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  #151  
Old 11-07-2010, 08:42 PM
Lynn Seiser
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Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Breathe in, model
Breath out, mentor
Mindfully

I must admit that I tend to agree with Charles Barkley when he says that he is a basketball player and not a role model. I would hate to think...
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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!

Last edited by akiy : 11-07-2010 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:20 AM   #150
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Hi Seiser,

Do you consider intelligence and humor as opposites? How so?

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Old 11-27-2010, 05:42 PM   #151
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Do you consider intelligence and humor as opposites? How so?
I do not personally think of them as opposites. In fact, I think they go together very well.

Yet when I look and make general observations, I see a lot of people thinking and demonstrating that intelligence is taking thinks too seriously and too personally. Perhaps this is (IMHO) lower or developing intelligence. Its demonstrated a lot in this forum by people having just enough intelligence to think that not are they right, but they are the only one who is right.

I like the model and mentors who are secure enough in their intelligence to laugh at themselves and accept and appreciate their humanness.

Humor often shows the level of the intelligence of the person finding it funny.

Thoughts?

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 11-29-2010, 11:17 AM   #152
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Too much turkey...

While I cannot speak to the role of instruction under Takeda Sensei, many of O'Sensei's students related that much of what O'Sensei did was not "instruction," certainly not during the later part of his life. Consider if I elected to teach golf using my mnemonic tempo device of thinking "money" as I swing my club. This mental trick helps keep my tempo correct, but what if I taught that trick to someone else? Is that instruction? Let's be honest, O'Sensei does not come to mind when we talk about good instructors...
I think much of what O'Sensei did made sense to him and much of what he demonstrated was directed at a "short cut" to enlightenment through aikido. I think a flaw in this model was in addition to curbing the [aikido] martial curriculum, the students entering aikido had diminishing martial education prior to enrolling in aikido. Throw in O'Sensei - who walks in, conducts a WTF moment, yells at the students for not praying to kami and leaves.

WTF moments are great to aspire us to train and study harder. WTF moments are great to remind us that aikido is not hard, but a study that requires time, patience and perseverance.

Instruction is about effectively expressing reproduce-able results with an audience. Instruction is not opinion, which I believe is a point of confusion for many of us and a point of abuse for many of us. That's also not to say that opinion is not a valuable source of information on which to base theories. Once we begin dabbling in opinion as fact, there becomes problem... This is a problem with gooey aikido - the "aiki" part of aikido. I believe aiki requires a foundational knowledge on which to base the personal experience of aiki. Without employing that foundational knowledge to successfully reproduce "aiki", we are left with WTF. That is why we need to prepare to understand why we feel what happens [to our body] during our aiki training.

Climbing down from that pedestal of knowledge is tough, but I think our instructors need to differentiate between instruction and opinion and understand the difference. I think that is a fundamental step in progressing students to understand that aiki is unique to each union and each time that union takes place. For example, if I can only make ikkyo work some of the time as kata, what will my chances be of making ikkyo work during each of these uniques encounters (waza)? Well, I guess if uke falls down...
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:36 AM   #153
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Climbing down from that pedestal of knowledge is tough, but I think our instructors need to differentiate between instruction and opinion and understand the difference. I think that is a fundamental step in progressing students to understand that aiki is unique to each union and each time that union takes place.
Yes agreed.

The people I select as mentors and models offer instructions and understanding, not just the WTF demonstrations that leave me more confused and convinced I cannot do it.

I like the models, mentors, and instructors who work hard so that I can impress myself with what I can do and not just try to impress me by what they can do.

But I as a student must be willing to step up and outside my comfort zone and conceptualization to be open to something new.

They cannot teach me if I am unwilling to learn and I cannot learn from them if they are unwilling to instruct.

In blending uke and tori become one. In aikido, the instructor and student becomes one. Perhaps a part of the lesson is to let go of duality?

Thoughts?

