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Old 08-05-2008, 04:38 PM   #76
Will Prusner
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Sometimes I learn about Aikido from unlikely sources (like the zoo and fellow motorists). Sometimes unlikely concepts learned from Aikido prove invaluable in my daily life. The ability to learn, in my opinion has much more to do with the receptiveness and awareness of the student than the rank, experience or qualification of the teacher. There is no spoon. There is no "teacher", life is the teacher. The truth of Aikido, meditation, calligraphy, etc., is inside you, a teacher can only take you so far, before you have to continue the journey on your own, inwardly. For me, it is about personal responsibility, personal honesty, reflection and as accurate as possible analysis. Aikido and life, for me, is a highly individualized curriculum. If I can't or refuse to learn from somebody, anybody, any thing or situation, then I feel I am pretty screwed.

That being said, if Sensei brought a filthy, stinking, hostile Baboon into class and placed it at the head seat, I would try to understand and apply whatever I could from the encounter. My ability to learn is just that, MY ability.

That being said, I prefer a tall glass of chilled matcha green tea after practice.

W.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration...

ART! - http://birdsbeaks.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:32 PM   #77
rob_liberti
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Where I used to train in Japan it was literally an everyday occurance that a sandan uchideshi taught a class that was well attended by many 5th, 6th, and even a 7th dan. I thought it was a bit odd myself, so I asked. The answer was simply "it is his day to teach".

When I show up to Boston to see Gleason sensei and for some reason he is not there, I have had a wonderful time taking class from a person 3 ranks lower than me who took over class. I'm usually so happy to get to train and not have to worry about watching out for EVERYONE in the room like I have to when I'm teaching that I don't much care what is being taught and at what level of understanding. Who cares. I know what I need to work on, and I work on those things regardless of what techniques are being taught.

I would say that when I teach and people higher ranked than me are in class I don't normally correct them unless they want me to show them what I'm doing. I don't normally ask them up to demonstrate ukemi either - but if they want to do it, I might ask them up, and take their ukemi for the technique. It's all a bit silly really to worry about it.

I agree with the folks who suspect that the sensei for the OP is making a point about reliability.

The people who think that "rank" means ability to teach simply have not been around to many dojos where that is so clearly NOT the clase. There should be 2 separate ranking systems - 1 for martial ability, and 1 for teaching/coaching ability.

If the lower ranked student does try to make a technical point, I would hope that the senior student just take ukemi in the progressive resistance way and let the junior feel where they are straining - like you do for everyone else.

Rob
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:36 PM   #78
ramenboy
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Re: Instructors of low rank

i guess i'm in the minority here, but hmmmm..... i've been to many classes where yudansha in class out rank the instructor because its 'his/her day to teach,' but the instructor is yudansha also.

the original post says that the instructor is a 'relative newbie.' but is there all the time. there's reasons there are people who have been trained as fukushidoin, and shidoin, etc. there are reasons there are programs in place to train teachers.

i agree that the situation could lead to a little overconfidence in the substitute teacher...
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:00 PM   #79
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Sooooooo much imagination in this thread, and so many assumptions.

If you want to know why the instructor did something, ask him.

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Old 08-05-2008, 11:12 PM   #80
ramenboy
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote: View Post
...but who are you prepared to say that to? The chief instructor in your dojo who chose the 5th kyu, everyone in the room on that given day?

If I heard those words uttered from anyone, regardless of rank, I am ashamed to admit I would be stunned at just how arragont (or ignorant) that person is.
But perhaps that is just me....
the original poster wrote here asking for opinions, and so here we are, giving our opinions.

has nothing to do with arrogance or ignorance.

people are talking about how we should be open and should be able to learn from amyone. sure. that's probably true. i learn alot about my aikido working with beginners and intermediates during class. practicing with people of different levels helps you learn. BUT there's a big difference between learning about yourself and your waza in practicing with someone in class, and having a 5th kyu teach a class...

dieter, well said.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:09 AM   #81
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Jerome Cervantes wrote: View Post
the original poster wrote here asking for opinions, and so here we are, giving our opinions.

has nothing to do with arrogance or ignorance.

people are talking about how we should be open and should be able to learn from amyone. sure. that's probably true. i learn alot about my aikido working with beginners and intermediates during class. practicing with people of different levels helps you learn. BUT there's a big difference between learning about yourself and your waza in practicing with someone in class, and having a 5th kyu teach a class...

dieter, well said.
Hi Jerome,

If I did not make that clear, than I apologize, but I was referring to what would be said in the dojo amongst one's peers, not in this forum (similar, but not the same). Hope that is clear now, and I stand by my statement, at the same time acknowledging that I failed to use said scenario as an opportunity to learn...how ironic!

