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Old 08-31-2008, 12:18 AM   #101
Will Prusner
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

What if the 5th kyu has been training for 20 years and refuses to participate in the testing process. Would it be inappropriate for him to teach a class full of Sandans who have been training for only 3-4 years?

I'd take his class.

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 08-31-2008, 07:21 AM   #102
SeiserL
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

IMHO, there is something to learn from everyone, therefore the rank of the instructor may not be as important as the openness of the student.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:49 PM   #103
Basia Halliop
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Your Aikido doesn't come from the teacher, it comes from you, you are oblicated to find what works for you.
Wow, I really can't say I agree with that... at least not at such a beginner level (I can't say if at some point I'll start to feel differently)... My Aikido comes from my teacher more than from me :lol. It makes sense to experiment, sure, you have to ultimately take responsibility for yourself, sure, everyone is different, sure, you have to use your own brain and experiences, sure, the work is yours, sure, but it doesn't follow that if I just get together with a couple of random friends a couple of times a week, we'll magically reinvent a particular martial art between us. Why bother going to school, either? Math is purely logical, right, so if I just use trial and error I should come up with integral calculus eventually, no? The teacher teaches... that's why he or she is called a teacher. That's why we pay to join a dojo... for the teacher... you can get padded mats somewhere else if that's all you really want.

Quote:
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.
I think it might be pretty cool to take a class or two from them where they taught something from karate or judo.

Not saying I'd never ever take even a single class from someone who just started, or that I don't constantly learn masses and masses from people only a few years 'ahead' of me, or sometimes from someone 'behind' me, but to think that how much you learn doesn't depend tonnes on the experience and skill of your teacher? That you can learn as much from someone who just started as from a really good and experienced teacher? Yikes.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:59 PM   #104
ramenboy
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Shany Golan wrote: View Post
...Your Aikido doesn't come from the teacher, it comes from you, you are oblicated to find what works for you....
yeah hmmmm... i think this is a very common misunderstanding that many intermediate students have...

they miss the beginning of that comment, which is probably the most important...once you have a solid understanding of the basics, after years and years of study, maybe, MAYBE you can find a way of movement that works better for you.

of all the shihan i've had the opportunity to see, sure, they talk about making aikido your own, or finding out 'what works for you...' but that's AFTER Y0U'VE DEVEL0PED A G00D F0UNDATI0N.'

try to do a search on chiba sensei's explanation of transmission in martial arts. the concept of shu ha ri. its only after a long period of training the body, training the muscles in correct form, training the mind, that you finally see what works for you. you don't try a movement a couple of times and decide, 'ah, i think it works better like this...'

anyways, sorry if there's some thread drift here. but keep things in perspective. in order for us to learn aikido, or anything, we first need a good teacher.

the original post said the person in question is a 'relative newbie' who happens to show up alot. maybe the instructor's sending a message to to the others ranked higher to show up a little more.

like people have been saying in their posts, maybe the best thing to do is the tried and true 'hey sensei, what's up with that?'

Last edited by ramenboy : 09-01-2008 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:29 AM   #105
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
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...

William Hazen
Of course such person should then teach Judo, Karate or Wu shu. why misleading ppl that he knows something about aikido? Or may be you assume that judo sandan knows automatically aikido ??

Nagababa

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Old 09-01-2008, 11:34 AM   #106
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, there is something to learn from everyone, therefore the rank of the instructor may not be as important as the openness of the student.
Such approach is responsible of all this crap that we have these days in MA. I bet 1000$ you developed it in California

Following such bizarre logic I can open tomorrow a school of Daito ryu aikijujutsu, and if Kondo sensei will not want to learn from me I can safely say he has closed mind

Nagababa

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Old 09-01-2008, 11:41 AM   #107
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
William Prusner wrote: View Post
What if the 5th kyu has been training for 20 years and refuses to participate in the testing process. Would it be inappropriate for him to teach a class full of Sandans who have been training for only 3-4 years?

I'd take his class.
First of all, sandans that have 3-4 years of training, are incompetent in aikido. No kidding. Have you ever seen in your short life a sandan with such experience? You are creating an impossible scenario just to prove your point or what?

If the 5th kyu has been training for 20 years and refuses to participate in the testing process, let him continue his quiet practice in the dark corner of tatami. Teaching class is not his best occupation in the dojo.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:51 AM   #108
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
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,
Also, in short term, from strictly technical point of view, if a student learns from bad teacher, he will develop many bad habits. These habits will be very difficult(if not impossible!) to erase, even for very talented teacher - it will take much longer to erase then to teach the new, good one. So we may say, that the time, effort an money with bad teacher are lost for nothing and worse - you go under zero.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:50 PM   #109
SeiserL
 
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Such approach is responsible of all this crap that we have these days in MA. I bet 1000$ you developed it in California
Thanks for noticing.

Actually the approach started in Detroit, matured through the military, mellowed in CA, and is now in GA (with a strong influence of education, intellectual investigation, and lots of physical training).

