Rupert Atkinson wrote:
Sometimes, the best teacher is the one you can never please ...
I don't think I'll ever please my shihan either. At best I'll get my waza to a level he finds tolerable, for the time being. But Leon's problem is not a sensei's strictness per se, as I said earlier. Its a style of teaching that is so negative in its affect, that its overall message seems to be that only the sensei knows the way forward and no one can get anything right. Let the sensei be demanding, that's well and good. But I think we also look for a sensei to be patient with our struggles, compassionate with our problems, and open enough to deliver the message that aikido is something we are all working on together. The aforementioned shihan, a 7th dan with 40 years of experience, has said several times in our seminars: "Okay, this next technique, I am still studying. But let's take a look at it for now."