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Old 08-09-2010, 06:02 AM   #26
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Is there a difference between teaching and coaching aikido?
If so, does it affect the official sensei-student relations?

Do you those relationships, structuring your way of learning?
Do you see a sensei as a coach?
Is your dojo hierarchical structured (sensei - sempai - kohai ...)?

Do you learn aikido by understanding, trying out ...? Or do you learn aikido by just repeating again and again?

But besides all this:
Someone here (like me) who is teacher outside the dojo and sees clearly differences to teaching aikido? (Or sees parallels?)
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:54 AM   #27
barron
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

As a product of the "Aikido" system of instruction (I‘m 2nd Dan graded through K. Igarashi Sensei/Hombu Dojo and both teach and train ), the university teacher education path, and also of the Canadian National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP where I am one course short of Level 5), in the Olympic discipline of speed skating ( There are five levels from introduction to international coaching, although the system has gone through some major changes recently), I would offer these points and background on coaching certification in Canada and aikido instruction (although aikido instructors are not required to take these courses) :

1) The NCCP system was developed to give "coaches" in all sports a grounding in physiology, growth and development, psychology, injury prevention and management, team management, ethics, liability, gender issues and logistics of the role of a coach.
2) The five levels progress from a weekend course to the final level which consisted ( when I took them) of 20 modules which usually took one to two weekend each plus and assignment that can take up to 3 to 4 months to complete)
3) In both Canada and I believe Britain the insurance and liability aspect are important when a person works within a "sport/recreation" system, and all coaches are required to have their basic introduction level. This is even now being introduced into the school coaching system in my district
4) In most sport/recreation systems coaches must also go through a police record check for criminal activity
5) That just because someone is certified does not mean they are a good coach/instructor and I have seen many many examples of poor methodology as a trainer of coaches, a coaching certification evaluator, as well as a course conductor trainer tot prove this
6) The "traditional" system under which aikido is delivered ( in most cases) is vastly different in manner from the "western approach". Neophyte wrestlers for example would never train with national level athletes. This sometimes works against the principles that are taught in the NCCP, but if we followed this "western" approach would we still be doing aikido or lose the underlying principles/community/tradition of the art?
7) John Burns point about "ensuring best practice" is important

" they (coaching courses) are not about aikido ability or style or teaching ability. They are there so you understand how to warm people up safely, they touch on child protection issues and lesson planning etc, all of these are completely and utterly independent of any aikido style, federation or association"

8) Walter Martindale stated,

" A lot of people hear the word "coach" and think of the "rah-rah" person giving the pep talk to the team at half-time. A coach is someone who, unlike an instructor, guides discovery by helping people learn how to do things, rather than telling them or showing them how to do things ". ( This sounds like Aikido to me)

9) Many instructors/sensei's when confronted with the term "coach" will automatically take umbrage. It's like a red flag to a bull in that they feel that the term "coach" in inappropriate, disrespectful and strays away from what aikido is .

10) As with any teaching or coaching , in Aikido one learns by doing and seriously studying and examining what you do. There are many examples in the world of aikido, from new instructors to Shihans, that exemplify excellent methods of instruction and these people have not taken one coaching course in the lives; but Aikido is their lives and they have put in their 10,000 hours so to speak.

I've been a bit long winded, and rambling here. but the bottom line in that a good teacher is a good teacher and a bad one. I believe that in this modern world of liability and "good practice" a grounding in basic principles of pedagogy would, in my mind benefit all instructors in any discipline.

Andrew Barron
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:59 AM   #28
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Thank you, Andrew!

(I myself also teach and train aikido. In addition as the chairman of our lokal aikido club I have to look over the teaching in our club. As being a lutheran pastor I'm educated as a teacher for all forms of school here in Germany. And I know very well the german system of coaching courses from playing volleyball - long time ago.)

Quote:
Andrew Barron wrote: View Post
1) The NCCP system was developed to give "coaches" in all sports a grounding in physiology, growth and development, psychology, injury prevention and management, team management, ethics, liability, gender issues and logistics of the role of a coach.
Hm, etiquette, setting, procedure, working on kata and so onare mostly set in an aikido class. They equal each other in a whole lot of dojo all over the world. The "roleplay" is set by the system of sensei-sempai-kohai.

So what does it help to know these things above?
Or - the other way round - don't you think you learn all this in every aikido class. But in relation to what you are doing in the dojo?

