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Old 02-23-2009, 10:08 AM   #51
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

I really am enjoying the thoughts and discourse that have been in this thread. I have a few I'd like to offer. Many of them were inspired by the posts involving George. Thanks George.

One thought is in regards to who is a 'lineage holder' . The short answer would be me. The long answer is that, in my case, this distinction comes from an experience that occurs between a teacher and a student; energetically from human to human, i.e. 'transmission'. The heir of a lineage may not only be the person who most directly carries the style, form of a lineage. It is a, sometimes, silent relationship in a chain of exchanges. It may be the person who carries the energy, essence, or heart of that teaching. I believe there are examples of people like this in every 'system' I've met. Both technique,spirit, essence.
This is my relationship with Motomichi Anno Sensei of the Shingu Lineage. I have trained extensively with him and it has been an amazing communication of spirit, training, guidance and heart. He, in fact, implored me to 'lose form now. you're good.You know the technique.' For years, I was his uke when he came to Santa Cruz and it is through that transmission that he expressed his feel, his ancestry, and his direction. It was obvious and consistent. I hold that lineage, & the heart of it, in my body. I believe if you were to ask him he would tell you this is the case.

The concepts of professional aikidoka vs. hobbyist aikidoka are familiar. What George described as a hobbyist, I agree with. I believe the label points to a reality. I don't feel the name given is important. I believe acknowledging different levels of focus and energy put towards training is. Not for an ego cause. But, for the cause of knowing there is diversity in approach and honoring that.

Which leads me to my next musing:
I really consider myself a working class aikidoka(my phrase) and I always have. I was a waitress when I began training and I'm a gardener now.On every level of approach I have put in my time from the bottom floor up. I've worked to support my training from the time I started. I've trained vigorously and daily from the day I began with very few 'vacations or sick-days'. I trained in the interest of a 'job well done' and meeting my daily commitment to learning to be a helper to myself and to others. I also became involved in service to the dojo at a very early age in training and that has set the tone for being a good aikido neighbor to everyone I can.- Hey, if your dojo needs to borrow some milk or a cup of sugar, come on over!-------------- I also got pounded by the big dogs. woof-woof.

Since I began my own dojo(s) several years ago that approach hasn't changed a lick. I am now a 'professional' in the sense that I get paid to teach (although, I am still a gardener) and I do make some of my living in that respect. But my approach is still working class. I believe that because I view it this way my training is cohesive and lacks the dichotomy of student vs. professional ; I always have the same goal and I believe in working hard and trying easy. It is my opinion that when folks can embrace the working class ethos in training their training will improve across the board. They will treat it less as desert and more as dinner. There will be less airy-ness, entitlement, expectation,politics, confusion or power abuse. In it's place you will find a balance with grounded-ness,roll up your sleeves hard work, teamwork, generosity/confluence, and equanimity. (Unless you're already really working class and then you'll just break out in a blue collar. LOL). When your day is done, you will likely have produced something. Tomorrow you will begin again.

Perhaps this is just because my name is Smith..... Forge ahead!

Thanks for the ear.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 02-23-2009 at 10:18 AM.

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Old 02-23-2009, 11:04 AM   #52
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

George,
I agree with just about everything in yout last post, and you can trust that I have know how lucky I have been to be able to learn from some of the aikido fanatics out there. I am also quite aware that what I can expect to achieve is tied to what I decide I can put in.

I still think though, that a system could be imagined in which quality full-time instructors could be trained and supported. In the current state of affairs, even among the really great instructors out there, only a few really make a living off their art. In more established professions and fields of endeavour, there are known and plannable "paths" to making it. These paths are not necessarily easy, but at least they are visible. The fanatics will allways be the greats, but it might be nice to find a place for the more standard dedicated types in between the fanatics and those that would never dream of wanting to take the responsibility of teaching and running a dojo (the last group being the vast majority of practitioners in my opinion).

