I think it is ok for someone to train with the goal of someday being a teacher. A lot of wishful thinking would be clarified if people did this I think. Our own teachers were all trained to be instructors from the start. They were "Uchi Deshi". They had teaching responsibilies right from the beginning and it was clear that they were traiing to be the representatives of this art as it went "public" so to speak. I was certainly trained that way by Saotome Sensei... he flat out stated that he was training instructors when I started in the DC dojo back in the seventies. I always knew I would have a school one day and much of my training was motivated by wanting to make sure that I was up to the standard (of my own expectations) when I did.

If wanting to be a teacher one day motivates the student to train all that much harder, to read everything he or she can find about the art, to be "hungry" for new concepts and technqiues, then why not. If they go the distance with that attitude they will make it to their goal. If they don't they very likely won't.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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