Do those courses mention terms like "ki"? Or "budo"? Or all those phenomenons which are "special" to aikido and other MA but have no place in modern sports?

I experienced that the coaching courses offered over here led to some very interesting conflicts.

Quote:
2) The five levels progress from a weekend course to the final level which consisted ( when I took them) of 20 modules which usually took one to two weekend each plus and assignment that can take up to 3 to 4 months to complete)
The basic course here last for about two years. This includes weekends, some whole weeks (You have to take vacancies from the job.) And evening courses. And it is expensive. The costs will sum up to about 1.000 €.
Quote:
3) In both Canada and I believe Britain the insurance and liability aspect are important when a person works within a "sport/recreation" system, and all coaches are required to have their basic introduction level. This is even now being introduced into the school coaching system in my district
Insurance and liability in Germany depend on whether a (aikido-)teacher is "qualified" or not. This is decided by the employer. So in Germany time of practice and graduation is important.

Quote:
8) Walter Martindale stated,
" A lot of people hear the word "coach" and think of the "rah-rah" person giving the pep talk to the team at half-time. A coach is someone who, unlike an instructor, guides discovery by helping people learn how to do things, rather than telling them or showing them how to do things ". ( This sounds like Aikido to me)
Here in Germany we have a conflict between the one federation which has "coaches" and not teachers. And the other lines oder styles of aikido.
They understand aikido as a sport. They try to aikido in a "western way".

Quote:
9) Many instructors/sensei's when confronted with the term "coach" will automatically take umbrage. It's like a red flag to a bull in that they feel that the term "coach" in inappropriate, disrespectful and strays away from what aikido is .
Same with me.

Ok, thank you.
I think my point of view has a lot to do with the experiences of aikido-"coaches" here in Germany. It were some bad experiences.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:27 AM   #29
barron
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

To respond to Carsten Möllering

I agree with all you are saying.

In reference to :

" Hm, etiquette, setting, procedure, working on kata and so on are mostly set in an aikido class. They equal each other in a whole lot of dojo all over the world. The "role play" is set by the system of sensei-sempai-kohai."

I totally agree. When one trains for a number of years with a "good" sensei we learn these aspects of our art.

"So what does it help to know these things above? *(physiology etc.)
Or - the other way round - don't you think you learn all this in every aikido class. But in relation to what you are doing in the dojo?"

Yes and no. I'm not saying that coaching courses are or should be the answer and because they do not teach how to specifically instruct martial arts but the considerations that are brought up in these courses can provide a useful foundation that can be used in ones teaching and methodology.

" Do those courses mention terms like "ki"? Or "budo"? Or all those phenomenons which are "special" to aikido and other MA but have no place in modern sports?"

No they don't ... this is what we learn in the process of studying aikido over the years and can only be learnt ( mainly) by traditional means

"I experienced that the coaching courses offered over here led to some very interesting conflicts. "

I once more totally agree.

Thanks for your response. Keep on teaching, rolling, learning and trying to get what I have found the most challenging "activity" I have ever been in. I'm looking forward to another 20 -30 years in the art.

Andrew

Andrew Barron
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:49 PM   #30
Walter Martindale
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Generally speaking, in response to Carsten and Andrew, the courses/modules to which Andrew refers are not necessarily sport-specific. An example would be the "Task 1 - Training Energy Systems" module, which described basic muscle physiology, how the energy systems (aerobic, anaerobic lactic, anaerobic alactic) blended through a continuum of effort levels and effort durations, periodised through the year (or several years) to provide peak performance. Each sport/activity will have different physiological requirements along the endurance spectrum - power lifters don't need to be able to go for 2 hours 8 minutes, while an international marathoner does. So coaches attending the module would develop their own training program, submit it to their national sport body for evaluation by experts in the sport, and to the presenter of the module for his evaluation from the perspective of the presenter - i.e., is this coach's program scientifically valid?

The 20 (or more, now) tasks involve several areas - endurance, strength, nutrition, "cross" training, biomechanics, "plan, implement, and evaluate a training camp" (and a competitive tour). long term athlete development, understanding the national sport system, leadership, sport psychology for the athlete, sport psychology for the coach, and then a few sport-specific modules.

At the "Level 4-5" coaching expertise level, you could almost say that the coach is equivalent to "shidoin" for his or her sport. Possibly even a "shihan," in a competitive sport, where people win (or not) by as little as 1/100 or 1/1000 of a second, banging on the edges of human capability.