I wonder if all the "marginal" dojos out there are part of the problem. There are probably enough aikido students in my area to support a full time instructor, especially since such an instructor would likely attract even more students. But we are divided into at least half a dozen small clubs, none open more than 3 or 4 days a week. Not a great situation in my opinion.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 02-23-2009, 04:30 PM   #53
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
I wonder if all the "marginal" dojos out there are part of the problem. There are probably enough aikido students in my area to support a full time instructor, especially since such an instructor would likely attract even more students. But we are divided into at least half a dozen small clubs, none open more than 3 or 4 days a week. Not a great situation in my opinion.
Well, it's sort of like the economy... all sorts of stuff was possible when we were in a high growth mode. When Aikido was growing like crazy, it was possible for many dojos to exist. Seattle has around twenty dojos in the immediate metro area. Most are run by people who have trained thirty years or so but there are any number which exist only because the instructor was from some organization or other and his or her teacher told them to open an affiliated dojo rather than train in a different group.

Some of this is due to the "Japanese mystique" phenomenon. A Japanese Shihan would attract all sorts of students and might very well have an array of 5th and 6th Dans training and perhaps teaching at his dojo. But a non-Japanese teacher doesn't have that kind of clout... So no one with even mid-level rank like 4th Dan really wants to put himself under someone who he thinks is really pretty much just like himself. No one wants to concede that anyone else is better than they are. Of course everyone is pretty much polite about it all... They say "my approach is different" or our "style is different".

Now that the demographic seems to be changing and the young males who made up the bulk of new students in the martial arts previously don't want to do traditional arts any more (they want to do that stuff they see on prime time cable every night (i.e. they want to fight) it's a lot different. If you want to survive you have to be good. You can be very good at technique and have mediocre people skills, you can have mediocre technique and great people skills and you can still keep a dojo healthy and even growing. But if you are not very good at something, your dojo will be marginal will probably close at some point.

I am already seeing teachers who went through the usual development process of starting in a school or community center and then worked up to a dedicated space over the course of many years of hard work and now they are finding they can't keep the doors open. So they move back into a community center or some such. I think we are going to go through a period of retrenchment. A dojo will have to give prospective students a real reason to be there. If they can't do that, there won't be the steady influx of new students to keep things afloat.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:01 PM   #54
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I really am enjoying the thoughts and discourse that have been in this thread. I have a few I'd like to offer. Many of them were inspired by the posts involving George. Thanks George.

One thought is in regards to who is a 'lineage holder' . The short answer would be me. The long answer is that, in my case, this distinction comes from an experience that occurs between a teacher and a student; energetically from human to human, i.e. 'transmission'. The heir of a lineage may not only be the person who most directly carries the style, form of a lineage. It is a, sometimes, silent relationship in a chain of exchanges. It may be the person who carries the energy, essence, or heart of that teaching. I believe there are examples of people like this in every 'system' I've met. Both technique,spirit, essence.
This is my relationship with Motomichi Anno Sensei of the Shingu Lineage. I have trained extensively with him and it has been an amazing communication of spirit, training, guidance and heart.
Hi Jennifer,
I think that it is very hard for most people to understand this. Most have never trained with anyone like Anno Sensei or Saotome Sensei. Even those who have don't necessarily form this type of "lineage" relationship. Peter Goldsbury wrote a great article about not finding ones teacher... and he trained with many of the greats.

For people who have not experienced this type of relationship, Aikido is mostly about the technical. Just look at the crisis many folks have in their training when they run into teachers from outside the art like Mike S, Dan H, Akuzawa, V. Vasiliyev, etc. I know a number of students who have simply quit Aikido to pursue training with one of these teachers. It's a simple matter of these folks being able to offer a type of technical instruction that fits with what these individuals want to be able to do.

For those of us who have had this type of relationship, quitting is inconceivable. It's not that I don't train with people who can help me get better any chance I get, I do. But for me its strictly a matter of bringing higher level skills into my Aikido. I listen to a lot of the discussions and I can see that many people just don't understand the art or their place in it the way I do.

Saotome Sensei recently created a group within the ASU of students who were his personal students. He called it the Ueshiba Juku after the Founder's first dojo. This was his way of expressing his idea of the transmission, his overt statement that we are lineage holders in the transmission from the Founder to Saotome Sensei, to us, and eventually to our students.

What has been transmitted has been so far beyond mere technique that it would be difficult to express. I think you did as good a job as any could. For us, Aikido as an art can't be separated from all of that, it's totally connected. The idea that one would quit because he had found someone who had better aiki skills, who had explosive power, or who could fight better is incomprehensible. And we are pretty much incomprehensible to them I think. That's why so much discussion is at cross purposes... we have completely different ideas about what the art is and should be. We got our ideas over years and years from our teacher(s). Folks who never had that type of relationship have a hard time understanding why we do what we do.