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 12-01-2010, 03:51 AM   #154
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Instruction is about effectively expressing reproduce-able results with an audience. Instruction is not opinion, which I believe is a point of confusion for many of us and a point of abuse for many of us.
I am not quite sure of this. Instruction to me is to tell what to do to achieve a certain result. To teach is about passing knowledge, conceptual ideas, at least I think so. In effect learn people to make their own decisions based on the knowledge the acquired and even more important how they can keep learning on their own.
It is easy to instruct Aikido techniques, but ever so difficult to teach Aikido.
The importance of a shihan was already mentioned. Would you consider a shihan an instructor?

A good teacher challenges you physically, but also mentally. How he goes about doing that is his way, his opinion on how to make you progress.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:12 AM   #155
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
A good teacher challenges you physically, but also mentally. How he goes about doing that is his way, his opinion on how to make you progress.
Yes agreed.

A good instructor (model or mentor) challenges you in ways that allow you to progress.

I have no problem with instructor's opinion as long as they do not pass it on as O'Sensei fact.

Thoughts?

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 12-01-2010, 07:05 AM   #156
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Some random thoughts of mine from this thread:

I am responsible for my own training. When I noticed a teacher acted badly after class I chose not to be around him. When my teacher stopped training with that teacher I was able to relax.

One of my best examples of how to be a good student is Dora, one of my students.

A good teacher is mindful of each student in the moment...then intuition will lead and courage to speak will follow.

I think Charles Barkley was spot on.

And last about humilty: is it true how you speak of yourself, Lynn, or are you being self deprecacting? (asked with interest)
Thanks,
Mary
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:40 AM   #157
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I think Charles Barkley was spot on.
yet you mention

Quote:
I am responsible for my own training. When I noticed a teacher acted badly after class I chose not to be around him. When my teacher stopped training with that teacher I was able to relax.
How is it that when you fail to respect your teacher, but not see him as 'role model' you still chose to stop practise.
Would not a role model be exemplary in his ways, both on tatami and off? Like mentioned before: the dojo is where you practise. Practise is always, everywhere....

please forgive me if this comes across a bit direct. Hard for me to find the right words.

Last edited by Tim Ruijs : 12-01-2010 at 07:54 AM.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:38 AM   #158
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

His aikido was strong, beautiful and relaxed. His behavior off (and sometimes on) the mat was not what I want to be around.
I chose to continue to train with my teacher who left his teacher when he was ready. Not when I was ready.
I learn from anyone. I don't have to become like them in all ways.
Mary
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:01 AM   #159
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
I am not quite sure of this. Instruction to me is to tell what to do to achieve a certain result. To teach is about passing knowledge, conceptual ideas, at least I think so. In effect learn people to make their own decisions based on the knowledge the acquired and even more important how they can keep learning on their own.
It is easy to instruct Aikido techniques, but ever so difficult to teach Aikido.
The importance of a shihan was already mentioned. Would you consider a shihan an instructor?

A good teacher challenges you physically, but also mentally. How he goes about doing that is his way, his opinion on how to make you progress.
Tim-

I think you have some good points, most of my comments are opinion and subject to discussion. I choose to differentiate between instruction and teaching mostly at the level of fact; your definition would certainly also be a valid differentiation. I make my distinction because I have experienced good instruction but poor teaching and good teaching but poor instruction that has required me to rationalize how to classify these experiences. Teaching definitely carries a larger social mentor/model role than simple instruction (unless you're working with stereo instructions). To that extent, I think you couldn't be more correct, instructing Aikido techniques is different than teaching Aikido.

To this point, I also think that teaching carries a burden of learning. An older use of the term "learn" we no longer use describes "teachers learning students," or "learned individuals" as a reference to their competency. I think there good teachers not only instruct, but illustrate how to learn aikido.

In this sense, I think shihan shed the role of instructing to undertake larger leadership roles. That is not to say shihan no longer instruct, but I think instructing becomes a secondary role delegated to senior belts. I think this is not a poor delegation as their exists a significant education gap between a shihan and lower black belts (and certainly white belts); often, a senior black belt instructing to lower belts fills this education gap. I think of it as delegating elementary math to a quantum mathematics professor, sure you can do it but its better to use the resources of the mathematician to teach quantum math. Find a elementary school teacher to teach elementary math.