As with any qualification system, though, going through the courses/modules and getting a "level" designation in either the old or new system at the NCCP doesn't necessarily imply that you're a good coach - just as an expert athlete doesn't necessarily make an expert coach - someone who has a 5th dan in Aikido doesn't necessarily know how to teach it, but if he or she attended some coach-training, he or she might understand better how other people learn things, and become a better Aikido instructor.
Whew...
Clear as mud?
Walter
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:05 AM   #31
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
... but if he or she attended some coach-training, he or she might understand better how other people learn things, and become a better Aikido instructor.
But there exist different theorys about how people learn things. Those you can learn in a "western coaching course" will follow specific "western" paradigms.

Learning just by repeating kata time after time represents another way of learning. (No thinking about, no trying out, no need to understand ...) But just this way of learning just by the body and not by mind. Just by feeling and not by knowing is essential.

The way aikido should be taught better can not be learned in such coaching courses.
You can only learn how to be a good instructor in "western" paradigms. And you can notice the differences to how you are teaching aikido.

Carsten
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:39 PM   #32
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
But there exist different theorys about how people learn things. Those you can learn in a "western coaching course" will follow specific "western" paradigms.

Learning just by repeating kata time after time represents another way of learning. (No thinking about, no trying out, no need to understand ...) But just this way of learning just by the body and not by mind. Just by feeling and not by knowing is essential.

The way aikido should be taught better can not be learned in such coaching courses.
You can only learn how to be a good instructor in "western" paradigms. And you can notice the differences to how you are teaching aikido.

Carsten
East, West or a mix of the two a good instructor/coach/teacher will be able to teach with a variety of methodologies to impart knowledge and skills. What tradition call 'kata' a skill acquisition specialist calls 'error free learning', 'repetition' can be called 'blocked learning' , 'meditation' is maybe 'dual tasking'.

A coaching course might help explain the 'why' and show the limits and advantages of different methods. e.g. too much repetitive training (blocked learning) can be detrimental to the learning process at higher skill levels though great at getting people up to a basic level of proficiency.

The advantage of the eastern approach is you just have to trust the venerable master and all is taken care of. The advantage of the Western processes is knowing why we do things the way we do them, it helps build trust in the process.

I wrote a piece some time back on comparing traditional practice to modern practice. Its a bit long to include here, but here is the link Aikido as an elite sport if there is further intrest

best,
dan

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:45 AM   #33
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Quote:
too much repetitive training (blocked learning) can be detrimental to the learning process at higher skill levels though great at getting people up to a basic level of proficiency.
That is my experience, too, and something I have been wondering about in relation to "basics" training for some time. In aikido, but also the academic teaching I do.

My experience is also that any teaching approach needs to be related to group size; so a complimentary perspective could be one-on-one, small group, large group; I'd prefer "Eastern" for small, "Western" for large. In academic teaching, "Eastern" would be the Oxbridge tutorial, "Western" the large lecture...

Of course there are lots of implications for aikido here. Both points also explain why I rarely go to huge courses of famous shihan anymore.

I did the BAB aikido coach certificate some years ago, and found that it was just the right, pragmatic approach of giving you some tools to work with.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:17 AM   #34
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Quote:
Daniel James wrote: View Post
A coaching course might help explain the 'why' and show the limits and advantages of different methods. e.g. too much repetitive training (blocked learning) can be detrimental to the learning process at higher skill levels though great at getting people up to a basic level of proficiency.
Do you see a difference between doing kata and repetitive learning?
<> I don't see it. Isn't repetition the "heart" of learning by kata?

Which possibilitys do you use to teach aikido besides doing kata / repetition? Do you do sparring or special exercises for "surching"/"surveying"?
<> There are some exercises we do, but they are as repetitive as doing kata.

In which way do you think kata/repetition is detrimental?
<> I think doing just kata and trust in it, is the only way to widen ones skills and transcend personal boarders.
And I never experienced another way of training in aikido than just doin kata. In no dojo of any style.

What do you mean by "basic level" and "higher level"? In our aikikai federation we do what we call basics in our examinations up to yondan.
Maybe I, only training for 16 years now, just can't see, what your point is?