Anyway, I liked your post very much...
- George

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 02-23-2009 at 05:05 PM.

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Old 02-23-2009, 05:44 PM   #55
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Just to be clear, by "lineage holder," I meant explicitly a confirmed transmission back to O-Sensei, originating from O-Sensei, confirmed by O-Sensei.

Whether I am somebody or nobody, if I am a teacher, I can confirm that my student has at least my understanding of what I am teaching. That does not speak to my understanding, though.

When I hear intra-lineage squabbling or criticism within Aikido, I can't help but wonder if a side-effect of knowing that you are "right" doesn't also often - and possibly inadvertently - carry the extension "the other is wrong." I've seen at seminars senior folks of this style critical of that style, and that style critical of this style, joking and mocking. This is transmitted to all in attendance, and it came from (or was allowed by) somewhere up the chain - evidence of an imperfect transmission at best. What can these people ultimately know about aikido?

In the pools of ordinary folks, we're destined to hear one complain that another does not know what he is doing. It's no surprise.

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Old 02-23-2009, 06:53 PM   #56
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
Just to be clear, by "lineage holder," I meant explicitly a confirmed transmission back to O-Sensei, originating from O-Sensei, confirmed by O-Sensei.

Whether I am somebody or nobody, if I am a teacher, I can confirm that my student has at least my understanding of what I am teaching. That does not speak to my understanding, though.

When I hear intra-lineage squabbling or criticism within Aikido, I can't help but wonder if a side-effect of knowing that you are "right" doesn't also often - and possibly inadvertently - carry the extension "the other is wrong." I've seen at seminars senior folks of this style critical of that style, and that style critical of this style, joking and mocking. This is transmitted to all in attendance, and it came from (or was allowed by) somewhere up the chain - evidence of an imperfect transmission at best. What can these people ultimately know about aikido?

In the pools of ordinary folks, we're destined to hear one complain that another does not know what he is doing. It's no surprise.
Hi Joe,
I generally try not to but I catch myself at times. As I stated on another thread there are folks doing "Aikido" whose approaches are so divergent as to seem different arts...

One person I knew once hit the Sensei with a shomen strike. This person received a long lecture about it being their job not to hit the Sensei. Then, at another school, after delivering a half hearted strike, this same person was told that it was his job to hit the Sensei and the Sensei's job not to let him. Needless to say the student was confused. It is hard for the students of these two Senseis to respect and understand each other. One group thinks the other is a bunch of hard asses and the other group thinks the first have no intention.

It's very hard not be judgmental when you strive for a way of doing something and another group is doing the exact opposite. I've tried hard to relax and soften my technique over time. I can go to a seminar and there will be folks there who think it's proper technique to grab my arm and rip it out of the socket. I am sure they believe that my technique isn't the real thing because I am not hurting them, I have a hard time taking what they do seriously because it pretty much doesn't work on me. That won't stop them from trying though...

People always think they want to do the best thing. Why would you train in a style which you didn't think was good? So when confronted by other approaches, it is fairly predictable that they reject the other approach. We are not very good at simply holding opposing ideas in our culture. Our mindset screams for some kind of resolution. We are different and we can't both be "right".

The only way I see around this is to simply focus on what you are doing and not worry over much about the other guys. This apparent "conflict" doesn't need to be resolved. Folks will find the teachers who are right for them, maybe not on the first try but eventually... Not everyone wants to do the same things with their Aikido. I try to be more non-judgmental but I slip occasionally. There is Aikido that I just think is bad and it's hard not to give way. Maybe when I am enlightened...

