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Old 03-31-2012, 06:14 PM   #114
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 295
Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Interesting - what would you say are the differences between Yin and Yang and Izanagi and Izanami (as Ueshiba used the terms here)?

Hinting at the right direction is a common Japanese methodology - but if you look at the results it really doesn't work very well, even in Japan. In the mass teaching environment of Aikido I would say that it works...not at all, really...


We could endlessly discuss the differences. Or the nuances. And although, if you look at the description in the Kojiki, not exactly the same, on the whole they are similar. The emphasis on Izanagi and Izanami is of some importance to my training and teaching, but for most In and Yo will do the job just fine.

I was not talking about common Japanese methodology. Neither was I talking about a mass teaching environment. In the West a rational approach to teaching and learning prevails. In that approach the result counts. And we have created methods in which we can measure this. If the required result is not there, then the teacher or the teaching method has failed. And that means that we have to adjust the method. It also means that the student can question the method. Sometimes this works out just fine. Especially in our modern society. But not always and not everywhere.
The problem is that human beings are not rational. Their learning patterns do not follow mathematical lines.
If one where to learn a classic trade, whether it would be pottery, hunting, music, dancing, roof thatching, masonry, bookbinding, painting one would find this in every traditional culture as being common knowledge, not just Japanese.
That is not to say that there is or was no method in teaching. The European guilds for example had very meticulous methods of teaching. Nevertheless the apprentice was expected to pick up the finer details himself. And at the end of his apprenticeship give proof that he was as good if not better then his teachers.
This means that the student learned something more or something else then was given in the method of teaching. This was always fully understood.

Why would you say Mozart was such a good musician at a very young age. Because his father had a better teaching method?
Why are artists, musicians, sculptors, painters, actors, all talking about the technique, about experience, skill, and about... something else; creativity, the whisperings of their muses, the breath of god, that sparkle of light,...

This is the point where every rational teaching method will fail. It is something that cannot be taught. But it can be hinted at...

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