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Old 01-09-2010, 01:10 PM   #1
Thomas Osborn
Dojo: Aikido of Northampton
Location: Holyoke, MA
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 108
Methods of Instruction

NOTE; I am finding it important to view, and conduct the entire class, as a continuum. Given the time limitation I can't do this as a standard dojo class where the assumption is, over time, everything will be covered and that students will eventually internalize basic principles. This means emphasizing breathing, centering, posture, moving in balance, remaining relaxed, have to be included in everything from the first breathing exercise and warm-up through the final relaxation/breath down at the end of class. "You can't start out where you want them to be, you have to start out where they are at."

Also, I have to be constantly aware of, and sensitive to, the delicate, balanced approach needed in teaching these guys. In some ways they are much stronger and tougher than the average dojo student, yet in some ways much more delicate and vulnerable. My approach of joking and kidding around often really helps, and being a former combat vet, I can get away with a lot. But there is a fine line where this sort of thing can be perceived as belittling or insulting. Pride can easily be bruised, and that line varies with each guy.

(Original blog post may be found here.)
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