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:51 PM   #57
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Well, it's sort of like the economy... all sorts of stuff was possible when we were in a high growth mode. When Aikido was growing like crazy, it was possible for many dojos to exist. Seattle has around twenty dojos in the immediate metro area. Most are run by people who have trained thirty years or so but there are any number which exist only because the instructor was from some organization or other and his or her teacher told them to open an affiliated dojo rather than train in a different group.
Kind of a bleak picture (especially the bits deleted from the quote) and a little at odds with your later posts on how "different" certain approaches are. In truth, I think I agree with both ideas. Though I must admit that all the aikido instructors I have seen "felt" like aikido, and I've seen a good number of Shihan from a handful of organisations. All Aikikai though, not that that means much in terms of agreeing on approaches.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Some of this is due to the "Japanese mystique" phenomenon. A Japanese Shihan would attract all sorts of students and might very well have an array of 5th and 6th Dans training and perhaps teaching at his dojo. But a non-Japanese teacher doesn't have that kind of clout... So no one with even mid-level rank like 4th Dan really wants to put himself under someone who he thinks is really pretty much just like himself. No one wants to concede that anyone else is better than they are. Of course everyone is pretty much polite about it all... They say "my approach is different" or our "style is different".
I know at least one western aikido instructor, my first, that manages to keep a group of 5th and 6th dans training under his direction (there are days I regret leaving my home town). But then again, considering the number of O-sensei's students that have taught seminars at his dojo, some Japanese mystique may have rubbed off.

I only wish I knew where this will leave me when my current instructor, 30 years my senior and (along with his partner) the only high ranking instructor in the area, stops teaching. The best I can hope for at the moment is that our small group of yudansha will hold and maintain connection with the great instructors in our organisation. Quitting is certainly not an option and I doubt I'd fit in with the folks at some of the other clubs around here.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:20 PM   #58
aikidoc
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

In an interview I read with Tohei some time back, he states the only thing he learned from O'Sensei was to relax. Is that what "he got"? I felt the comment was disparaging but perhaps I missed the point.
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:50 PM   #59
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
In an interview I read with Tohei some time back, he states the only thing he learned from O'Sensei was to relax. Is that what "he got"? I felt the comment was disparaging but perhaps I missed the point.
I see you have been reading the same interviews as me.
(one of the ways) I took it is that its more important to relax, so you can take in more of what is happening in order to blend with it.

i.e., I have tried this out in Aikido classes the past 3 times after reading the interviews with him, and noticed a significant change and added effectiveness to my technique. (though inconsistent as I am not used to being 'relaxed' to feel the others 'flow'. Words really dont do justice...they sound way to mystical, and its not like that.)

None-the-less, the techniques go off flawlessly, or rather they may not 'look' perfect, but the 'feel' is perfect that even Uke notices the effectiveness of it.

So technique, yes...if you read my messages, you will see how much I have focused on that side as well.

Which brings me to something that has been discussed on this page...People criticizing other styles in Aikido.

- My take is to learn from each style and incorporate what you can from each. Cement yourself to much into an idea, and you loose the meaning. (Good way to incorporate the 'relaxed' state Tohei talked about, but in a different way...which at the end is the point to it all - its about life.)

If someone bigger than me grabs me, and Im just standing there...no technique will work...unless I begin punching the person in the face repeatedly to get them off.

But if I see the 'bigger guy', and already feel the momentum needed for me to blend, as he moves, 'the bigger they are the harder they fall' comes to mind. - Not really a hard concept, but it takes a bit of relaxed focus. (What I mean is that its easy to get caught in that state of thinking through your technique, which looses the bit that actually makes it work...)

Maybe something made sense from all this? (think I confused myself just now!)

Peace

dAlen

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Old 02-23-2009, 11:56 PM   #60
aikidoc
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Dalen: I agree you can learn from different styles. I've never had a problem with different interpretations. I do have problems with "instructors" who self promote and make up their backgrounds or seek recognition from soke organizations where they go around passing out reciprocal high grades.

Yep, we've been reading the same thing. I found the comment somewhat disparaging, but that's me.
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:43 AM   #61
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
In an interview I read with Tohei some time back, he states the only thing he learned from O'Sensei was to relax. Is that what "he got"? I felt the comment was disparaging but perhaps I missed the point.
What a gift that Tohei learned to relax.....from Ueshiba.
Learning to relax is a major hurdle. Without relaxtion all you have is muscle and control.
Mary
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:20 AM   #62
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Well, it's sort of like the economy... all sorts of stuff was possible when we were in a high growth mode. When Aikido was growing like crazy, it was possible for many dojos to exist. Seattle has around twenty dojos in the immediate metro area. Most are run by people who have trained thirty years or so but there are any number which exist only because the instructor was from some organization or other and his or her teacher told them to open an affiliated dojo rather than train in a different group.

