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Old 01-11-2008, 08:58 AM   #24
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 809
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

George S. Ledyard wrote:
None of us look like each other because its been left up to each of us to develop our own understanding.
Yes! And that's the whole point. We don't look like each other on the mat because we aren't each other. Saotome Sensei must realize that teaching, in the traditional sense, can carry a student only so far. For the student to plumb the deeper levels of Aikido understanding must come from an awakening that cannot be spoon fed by an instructor.

George S. Ledyard wrote:
When Sensei passes, it's gone. His knowledge and experience will never be duplicated. We each will carry a part of it and in some cases will add something of our own to it. But much of what he has will simply be lost.
Aikido isn't like math where knowledge can be written down, codified and transmitted across generations. To preserve all of what Saotome has it would be necessary to recreate Saotome complete with all his relevant life experience. All of our teachers will take some of their knowledge to the grave with them, as will we, as will our students.

George S. Ledyard wrote:
I don't know what the answer is... But then the real question becomes "where does the depth come from"?
A student's growth and maturity as a person and as a student of aikido are so intertwined as to be indistinguishable. The study of aikido can be viewed as a process of maturation wherein the student's life experience helps shape his or hers aikido development and vice versa. The depth comes from the individual turning inward, experiencing Aikido from the inside out. I believe aikido is primarily a process of self-discovery; a pursuit of one's relationship to the universe, one's own spirit and one's fellow human beings. As such, understanding of aikido grows from within the student as a result of many years of training and contemplation. While aikido techniques can be taught relatively easily the deeper knowledge that is there for the taking must be experienced individually. The depth you are referring to cannot be ‘taught'; it must be felt, recognized it is being felt, then developed and honed via one's own training. While technique can be demonstrated and learned via repetition how is an instructor to be expected to teach his life experience? How does he teach students to experience the lifetime of learning that has gone into shaping his Aikido?
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