And yours?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:52 PM   #110
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Perhaps our dojo is unique in how openly everyone disagrees with one another (and I know it's not). I constantly face contradicting advice from my sempai. When I ask Imaizumi Sensei for advice, he often avoids specific answers or says "it depends". I also hear a lot of "he didn't used to do it that way". So that's what I look for in a dojo now...not a bunch of people doing things "correctly," but rather a group of practitioners that are all doing their own thing based on common basics.

Why not take classes from a person of lower rank? At least they take care of all of the organization so you can just work out.

However, when it really comes down to it, finding a great primary instructor whose technique you find absolutely compelling can't be made up for with a bunch of college club instructors.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:50 PM   #111
Chicko Xerri
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Re: Instructors of low rank

What is more concerning to me is not Instructors of low rank teaching Aikido, but rather, poorly trained Instructors granted high rank status lacking a broad spectrum of basic knowledge. In the past it was often the case for students of Aikido to practise 3, 4 or more times per week for 7, 8, or 9 years before trying for sho-dan. Today in that same time frame some Aikidoka reach 3rd dan, even 4th dan is not unheard of. If there was a degree of outstanding talent I would relent in my view, but the talent would have to be awesome. Setting the future agenda and direction of Aikido is in the hands of the high ranks. I hope the standard keepers of Aikido in the future, have this at heart.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:38 AM   #112
Garth Jones
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Re: Instructors of low rank

While there may well be folks promoted to 3rd or 4th dan after just a few years, I don't think it's common. I've trained for 20 years now, and in that time I've never met anybody who was promoted like that. The fasted time to shodan I've ever seen is about 3.5 years. He was in his early 20s, trained 5-6 days a week, went to every seminar and camp he could, AND had natural talent. There was no doubt that he deserved the rank.

I should say that all my training has been in various dojos in the United States (both USAF and ASU) - other groups may regard ranks differently.

Cheers,
Garth
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:20 PM   #113
ramenboy
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Chicko Xerri wrote: View Post
What is more concerning to me is not Instructors of low rank teaching Aikido, but rather, poorly trained Instructors granted high rank status lacking a broad spectrum of basic knowledge. In the past it was often the case for students of Aikido to practise 3, 4 or more times per week for 7, 8, or 9 years before trying for sho-dan. Today in that same time frame some Aikidoka reach 3rd dan, even 4th dan is not unheard of. If there was a degree of outstanding talent I would relent in my view, but the talent would have to be awesome. Setting the future agenda and direction of Aikido is in the hands of the high ranks. I hope the standard keepers of Aikido in the future, have this at heart.
i couldn't have said it better myself.

again, that's why i've stated before, there's a reason there are programs in place to train instructors.
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:31 PM   #114
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
[...] sure, but it doesn't follow that if I just get together with a couple of random friends a couple of times a week, we'll magically reinvent a particular martial art between us. Why bother going to school, either? Math is purely logical, right, so if I just use trial and error I should come up with integral calculus eventually, no? The teacher teaches... that's why he or she is called a teacher. That's why we pay to join a dojo... for the teacher... you can get padded mats somewhere else if that's all you really want.
Where did aikido, calculus, or any other thing that we can claim to know, to label, to learn, or to teach come from in the first place?

Calculus is a very apt example. Who taught calculus to Newton or Leibniz---two people credited with simultaneously and independently (in different countries) inventing what we call calculus? And if that was all there was, how did calculus (and all of mathematics) continue to grow, even today?

Who taught Newton or Leibniz calculus? Who taught O-Sensei aikido?

The answer is "yes," by the way: students, with the right circumstances, are discovering / inventing the principles calculus every single day! (See Wikipedia's note on the Moore Method for an interesting read.) Other students with different circumstances are only being shown techniques of calculus every single day. Both are happening with or without a teacher, every moment, somewhere on this planet...

The same is true of martial arts, of course.

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Old 09-02-2008, 02:14 PM   #115
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Re: Instructors of low rank

So a 5th Kyu teaches (more like shares) a (as in ONE) class on something like rolling or a Kata or sword cutting...and we risk the entire Aikido World falling apart in a spasm of chaos and anarchy...

I don't think the thread started out this way but hey I guess it makes for light comedic reading.

William Hazen

I am just a Nidan myself but I am often asked to teach those of higher rank because of my abilities and experience (I have been teaching something or other for a very long time and it feels natural). I might get a Sandan this year I certainly meet the requirements for the exam....LOL
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:05 PM   #116
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
So a 5th Kyu teaches (more like shares) a (as in ONE) class on something like rolling or a Kata or sword cutting...and we risk the entire Aikido World falling apart in a spasm of chaos and anarchy...
...and brimstone and fire. And locust, lots of locusts.

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Old 09-02-2008, 09:52 PM   #117
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Sokaku Takeda Sensei taught for many years all over Japan. Was this also a means of training himself?
Exactly. Teaching can be a way to train oneself. Teaching is learning and studying.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=77
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:53 AM   #118
Basia Halliop
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Where did aikido, calculus, or any other thing that we can claim to know, to label, to learn, or to teach come from in the first place?

Calculus is a very apt example. Who taught calculus to Newton or Leibniz---two people credited with simultaneously and independently (in different countries) inventing what we call calculus? And if that was all there was, how did calculus (and all of mathematics) continue to grow, even today?