Posts # 76 by William and # 77 by Rob: I could not agree more with, especially the baboon aspect.

As for the difference between learning about yourself and your waza in practicing with someone in class, and having a 5th kyu teach a class, I choose to see none.

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Old 08-06-2008, 09:54 AM   #82
ramenboy
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote: View Post
Hi Jerome,

If I did not make that clear, than I apologize, but I was referring to what would be said in the dojo amongst one's peers, not in this forum (similar, but not the same). Hope that is clear now, and I stand by my statement, at the same time acknowledging that I failed to use said scenario as an opportunity to learn...how ironic!

Posts # 76 by William and # 77 by Rob: I could not agree more with, especially the baboon aspect.

As for the difference between learning about yourself and your waza in practicing with someone in class, and having a 5th kyu teach a class, I choose to see none.
hey nick
all clear here . no need to apologize. as i said, its an open forum, we're giving our opinions. i don't think anyone here would out and out say 'hey! wtf!' in said class. as joe said, i'd maybe approach the chief instructor and see if he'd offer an explanation (you know us westerners, always need an explanation :P)

baboons, yeah i've worked with a few of them too before, i'd only request that he have a cleaner dogi than the ones i've worked with. hahahaha

again, i believe there's a good reason there are programs out there to train teachers.

now we can fight this last point out in a death duel! in the octagon!!!!
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:26 AM   #83
Nick P.
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

I only fight in octagons that are on fire, rimmed with razor-wire.
Anything less is for wimps.

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Old 08-06-2008, 02:26 PM   #84
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote: View Post
I only fight in octagons that are on fire, rimmed with razor-wire.
Anything less is for wimps.
Vids or it didn't happen!!!!!!!!! har har!

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration...

ART! - http://birdsbeaks.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:00 PM   #85
Nick P.
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

No video...no sucker, er, I mean opponent has accepted my challenge yet.

As such, I remain undefeated in the RROF (Razor Ring Of Fire) (Patent Pending).

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Old 08-06-2008, 08:07 PM   #86
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote: View Post
No video...no sucker, er, I mean opponent has accepted my challenge yet.

As such, I remain undefeated in the RROF (Razor Ring Of Fire) (Patent Pending).
Tragic accident involving the camera man and the fire... Still working out the bugs. Whoops!

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Old 08-06-2008, 09:39 PM   #87
ramenboy
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Nick Pittson wrote: View Post
No video...no sucker, er, I mean opponent has accepted my challenge yet.

As such, I remain undefeated in the RROF (Razor Ring Of Fire) (Patent Pending).
aaaaah!!! you win, nick. i'm allergic to razor-wire..... :P
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:41 PM   #88
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Re: Instructors of low rank

just ask sensei: "SENSEI!!! WHAT THE &^#% was that about!!!"
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:43 AM   #89
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Re: Instructors of low rank

I don't think Ranks really makes the person better or worse, whatever he teaches, give the respect for him by participating and aiding your teacher.
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:23 PM   #90
Andrew S
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

We could expand this discussion to include "Why did O-Sensei award several non-aikidoka verbal 10th dans?", "Why did he leave Saito Sensei custodianship of Iwama?" and others, and the answer would be the same: we don't know what the intention was.
O-Sensei is no longer here to answer our questions, but the sensei appointing the low rank as instructor for the day is.

Warning: Do not bend, fold or otherwise abuse... until we get to the dojo..


合気道研心会 Aikido Kenshinkai
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Old 08-29-2008, 05:48 PM   #91
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Re: Instructors of low rank

An opportunity to train is an opportunity to train no matter who teaches it.

If it leads to a disaster then that is the fault of sensei.

Don't those who teach also learn from those they are teaching.?

David
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:18 PM   #92
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
An opportunity to train is an opportunity to train no matter who teaches it.

If it leads to a disaster then that is the fault of sensei.

Don't those who teach also learn from those they are teaching.?