*oh, and I disclaim those shihan and senior instructors to come to a seminar and teach kihon waza to remind us of how to do aikido because we're idiots...
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:08 PM   #160
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
And last about humilty: is it true how you speak of yourself, Lynn, or are you being self deprecacting? (asked with interest)
Do you mean do I really suck at Aikido? I think so. Not self-deprecating but a statement of perception.

Is that what you were asking?

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 12-01-2010, 12:13 PM   #161
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
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*oh, and I disclaim those shihan and senior instructors to come to a seminar and teach kihon waza to remind us of how to do aikido because we're idiots...
Referential index please?

Kihon according to who?

I find many different Kihon variations in Aikido.

I personally never feel I can get enough basics and don't feel like an idiot because I am reminded. Okay, yes, sometimes (most of the time) I am an idiot.

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 12-01-2010, 01:58 PM   #162
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Been away from the thread for a while for a variety of reasons. Mostly not much to add.

On one poster's problems with Wittgenstein, well, I agree with Dr. Goldsbury that Wittgenstein's work, especially his later work is of tremendous relevance here. As a matter of fact I've spent the last few weeks rereading much of Wittgenstein's work along with Searle. And while I think it goes well beyond the scope and maybe experience of a forum like this, I'm not so sure even Wittgenstein's earlier logical atomism wasn't also relevant, just on a different level. But I agree that the thread drift is tremendous as the discussion that would have to occur to flesh this out would be way beyond the scope of Dr. Seiser's "intent" in this column.

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
I personally never feel I can get enough basics and don't feel like an idiot because I am reminded. Okay, yes, sometimes (most of the time) I am an idiot.
The best corrections I've ever had have been the small basic corrections made by people who are very, very good teachers. Rod Kobayashi had a saying that "advanced techniques were just simplified basics". I used to wonder what the hell that meant. But over the last few years that statement has resonated more and more with me. Amazing how words can take on so many levels of meaning. And sometimes that meaning is only accessible once you have enough time and experience to allow it to be accessible.

Then again I could just be reading what I want into it. Another self-delusion.

So I read my Searle and train more. Still wondering. Still thinking that more rigor and insistence on clarity and "defining our terms" would go a long way. Transmission through modeling and mentoring. Thank you for the mental exercise Dr. Seiser.

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Old 12-01-2010, 02:07 PM   #163
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

I absolutely refuse to tell who - that will just get me in trouble because I nod my head enthusiastically during the seminars as if I get it.

Kihon according to whom? This is actually a great question. Since I am ASU, I was specifically referring to the kihon waza I see in most of our ASU instructors, in whom I can usually find a main thread around which is wound each instructor's own variations and styles. Believe it or not, I have found the exposure to several variations of a technique to be most revealing as you can identify those elements present in each successful technique. It's like Clue, but without Colonel Mustard, Ms. Plum, the revolver or the Conservatory.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:06 PM   #164
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Do you mean do I really suck at Aikido? I think so. Not self-deprecating but a statement of perception.

Is that what you were asking?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lynn Seiser PhD


Yes....some people really are not naturals at aikido but rarely does anyone suck. ;o)
best Mary
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:56 PM   #165
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Kihon according to whom? This is actually a great question. Since I am ASU, I was specifically referring to the kihon waza I see in most of our ASU instructors, in whom I can usually find a main thread around which is wound each instructor's own variations and styles. Believe it or not, I have found the exposure to several variations of a technique to be most revealing as you can identify those elements present in each successful technique. It's like Clue, but without Colonel Mustard, Ms. Plum, the revolver or the Conservatory.
Yes. If you want to know what ikkyo is, look for the common thread that ties together the many different versions. The moon is not the many pointing fingers.

Katherine
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:13 AM   #166
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
To this point, I also think that teaching carries a burden of learning.
In this sense, I think shihan shed the role of instructing to undertake larger leadership roles.

