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Old 03-13-2007, 03:48 PM   #9
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 225
Re: AikiWiki Article: Teachingsyllabus

Hi Amir,

To answer your questions (since, the syllabus discussed is mine, used to teach an intro college aikido class),

Amir Krause wrote: View Post
Please take this as a constructive criticism:

How long is each lesson?
Each class is one-hour. I wish it were longer, but I have no control over that.

From what I remember of my teacher giving a similar class at Tel Aviv University (that's where I started):
It was best to give as much theory as possible on the first week, most people lacked proper clothing.
Yes, that is what I do. First classes are concerned with etiquette and a quick lesson on the history of aikido, and O Sensei.

Break falls back and then sideways are the easiest way to study Ukemi, Rolls are more difficult to perform tehcnicly thus should come later, same hold for front-wise break falls.
Tai-Sabaki (entering and turns) should also start early on, it will later assist giving an easy basis for developing the techniques.
I've found that there is no "right" way to teach aikido basics...and there are many strategies. I teach Tai-sabaki a bit later on because I want to teach all the elements of ukemi before I get to nage's role.

One should teach some basic technique at the second lesson, otherwise the students normally get frustrated.
That's one approach, and not the only one.

I do teach technique earlier, when it's not part of a college curriculum, tho (as with my Middle School students).

We found Shiho Nage to be oe simple option, another is Kote Giri (hope we use the same terminology though I doubt it).

I do not see why advanced subjects such as mae, Breath and "extension" should be directly taught to the studnets in a short beginners course. It normally gets them to have a wrong understanding of things they never had the chance of learning to sufficient depth. I would suggest concentrating more on several simple techniques and situations and letting those explain the principles (you may have to verbatrose but do it in the contest of a simple technique and let them extrapolate).
Thanks for the suggestion, but I find that extension, breath, and ma-ai are critically important for beginners. Extension helps to understand iriminage; ma-ai helps with understanding dynamic vs static technique; and kokyunage is impossible to comprehend, without a discussion on breath.

But again: there is no "right" or "wrong" way to teach the basics, IMO.

Hope this helps, obviously it is difficult to guess actual content from headlines.
Yes. I'm sure that if we were disc discussing this on the mat: we'd likely be more in agreement, than not. Thanks for the feedback!