Quote:
The advantage of the eastern approach is you just have to trust the venerable master and all is taken care of. The advantage of the Western processes is knowing why we do things the way we do them, it helps build trust in the process.
Hm, first:
In the eastern approach we also know why and what we do. This is studied scientifical. And this is or can be outlined in every class. We don't learn or teach blind.

I'm teaching people in a lot of different ways and at some different places.
I experience the "eastern approach" has a much bigger potential to lead someone over his or her barriers to. In the "western appproach" you often only can "wake up what is sleeping" in someone.
(To say it a bit provokingly. )

Sorry, I did'nt read your text yet, but will do it over the weekend.

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
That is my experience, too, and something I have been wondering about in relation to "basics" training for some time. In aikido, but also the academic teaching I do.
How, when, why did you experience repetitive training/learning in academic teaching??? I graduated 1993 and up to then there was no such thing in the liberal arts?

Quote:
... I'd prefer "Eastern" for small, "Western" for large. ...
Interesting: From Yoshinkan representatives I heard they teach such strict kata because of being able to handle larger groups.

Quote:
I did the BAB aikido coach certificate some years ago,...
Can you compare it to the german "Übungsleiterschein C" ?

Carsten
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:46 AM   #35
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

HI Carsten,
Thanks for the feedback, some responses somewhat linked to your comments grouped below

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Do you see a difference between doing kata and repetitive learning?
...
<> There are some exercises we do, but they are as repetitive as doing kata.

In which way do you think kata/repetition is detrimental?
<> I think doing just kata and trust in it, is the only way to widen ones skills and transcend personal boarders.
And I never experienced another way of training in aikido than just doin kata. In no dojo of any style.

What do you mean by "basic level" and "higher level"? In our aikikai federation we do what we call basics in our examinations up to yondan.
I think repetitive blocked learning and kata are two separate things...most of the time.
Blocked learning gernerally refers to repetitive tasks to bed some movements or skills in. These might include warm up exercises and aiki taiso. Once learnt there is a danger that any exercises where the brain turns off might be considered a blocked learning exercise and has the potential to hinder learning through complacency, false confidence etc.

Kata , with an alive and experienced uke is anything but blocked learning, here uke is an active and dynamic teacher challenging nage through different timings energies and the variable dynamics of size, strength speed etc.. between different ukes helps build a resiliency in nage.

Kata if overly focused on the basic slow stop go movements as the standard daily practice, may produce these statics jerky movement characteristics in those learning it for years to come and make it harder for them to free up later.

Kata practised as a free flowed dance, where uke offers little in the way of pressure on nage also becomes blocked learning because nage can just relax mentally

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Sorry, I did'nt read your text yet, but will do it over the weekend.
Please give it a read of you have a chance Aikido as elite sport , its a broard brush stroke but might yield up something useful as well as clarify somethings mentioned above.

best,
dan

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:55 PM   #36
Walter Martindale
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Blocked practice versus Random practice... Blocked practice gives relatively quick initial learning because you're doing lots and lots of repetitions of the same thing, which cuts down on the processing or decision making needed to do the blocked practice.

Random practice gives slower initial learning because more mistakes are made early on, but studies (Joan Vickers of U of Calgary cites many of these in her work) show that the learning is more "robust" in the long run.

Hypothetical example from Aikido: Dojo "A" practices Tachi-Dori by doing 100 repetitions of (say) Shomenuchi Iriminage-Tachi Dori, then 100 repetitions of (say) Yokomenuchi Shihonage-tachi dori, then 100 of a third attack-technique. They do this 3-4 times/week for a month.

Dojo "B" practices 300 Tachi Dori from 100 of each of Shomen, Yokomen, and a third attack, but the nage doesn't know which of the three attacks is coming until the attack is on its way. They do this on the same nights that Dojo "A" is doing their Tachi Dori practice.

Initially, because Dojo "A" does lots of repetitions of the same movement, people at Dojo "A" will learn their respective waza more quickly than at Dojo "B", mums and dads who are paying for their kids lessons (if it's that sort of situation) will be happy because they'll see fast progress.

Dojo "B" on the other hand, will see people making bad choices because they won't recognise the attack until it's too late and they may get lightly bopped on the bean (or Uke will have to pull the strike to avoid hurting Nage), but fairly early on, they'll start making fewer and fewer mistakes in their reading of what's coming and their decision about what to do. Mums and dads paying for the lessons will wonder why their kid is getting such slow progress, and will possibly take their kids over to Dojo "A" because those kids seem to be making so much more initial progress.