Some of this is due to the "Japanese mystique" phenomenon. A Japanese Shihan would attract all sorts of students and might very well have an array of 5th and 6th Dans training and perhaps teaching at his dojo. But a non-Japanese teacher doesn't have that kind of clout... So no one with even mid-level rank like 4th Dan really wants to put himself under someone who he thinks is really pretty much just like himself. No one wants to concede that anyone else is better than they are. Of course everyone is pretty much polite about it all... They say "my approach is different" or our "style is different".

Now that the demographic seems to be changing and the young males who made up the bulk of new students in the martial arts previously don't want to do traditional arts any more (they want to do that stuff they see on prime time cable every night (i.e. they want to fight) it's a lot different. If you want to survive you have to be good. You can be very good at technique and have mediocre people skills, you can have mediocre technique and great people skills and you can still keep a dojo healthy and even growing. But if you are not very good at something, your dojo will be marginal will probably close at some point.

I am already seeing teachers who went through the usual development process of starting in a school or community center and then worked up to a dedicated space over the course of many years of hard work and now they are finding they can't keep the doors open. So they move back into a community center or some such. I think we are going to go through a period of retrenchment. A dojo will have to give prospective students a real reason to be there. If they can't do that, there won't be the steady influx of new students to keep things afloat.
Hi George,
My dojo is in the back of my mini-van. I can throw those mats out in the community center or the park. If students come fine, if not, I train with my son's. But to me, the most important thing is that I am training. Now, if I were still in Okinawa, I would be training at Okinawa Aikikai and have no reason to open my own dojo. As it stands though, I really don't mind a "traveling dojo."

Last edited by gdandscompserv : 02-24-2009 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:18 AM   #63
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Hi George,
My dojo is in the back of my mini-van. I can throw those mats out in the community center or the park. If students come fine, if not, I train with my son's. But to me, the most important thing is that I am training. Now, if I were still in Okinawa, I would be training at Okinawa Aikikai and have no reason to open my own dojo. As it stands though, I really don't mind a "traveling dojo."
Hey, there's something to be said for your traveling dojo.... Your landlord won't be hiking your rent or evicting you to build luxury condos.
- George

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:47 AM   #64
aikidoc
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Mary: I agree it was a good gift, however, I think O'Sensei probably provided more than just that.
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:27 AM   #65
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
In an interview I read with Tohei some time back, he states the only thing he learned from O'Sensei was to relax. Is that what "he got"? I felt the comment was disparaging but perhaps I missed the point.
of course IMO, I think you did miss the point. I don't think the comment was disparaging but I can see that others might view it that way. Being relaxed under attack is not a small thing. In our training it goes to the heart of what we are doing. The whole ki thing really is different approaches on that mostly. Having the right feeling that enables you to powerfully connect and throw uke without a sense of being thrown requires a very sophisticated understanding of what Tohei Sensei means by "relaxation". It's a big deal to him. It's why my teachers still recount stories of finding themselves sailing across the mat when thrown by him. His dedication to understanding relaxation in this way led to his record that still stands at the Ichikukai dojo of over 60 3-day bell misogi. (something that leaves most totally exhausted after 30 minutes because of all the tension in their bodies).

Morihei Ueshiba Sensei and Tempu Nakamura Sensei are to Tohei Sensei what Sokaku Takeda Sensei and Onisaburo Deguchi are to Ueshiba Sensei. They had powerful impacts on the direction of his life and he owes a lot to them, but some could accuse him of obscuring the full extent in delivering his message just as some have accused O'sensei.

I think this is from that same interview,

Quote:
When I returned from the war, I found that whereas Ueshiba Sensei could throw me very easily, other people’s techniques were completely ineffective. There was obviously some difference between the two applications of technique. Others said that it was simply that Ueshiba Sensei had “the strength and skill of a thousand men,” but I wondered if it were really true that there were some things that, despite both of us being human, Sensei could do and I could not do. Such questions began welling up in me. Again, I feel that only by frankly admitting that you do not know something can you eventually understand it.

Last edited by kironin : 02-24-2009 at 10:32 AM. Reason: typos

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Old 02-24-2009, 05:26 PM   #66
aikidoc
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Craig, hey, as I stated, I may have misinterpreted the comment but in the context of what was being said it came across that way to me. Things and intent are always lost in the meaning of a translation.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:27 PM   #67
dps
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

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Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I really consider myself a working class aikidoka(my phrase) and I always have. I was a waitress when I began training and I'm a gardener now..
A perfect match, gardening and Aikido. No better way to keep your self grounded by literally keeping your feet on the ground.