Who taught Newton or Leibniz calculus? Who taught O-Sensei aikido?
OK, if that's how you'd like to learn everything. To me it seems kind of akin to throwing out a couple of tens of millenia of human discovery and learning, but to each his own.

Newton's the one who spoke of standing on the shoulders of giants, by the way. He studied what had been discovered by those who came before him, and then extended it further.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:05 AM   #119
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Re: Instructors of low rank

anyone can teach a class regardless of rank, just as long as that particular practitioner understands the art and won't feel cocky. but if you ask a student who has no martial art background and only joined roughly for 1 month and were asked to teach..... then i won't know what to say.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:32 AM   #120
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Re: Instructors of low rank

I read about half this thread so i dont know if it was stated or not but anyone think it might be a test not only for the lower ranked person to show they can handle themselves but for the higher ranks not to get pissed n try to take over the class. Cause my opinion would you want someone in your close who is really quick to anger who knows how to hurt people i mean im an outsider an im not inplying that any of you ladies/gentlemen would but.... i would take it as a test
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:53 AM   #121
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Just wondering...
How do you respond when you outrank the person teaching a class? By a lot! What if everyone in the class outranks the person teaching? Just wondering if there's some hidden resentment or indignation, but dojo etiquette prevents you from showing it?
This happens here sometimes when an instructor is going to miss a class and asks a student to sub, and chooses a particular person that is always in class and is an avid and zealous student. But the person is very low in rank, a relative newbie. I figure the reasons that that person is chosen to teach are reliability and passion for Aikido.
Personally, I don't mind. Although I have noticed that it imparts a bit of over-confidence in his/her ability that should probably be tempered. But then I'm a big believer in humility.
My question is, how would you respond?
Ask to be his uke?

Tony
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:30 AM   #122
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Low rank but high skill = fine
Low rank and low skill = not so good.
High rank and high skill = better

IMHO, it is less about rank and more about the skill of the instructor and the open mindedness of the students.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:16 AM   #123
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Just to drive some of you nuts, I will make the comment that I have assigned youngsters of about 11-13 years of age to take over the teaching of the adult class. No, it was not to teach the senior adults about humility. It was because those youngsters were better instructors than the adults, for those specific areas. No one is best at everything. I would prefer that the best instructor for something teach that thing. In one of these cases, it was Ukemi. Another, it was the study of the Ken. Another was the warm-up exercises and how to do them correctly without injury.

Sometimes, it is not always the person who knows the most that is the best instructor for a group. Sometimes, a lower level instructor is able to communicate the issues better.

As you become more advanced, the blocks of understanding and blocks of movement by which you see things becomes bigger. This makes communication difficult between the instructor and student because they are talking two different languages. What is one movement for me may be five different movements for the lower rank. When this is the case, it is sometimes better for a lower rank who uses the same language to do the verbal instruction.

This is partly the reason for many Japanese instructors to not say anything when instructing. What they say will have no meaning to the student or will be interpreted incorrectly. If the student simply watches and learns, then the student can interpret the movement at their own level of understanding.

I guess this is a complex way of saying: "Just shut up and practice."

Rock
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:19 PM   #124
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Re: Instructors of low rank

I think it depends on what you mean by "instruction". If it is a rote technical aspect...that is, say the basic mechanics of kotegaehsi. Then pretty much anyone that has been studying aikido for a year should be competent to teach it. You know, it ain't rocket science!

Howver, when you start talking about Aikido, which implies a comprehensive system of study of personal development...well then it requires a great deal amount of skill and wisdom that must be applied over the long run.

That, takes someone with a higher degree of experience and mastery that is usually measured in years, reflected typically through the awarding of rank.

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Old 01-29-2009, 02:20 AM   #125
Walter Martindale
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Re: Instructors of low rank

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
Just to drive some of you nuts, I will make the comment that I have assigned youngsters of about 11-13 years of age to take over the teaching of the adult class.
(snip)

This is partly the reason for many Japanese instructors to not say anything when instructing. What they say will have no meaning to the student or will be interpreted incorrectly. If the student simply watches and learns, then the student can interpret the movement at their own level of understanding.

I guess this is a complex way of saying: "Just shut up and practice."

Rock
I've been one of those beginners that Rock has asked to teach class (to other beginners). At the time, having a year of Aikido and a judo shodan, I could teach what little Aikido I knew, and help with ukemi. Being a professional rowing coach with a post-grad biomechanics degree didn't hurt, either, but that's another story.

Re: the no talking instruction and practice - I guess the traditional Japanese instruction is being shown by research to be a very effective way to learn movement skills - it's called "intrinsic learning" - people learn more by observing a movement and then trying to repeat it based on what they've observed (sometimes it needs many demonstrations) but with NO COMMENTARY in the demonstration. R. Masters - do a google search on that name with Intrinsic Learning, and you should find lots of academic articles...

These days when I'm coaching, and developing coaching education programmes, I use "try this" and "try that" and "how did that feel", rather than give a great long explanation about how to do things.

Cheers,
Walter
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