Now, take someone from Dojo "A" and put them in "B" for a training session, and they'll start screwing up, because they've not had to figure out "on the fly" what's coming, while put someone from dojo "B" into a training session in "A", and you'll find that the people have a very easy time of it doing the blocked practice.

Also - take people from both dojos a couple of months later without any practice of Tachi Dori in the intervening months, and throw random attacks at them, and the people from Dojo "B" will most likely "do" better than the folks from Dojo "A".

At least that is what studies of decision training in sport show.

So, while taking a basic coaching course won't cover all of this, and it won't necessarily make a wonderful godan into a good 'teacher' it may help him or her understand how better to help the people he or she is meant to be 'teaching'.

Walter
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:14 AM   #37
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Quote:
Daniel James wrote: View Post
... some responses somewhat linked to your comments ...
Thank you!
I think, I get your point better now.

I assume, we don't do what you call "repetitive blocked learning" in our practice.
Even when doing aiki taiso I try to find the "rigth way" and U will corrected by my teacher. Same thing when I teach: I teach those movements the same way I teach the waza.

We do "turn off the brain", but not for repetition of well known exercises or repeting technique.
We try to "feel" how to act an react instead of "thinking" what to do. But this is just a different way to perceive what's going on.

Quote:
... ocused on the basic slow stop go movements as the standard daily practice, ...
What do you mean with "stop and go movements"?
Don't you do or don't you teach techniques as a whole?
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:51 AM   #38
Walter Martindale
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post

We do "turn off the brain", but not for repetition of well known exercises or repeting technique.
We try to "feel" how to act an react instead of "thinking" what to do. But this is just a different way to perceive what's going on.
Or, in blocked practice of the same movement, you (we, because I do it too) don't have to decide what to do because you know what the attack is, and what technique you're doing, so you don't have to be fully "switched on". One is trying to get better at feeling the nuances of each movement - but - did you ever notice that when you switch techniques in blocked practice (say, after 10 minutes of practicing something you switch to something else) how the first few of the new technique/attack combination, you're a little clumsy until you get into the flow?

In "random" practice, you might be doing the same movement in response to the same attack, but you may not know a-priori which attack is coming at you, so you have to decide a) what's coming, and b) what to do. You may not THINK you're making a conscious decision, but the more experience at random practice we have, the farther back into the attack we "see" and we get better at reading what the attacker is going to do - so - it looks like we're "subconscious", when we're actually more alert, more aware, and more perceptive... (and - I'm using "you" here in the general sense, not any specific person)...

Walter
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:46 AM   #39
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Quote:
Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Quote:
That is my experience, too, and something I have been wondering about in relation to "basics" training for some time. In aikido, but also the academic teaching I do.
How, when, why did you experience repetitive training/learning in academic teaching??? I graduated 1993 and up to then there was no such thing in the liberal arts?

Quote:
... I'd prefer "Eastern" for small, "Western" for large. ...
Interesting: From Yoshinkan representatives I heard they teach such strict kata because of being able to handle larger groups.

Quote:
I did the BAB aikido coach certificate some years ago,...
Can you compare it to the german "Übungsleiterschein C" ?
Hi Carsten,
sorry for the late reply, I was away training.

In reference to academic teaching, my perspective is limited to the humanities, and was referring to textbook learning vs. close work with an academic teacher. I guess I was on about teaching the practice of a research discipline as the goal of teaching. Of course not all university teaching is about that.

Again, this is not a black and white thing - the best teachers manage to teach a research dicispline in their introductory lecture. But usually you will only get taught the real approach at PhD student level.

As for the Yoshinkan, I cannot judge whether their method is effective. Most "kihon" type practice in aikido I am familiar with I have my doubts about.

And the Übungsleiterschein C I never attempted because I heard so much offputting stuff about it... and I would reather train :-)
The BAB approach I found - ten years ago - pragmatic, not too long winded, yet serious.
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Old 08-21-2010, 05:03 AM   #40
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
And the Übungsleiterschein C I never attempted because I heard so much offputting stuff about it... and I would reather train :-)
The BAB approach I found - ten years ago - pragmatic, not too long winded, yet serious.
Thank you.

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Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Or, in blocked practice of the same movement, you (we, because I do it too) don't have to decide what to do because you know what the attack is, and what technique you're doing, so you don't have to be fully "switched on".
Hm, I can't really understand this thought:
Every attacker is different. Every attack of the same attacker i different. I myself am "different" in different moments.
And experience teaches that you get hit, if you are "switched of" and work waza automatically. Even if you know, what kata you work.