David
There is an old saying from Himalaya: If it is impossible to find a good instructor, better not to train at all.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:12 PM   #93
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
There is an old saying from Himalaya: If it is impossible to find a good instructor, better not to train at all.
well said, szczepan!
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Old 08-30-2008, 02:22 PM   #94
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
There is an old saying from Himalaya: If it is impossible to find a good instructor, better not to train at all.
Onegaishimasu. Wow, I disagree completely. How in the world can a new beginner tell if the instructor one finds is good or not? One has to try.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 08-30-2008, 04:54 PM   #95
Shany
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Ueshiba has cleverly said that the path to Aikido learning should be fun and joyful.

this goes to whoever teaches you, 5th kyu, 2nd kyu, 8 Dan or whatever, Your Aikido doesn't come from the teacher, it comes from you, you are oblicated to find what works for you.

Some learn faster, some learn smarter, some learn slower and some keeping getting stuck for a long period of time.

Whoever teaches, merely give you a guiding line to this long path of Aikido, so ok, He does the technique not so good, so what.. that's his experience of Aikido, someday if you would find your self instead of him, teaching and someone else would think the same, what would you think about your self than?

"Never doubt the poorness of others as it will strike you at your vital parts of your soul." - Me!

A good stance and posture reflects a proper state of mind
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Old 08-30-2008, 05:01 PM   #96
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Teaching: Sharing with others with what we have learned from others along with our life experiences.

Learning: Opening ourselves up to experiencing something offered from somebody else, or a life experience.

I think that we all should be open to be able both teach and learn. Rank is not a requirement for either thing to occur. We should be open to learning from somebody with any rank (learning from positive, neutral or negative experiences) at the same time as being able to share with a person of any rank, what we have gained to date.

People get too caught up in rank, organizations, hierarchies, ..... for all of the wrong reasons. This situation usually stifles ones ability to learn from experiences.

Marc Abrams
Amen

I think this post is also what Jun had in mind when he started Aikiweb.

Thanks Marc.

William Hazen

"The only thing a black belt represents is that you have the potential to be a good student" Shoji Nishio Shihan
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:19 PM   #97
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu. Wow, I disagree completely. How in the world can a new beginner tell if the instructor one finds is good or not? One has to try.

In gassho,

Mark
Well, 5th kyu 'instructor' is not good. Even beginner should have such common sense.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:22 PM   #98
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Shany Golan wrote: View Post
Ueshiba has cleverly said that the path to Aikido learning should be fun and joyful.

this goes to whoever teaches you, 5th kyu,
5th kyu student can't teach, but he can learn.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:42 PM   #99
Aikibu
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Well, 5th kyu 'instructor' is not good. Even beginner should have such common sense.
Perhaps...Perhaps Not...What if the 5th Kyu has a Sandan in Judo and a Godan in Karate...or experiance in Wu Shu or Gung Fu...

Heck we get students like that more often than not and everyone of them has a little common sense too...

One of things I love at seminars is watching "Aiki-Gods" (usually freshly minted Sandans) get knocked on their asses by "5th Kyu's" because the "beginner in Aikido" does not do Ukemi very well heh heh heh

Another old Himalayan saying... Those judging a book by it's cover... or a student by the color of his belt... May end up waking up looking into bright florescent lights.

William Hazen
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:23 PM   #100
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
There is an old saying from Himalaya: If it is impossible to find a good instructor, better not to train at all.
I do not think that Szczepan's 'old saying' should be dismissed so lightly.

I had a similar argument once with no less a shihan than Kazuo Chiba. Chiba Sensei's aim in creating his Birankai has been to create good teachers and he strongly believed that a lifelong commitment to an art like aikido was foolish unless the student found the teacher that 'fitted'. Chiba Sensei himself came across one of Kisshomaru Ueshiba's early books in a bookstore, saw what he had to say about O Sensei, and decided that O Sensei was the teacher for him. He sat outside the Hombu Dojo for three days and rest, as they say, is history.

My argument was that Chiba Sensei was young and 'foolish' at the time (though I did not put it quite in these terms) and had not yet made any decisions about what to do with his life. For those who had made such decisions, it was far too harsh to expect them to organize their entire future aikido existence around one teacher.

Both Chiba Sensei and myself were assuming that the student had made a lifelong commitment to aikido and that the keynote of this commitment was continuous, hard, daily training, not occasional appearance at seminars. Chiba's argument was based on his own experience; mine was based on mine. In fact my own lifelong commitment to aikido was largely formed as a result of training with him as teacher. Both views assume that you need a teacher who has the capability to take you further on the Way, if you like, than you think you can go yourself.

Best wishes to all,

P A Goldsbury
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