I think of it as delegating elementary math to a quantum mathematics professor, sure you can do it but its better to use the resources of the mathematician to teach quantum math.
Last night I thought a bit more about this instructing and teaching aspect. And I came to the same conclusion you describe.
At some level instructing 'telling people what to do') is required to get them started. At a higher level the teacher has to rise above this instruction in order to progress himself (e.g. undertake larger leadership roles)

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote:
Amazing how words can take on so many levels of meaning. And sometimes that meaning is only accessible once you have enough time and experience to allow it to be accessible.
Exactly. Your level of understanding changes. In previous posts I referred to this as your frame of reference; it changes over time. It takes time to learn to observe at another level.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:33 AM   #167
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I learn from anyone. I don't have to become like them in all ways.
Mary
You could learn from any person, but you choose whom to learn from.
My comment was primarily targeted at your agreement with Barkley in relation to the situation you described. He [Barkley/teacher] himself may think he is not an example, but others will react to his overall behaviour, like your teacher and yourself. In that light I do not understand you agreement with Barkleys remark.
...is all..

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:44 AM   #168
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

I guess I am taking that point more literally. I do learn from everyone even if what I am learning is how not to be.

If I remember correctly (and that could be in question) Charles Barkley was talking about children not looking to him as a role model...that they should look to their parents instead. He is not a teacher ...he is a basketball player. Just because someone makes a lot of money and is on TV doesn't mean they accept responsiblity that is really our own.
Mary
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:51 AM   #169
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
But I agree that the thread drift is tremendous as the discussion that would have to occur to flesh this out would be way beyond the scope of Dr. Seiser's "intent" in this column.

Still thinking that more rigor and insistence on clarity and "defining our terms" would go a long way. Transmission through modeling and mentoring.
As I taught this morning I became aware that the initial agenda/intent I started with had evolved/drifted based on who was present and participating.

Transmission is a dialogue.

Thoughts?

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 12-02-2010, 10:57 AM   #170
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Kihon according to whom? This is actually a great question. Since I am ASU, I was specifically referring to the kihon waza I see in most of our ASU instructors, in whom I can usually find a main thread around which is wound each instructor's own variations and styles. Believe it or not, I have found the exposure to several variations of a technique to be most revealing as you can identify those elements present in each successful technique.
I am not ASU but I attend a lot of Ikeda Sensei seminars and actually see very few people modeling after him.

I also agree that seeing kihon from different perspectives and descriptions is very revealing. Its that common denominator factor.

(BTW, your co-instructor Mike Magno Sensei did a brilliant workshop at the Roswell Friendship Seminar and you could certainly see the lineage. Your students who attended were all well trained. Compliments.)

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 12-02-2010, 11:00 AM   #171
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Yes....some people really are not naturals at aikido but rarely does anyone suck.
You obviously have not seen my Aikido.

Yes agreed, I do not have natural abilities and did not take to Aikido easily. But I knew with practice I would obtain what I was looking for.

Part of my reality perception of my skills has to do with what level of models and mentors I compare myself too. As I have been advocating, I tend to aim very high.

Thoughts?

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 12-02-2010, 11:04 AM   #172
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Yes. If you want to know what ikkyo is, look for the common thread that ties together the many different versions. The moon is not the many pointing fingers.
Yes agreed.

That common denominator factor from many perspectives.

I love the WTF from cross training and hearing confusing and contradictory explanations and demonstrations of the same things. Makes me go "WTF" and look deeper.

All fingers are pointing at the moon from their own relative position on the hand of the person pointing. But they point the way.

Thoughts?

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 12-02-2010, 11:08 AM   #173
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
Your level of understanding changes. In previous posts I referred to this as your frame of reference; it changes over time. It takes time to learn to observe at another level.
In an old quoted from Out Of Africa, Robert Redford says that this is why the world was round, so you can only see so far down the path. If you want to see further, you have to walk further down the path.

IMHO, the level and depth of kihon changes.

As Admur Sensei suggests in his title, Hidden In Plain Sight, it was always there but I was not in a position to see it YET.

Thoughts?

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 12-02-2010, 12:25 PM   #174
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Re: Mindful Modeling and Mentoring

@Mary
Please do not get wrong. I understand what you are saying.
He [Barkley] may not be a teacher, but still people look up to him and may follow his example. True, that is their responsibility, but I cannot help think some applies to him too.
Like the saying goes: With great power comes great responsibility.

@Lynn
I concur completely.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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