Quote:
One is trying to get better at feeling the nuances of each movement - but - did you ever notice that when you switch techniques in blocked practice (say, after 10 minutes of practicing something you switch to something else) how the first few of the new technique/attack combination, you're a little clumsy until you get into the flow?
Hm, I myself notice it the other way round.
But I see the phenomen you mean when watching beginners. Or lets say not-advanced students.

Quote:
In "random" practice, you might be doing the same movement in response to the same attack, but you may not know a-priori which attack is coming at you, so you have to decide a) what's coming, and b) what to do. You may not THINK you're making a conscious decision, but the more experience at random practice we have, the farther back into the attack we "see" and we get better at reading what the attacker is going to do - so - it looks like we're "subconscious", when we're actually more alert, more aware, and more perceptive... (and - I'm using "you" here in the general sense, not any specific person)...
Ahhh, I think
the most important thing in aikido is to give the body a repertoire of movements, it can use without "thinking".
Learning aikido for me is the same thing as learning to climb stairs being a little child: You learn it by doing it and your body never forgets how to do it and can handle all the different stairs you have to climb through your life. If you start to think how to do it, you will stumble.

When doing practice like this or like thisyou have to just feel and move.

This is the way our practice is structured most of the time: Feeling. Not thinking.

Does this make a difference or doesn't it affect your statements?

Carsten
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:27 AM   #41
Walter Martindale
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Ahhh, I think
the most important thing in aikido is to give the body a repertoire of movements, it can use without "thinking".
Learning aikido for me is the same thing as learning to climb stairs being a little child: You learn it by doing it and your body never forgets how to do it and can handle all the different stairs you have to climb through your life. If you start to think how to do it, you will stumble.

When doing practice like this or like thisyou have to just feel and move.

This is the way our practice is structured most of the time: Feeling. Not thinking.

Does this make a difference or doesn't it affect your statements?

Carsten
Well... Stairs - That's something - as is walking - that we learn fairly early on, and our brain (which is amazing) tells us to lift our feet a little higher or not as high, or to take two steps, and how high to lift our feet, etc., without consciously thinking about it, but the brain does process all this stuff before we hit the first step.

Similarly, if we've trained, and trained, and trained,...., and trained at Aikido, all the processing happens very quickly, and our repertoire of movement principles/techniques "comes out" as the processing happens, and we're called experts who are doing it without thought. Thing is, these aren't spinal reflexes such as the stretch reflex, they're more like conditioned responses, which do involve the brain.

Yes - each attack by a person trying to do the same thing is slightly different from the previous attack, but for most of us, these differences are subtle enough that we don't pick up on them or we don't change our response. Each different attacker is going to be different as well, and they are going to be slightly different each time they attack. I recall reading about O-Sensei demonstrating something, and when asked to do it again, he responded to what seemed to be the same attack with a different technique each time, explaining that he couldn't do the same technique each time because all of the attacks were different. I don't have anywhere near that kind of perceptiveness, but I think I understand the concept.

Oops - better go - rifle competition to get ready for
Walter
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:12 AM   #42
philipsmith
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Just came across this on my return to Aikiweb after a short absence for various reasons (mainly travelling-related)

I find it interesting that some of the comments sem to suggest that Aikido teachers don't need to know how to teach.
Would this be acceptable in any other field?

For example all school teachers go through a training process - the analogy would be I can speak English so I can teach English professionally from basic to expert level; without knowing anything about class mangement etc.
So why is Aikido different?
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:24 AM   #43
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
I find it interesting that some of the comments sem to suggest that Aikido teachers don't need to know how to teach.
Would this be acceptable in any other field?

For example all school teachers go through a training process - the analogy would be I can speak English so I can teach English professionally from basic to expert level; without knowing anything about class mangement etc.
So why is Aikido different?
Well, I am a teacher. And I learned how to teach my students in school.
One thing you learn when you learn teaching at university is, that there are a lot of different opinions of how to teach.

I didnt say that aAikido teachers don't need to know how to teach. But that the way in which aikido or other arts (like chado, shodo, kyudo, ...) have to be taught is fundamentally different from the way of teaching which is prefferred in western sports.