David
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:40 PM   #68
crbateman
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
A perfect match, gardening and Aikido. No better way to keep your self grounded by literally keeping your feet on the ground.
This was a connection practiced not only by O'Sensei, but also many of his notable students, such as Saito Sensei and Saotome Sensei, just to name a couple. There is something fundamental and natural about working the soil.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:03 AM   #69
dps
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

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Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
This was a connection practiced not only by O'Sensei, but also many of his notable students, such as Saito Sensei and Saotome Sensei, just to name a couple. There is something fundamental and natural about working the soil.
And a part of Aikido training most people don't even consider trying.

David
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:31 AM   #70
lbb
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

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Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
This was a connection practiced not only by O'Sensei, but also many of his notable students, such as Saito Sensei and Saotome Sensei, just to name a couple. There is something fundamental and natural about working the soil.
I wonder if it's a coincidence that the dojo where I trained has a fabulous (if I say so myself) garden?

Built by senseis and students out of land reclaimed from under asphalt...here are some pics!

From the first groundbreaking...

...to our first plantings...

...to a healthy garden at the end of one growing season...

...a new growing season, more reclaimed land, a new flower border...

...and a completed stone path.

Man was that a lot of work! But ya know, that garden does a lot for people. I've seen people stop in the garden as they arrive at the dojo, and just spend a moment letting the day's stuff go. I've stopped after a frustrating class to pull a few weeds and remind myself that I can do things. We reclaimed a strip of weedy, neglected grass, we cleaned it out and nourished it with manure from members' livestock, we planted a couple flats of leftover annuals from the garden center that nobody wanted...and they turned into this. It's enough to make you a believer.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:16 PM   #71
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

I really enjoyed those pics, thanks!
Ron

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Old 02-26-2009, 06:46 PM   #72
crbateman
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

Good stuff, Mary!
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:08 PM   #73
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

I should show the gardening part of this thread to my wife. She's the gardener in my family (and a botanist with an M.Sc. on top of it). Though I'll do my my share this spring to keep her happy.

To get back to the sub-thread I was in earlier. I was pondering my training and watching the video of my shodan exam. In it, there was an ukemi section in which Skip Chapman tossed me around the mat. I then browsed through the latest USAF news and read about Skip Chapman starting the Aikido Instructors Organization (http://www.aikidocg.com/index.html) offering business solutions for making an aikido dojo profitable. I guess it is a small world.

Good to know there are people working to make aikido a sustainable occupation. Of course, this doesn't deal with the issue of producing qualified instructors. But I do feel that these kind of ideas will help keep aikido healthy and relevant in our society. It is depressing when a good instructor gives up and closes shop because he doesn't have a business model.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:18 AM   #74
edshockley
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

I am lucky enough to train with a shihan and live in the eastern corridor where there are innumerable seminars and dojos led by gifted instructors. I also visit many dojo as I travel and have studied with instructors with less lineage and skill than Kongisbeg, Smith, Waite and Yamada Shihan. What I honestly have never encountered is a dojo where I didn't learn something. The gift of an uke willing to allow me to use their body to explore the concepts of aikido was always enough to make the experience worthwhile. The more gifted the sensei then the more useful his comments might be but the lesson is always contained in the martial movement. That is the beauty of Aikido.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:08 PM   #75
guillermo santos
Dojo: aiki goshinjutsu kenkyu-kai / hokkaido Japan
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Re: Underqualified Sensei

i consider my self as an underqualified sensei, got my 2 kyuu in aikido after four years, shodan in daito-ryu after four years and now we have our group that teach aikido and daito-ryu technique for almost 5 years without a mother school. Why, we don't have aikido club in our city budokan, only daito-ryu where i got my shodan.
I love Aikido and this is the reason why i continue to teach this and the main purpose of the training is not grading but for Peace.
After 10 years without a contact,I called my former shihan in Aikido and he said you have the initiative to teach and spread the word of Aiki and this will be a good exposure to people who do not know the Art. I always say to our members if you would like to properly recognise you enrolled to recognised dojo but some are insisting to join association for rank promotion.I guess we have to think about this in the future.
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