Here in Germany when you want to get a coaching certificate you have to learn a lot of things which are not used in dojo.
And you don't learn the things you need to use when teaching in a dojo.

Carsten
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:08 AM   #44
judojo
 
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

The Nipon Aikido Kukai reach out the teachers techniques on Aikido Classes. All actualities are bases of teaching lessons. Kihon during basics, Waza inclusion of Jiu Waza, Tai Sabaki, But this on numbered lessons.

REYNALDO L. ALBAÑO
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:24 AM   #45
Michael Hackett
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Adam mentioned Toyoda Sensei's uchideshi program earlier. He also implemented both national and regional instructor's seminars as part of his program to create instructors to further the art. To be sure, some of the material covered at instructor seminars in the AAA is technique driven and what you'd find at most seminars, there is considerable instruction on how to teach aikido classes and how to deal with student problems. I remember a specific class that dealt with teaching new students to roll, with emphasis on helping those who were having trouble. I understand that Andy Sato Sensei has continued along the same lines with his AWA organization as well.

Michael
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:49 PM   #46
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

I've been lucky enough to train at Sato Sensei's dojo once in the past, and my organization has been invited to their seminars, and I can say they definitely emphasize the impoartance of understanding what one is teaching. Dave Lowry makes a good observation about karate elbow strikes: whether the hand attached to the striking elbow should be open or closed. Many karate teachers were caught off guard by such a question and came up with something plausible 'on the spot.' There is a specific purpose for these minute details, and it is important for a quality teacher to have had access to this kind of detail and tutelage. Being in an organization that has Yoshinkan influence taught to our teacher from Gozo Shioda and Takashi Kushida, we are really able to break down technique into minute detail (for those unfamiliar with Yoshinkan, its basic techniques have very specific ways of execution).

As important, is a teacher who can adequately apply Budo training to daily life, as this is budo's most practical application....and I don't mean self defense.

We have a saying (stolen from somewhere, of course), that is taught in our instructor meetings and classes. I don't remember the Japanese translation, but the english version is "beware of four-inch knowledge." This references the approximately four-inch distance between the ear and mouth. The warning being to beware a teacher attempting instruction of something he or she has just hear/barely learned themselves. I hope that any teacher I commit myself to will have taken the time, made the sacrifice, and put forth the effort to teach from a deep well of knowledge, vice shallow understanding.

These are things I find important in the creation of a "good teacher" and I feel it important that extra time, and special emphasis, be a part of prospective teacher's aikido experience. Time on the mat is always of critical importance, but if I expected people to give me their money, responsibility for their body, and devotion of their time....I would hope to have something equally significant to give back. I have had limited exposure to this kind of training; short time as uchideshi, kenshu class (like senshusei...sorta), monthly instructor classess, and seminars when I can manage it. This has been limited and inconsistent (due to military and family obligations). If I was willing to make more of a sacrafice, I could devote more time to 'plussing up' to the level commensurate with what I consider appropriate an instructor. As it stands, I consider myself a fun training partner to have...and one can certainly derive knowledge from throwing me around...but I certainly consider myself a far cry from what I expect of a Teacher.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:39 PM   #47
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Quote:
Daniel Lloyd wrote: View Post
Should all teachers/instructors of Aikido go through a coaching course?

And...

Should it be a requirement instead of just reaching green-black belt and taking the class?
I think it's something that comes naturally to some people and not others depending upon their confidence within their given subject, the deeper the knowledge the better the instruction, Quality is better than quantity, that kind of thing.
Tomiki Sensei for one made the teaching of aikido a lot easier to understand and apply, the same goes for Saito Sensei of Iwama ryu and Gozo Shioda of Yoshinkan.
Some are naturals some are just plain crap, it's as simple as that....
Most are somewhere in the middle or average. Some couldn't care less....
I've met many who have done coaching courses and are absolute crap and those who have never done a coaching course and are brilliant. One can usually feel or tell if one is a good teacher or not, its called gut instinct.....
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:23 AM   #48
Diana Frese
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

I read around in this thread yesterday and intend to re read more thoroughly, but for now, I noticed Cherie Cornmesser's post (#14 of this thread) and liked it something on the line of "not mandatory but could be helpful"

I like what Tony just said about gut instinct. I was fortunate to have good groups of students at the local YM and the YW in the next town, and while I taught some basic techniques and things that developed from those, (most of which I had seen others teach either previously ... or at least afterwards so I was validated) it was still rather recent after training daily in a major dojo and after moving to my home town, attending seminars and major dojos often .... Anyway I was fortunate in that, when I was teaching...
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:37 AM   #49
Diana Frese
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

With respect to Adam's post on this page, I wasn't able to keep up the classes at the Y's, but there was a dojo in another nearby town that people could attend and our colleague did get the fukushidoin certification when it was introduced to our organization. So there would have been close connection with the major dojo if I had applied for consideration, which would have been great, but I wasn't able to train much after the Y classes ended, due to change of job from proofreader to building trades gofer and other time commitments.... But the USAF I believe is strongly committed to developing good teachers and supervising them, with requirements to attend major seminars run by the Technical Committee members...
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:44 PM   #50
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Teaching Aikido - Require Coaching Course?

Diana,

Finding a dojo with the level of instruction I am speaking about is extremely rare. Often one has to travel long distances to find such a teacher. There is a great article about this subject (the distance of traveling for instruction) I read recently.

Of course one has to make determinations of their level of training based on the priorities in their life. Now that I am married, I no longer consider the option of going back to being uchideshi in a foreign country (ok, Canada....but still. They got fries in their Taco Bell combos, its a different country!) even though I often long for those days. I have no personal feelings toward the level of commitment an aikidoka takes...as long as their heart and spirit are in the right place. I have friends who have done nothing but aikido for the last fifteen years, and I have friends who attend class maybe once a week. I firmly belive there should be stringent testing requirements...but I also belive Meiyo Shodan are appropriate for those who exhibit the proper spirit and dedication, but for whatever reason can not perform as a technician. I don't want people to think I am judging, I am just speaking to this subject from my particular point of view vice a neutral one. I figure that is more beneficial to the discussion than just stating a middle ground. I definitely know how tough it can be moving around...my training and technique has suffered incredibly due to me being in the military, deploying, and being away from my teachers. I know I will likely never be quite at the same level as I was when training as uchideshi and attending approximately 17-19 classes a week. But I still train as much as I can, and I prioritize my training pretty highly in order to seek out mat time with the high level instructors in my organization (often traveling across the US border a couple hours away). Sometimes we move away, there are no dojo, and the most practical way to continue training is to start a dojo yourself. I am likely headed in that direction soon, and I will be sure to let students have no illusions as to what I can offer them...what my qualifications are.

Gut Instinct
This trusting on intuition is great. In fact, part of my training in an advanced class was to focus on this skill, or at least the awareness of it. Unfortunately, for new students watching a class for the first time, they may not recognize a place that screams "stay away!" People will have a general sense of "this is a Cobra Kai" style dojo, or the place just looks sloppy...but as far as solid, well developed dojo...all it takes is a teacher with good salesmanship and some authentic looking scrolls on a wall to suck people into a McDojo. So trusting instinct is a great start...but having a reference helps as well...particularly for new prospective students, whereas the veteran who moves around (like yourself Diana) will have a good baseline in which to confidently follow that instinct (or render recommendation to friends).

Fuku shidoin
This is similar to what I was speaking to when I mentioned teaching Titles. This represents a level of instruction authorized by a parent organization. Today, these types of titles are often synonomous with rank; tetsudai, fuku shidoin, shidoin, renshi, et al. When asked what sensei, or renshi mean...people may know to reply 'teacher' or 'intermediate instructor.' A deeper level of understanding could explain that no word for word English equivalent exists and explain the sen-sei is someone who has gone before/come alive earlier in their training (hence, someone to learn from) or that renshi suggests that person has gone beyond that level to a level where their technique is more polished. This person is one who is seeking mastery of their own technique. When getting into levels of kyoshi or hanshi...the meaning insinuates a person who can recognize and pull these qualities out of another person, or another teacher. They provide guidance in ways beyond the physical.

Many times an organization simply provides these titles in concert with a certain rank...sometimes with an added cost. In the past, when M. Ueshiba was learning DRAJJ, he learned under an older system where each Title represented a grouping of techniques that person was authorized to teach others. Those titles were usually simply called "This grouping of techniques Title. Point being, those were very specific authorities granted to an instructor. The ambiguity of the common titles seen today sometimes represents nothing more than just a title given with a rank. Not saying its bad or wrong...just that, sometimes, it’s so.

Again, just spouting off my idealistic sentiments based on my traditionalist feelings toward my training!

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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