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Old 12-01-2011, 01:59 PM   #26
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
In our dojo, practice beyond the most basic beginning level is always from random attacks, so students never know what kind of attack will be coming from their partner. Since rejecting the technique emulation model and adapting a model that stresses an understanding of the spiritual nature of attack, I have seen my beginning and intermediate students perform aikido at dan levels from unprescribed attacks - including demonstrating classic aikido forms they were never taught or even shown. That is not to say that there are never any attempts by students to use the physical force or leverage advantages provided by body mechanics that come into play during an aiki interchange, but those attempts are quickly seen to be futile in attaining the ideal expressed by the Founder.
What can be seen in this youtube channel does reflects your approach?

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Old 12-01-2011, 02:34 PM   #27
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Now you're mentioning it, he was really awarded with this.

Put this Order of the Sacred Treasure in proper context and tell me what you think.
Interesting. You say put it in proper context?

Well here in England it would be equivalent to an O.B.E.

For someone not of the royal family, not of foreign royalty, not of government ie: cabinet, not of military heirarchy above general. Then it's about as high an honour as you can get no?

Of course if you are into class structure you could say it's a lower one. If you're into the masses, the rest of the people then it's one of the highest.

That's how I read it.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:36 PM   #28
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
For someone not of the royal family, not of foreign royalty, not of government ie: cabinet, not of military heirarchy above general. Then it's about as high an honour as you can get no?
I think not.

Quote:
Of course if you are into class structure you could say it's a lower one. If you're into the masses, the rest of the people then it's one of the highest.
Let's say not so high as it sounds.

In any case, being a "national treasure" is a different thing and O Sensei received other (higher and lower) honours from the japanese government.

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Old 12-01-2011, 03:54 PM   #29
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Thanks again to everyone who commented.

I called the thread "The Founder's Teaching Ability" because I'm interested in Osensei's ability to transmit his art. Although I mentioned his title in my self-quote from another thread, I think the meaning of that title is a separate issue from that teaching ability. Regardless of how we call it, is he deserving of that position only for providing the source material? Was he also able to transmit it?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
It is well know that O sensei saw himself as a shaman. If you study the phenomenon of shamanism, it is fairly common study as an apprentice for 20 years or more. It can be death or life activity,sometimes if shaman is not able to fulfill his duty, tribe simply kills him.

I'm pretty sure that the way of teaching such stuff has nothing to do with our western image of a school teacher.
I'd agree that the traditional Japanese way of teaching is different from the West but it obviously works well enough to survive from generation to generation in most traditional professions.

Regarding shamanism, I would be interested to know if that could be the thing that threw a spanner (wrench) in the works regarding Osensei's teaching? I asked if he was crazy among other things in my first post but that is just one possible interpretation of a religious state he could have been in. For example, was he so "divinely inspired" that the traditional apprenticeship process was impaired as he lost touch with reality?

Carl
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:20 PM   #30
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I think not.

Let's say not so high as it sounds.

In any case, being a "national treasure" is a different thing and O Sensei received other (higher and lower) honours from the japanese government.
More honours too? And statues? Sounds like a national treasure.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:38 PM   #31
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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More honours too? And statues? Sounds like a national treasure.

Regards.G.
Sound like but it isn't. A national treasure is another thing.

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Old 12-01-2011, 06:16 PM   #32
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Sound like but it isn't. A national treasure is another thing.
So what is this 'other thing?'

Regarding awards, he was awarded the Purple Ribbon Medal and also the The Order of The Rising Sun from what I can make out. Whilst still alive I might add. Now only about 15 people ever have been awarded higher than that and they were mainly royalty.

It is widely quoted that he was declared posthumously by the Japanese government as a Sacred National Treasure.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:45 PM   #33
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
So what is this 'other thing?'
See: National Treasures of Japan
Also: Living National Treasures of Japan

Quote:
Regarding awards, he was awarded the Purple Ribbon Medal and also the The Order of The Rising Sun from what I can make out. Whilst still alive I might add. Now only about 15 people ever have been awarded higher than that and they were mainly royalty.
I can count more than 15, lots of them not royalty.... like this cartoonist And there says the list is not complete.

Quote:
It is widely quoted that he was declared posthumously by the Japanese government as a Sacred National Treasure.
But this is a wrong quote. What he received was the Order of the Sacred Treasure.

My point is: Ueshiba received honours? yes, deserved? yes, but look at the people who received the same honours than him and you can see which kind these honours are.

Context is everything.

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Old 12-01-2011, 08:06 PM   #34
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
See: National Treasures of Japan
Also: Living National Treasures of Japan

I can count more than 15, lots of them not royalty.... like this cartoonist And there says the list is not complete.

But this is a wrong quote. What he received was the Order of the Sacred Treasure.

My point is: Ueshiba received honours? yes, deserved? yes, but look at the people who received the same honours than him and you can see which kind these honours are.

Context is everything.
Context is everything yes. So we had better look in the field of martial arts then and compare and contrast. How many received the purple ribbon and how many the order of the rising sun?

Indeed how many outside received the latter? Context.

How many have a special rememberance day in their honour? Context.

How many had personal students asked for to give private Audience with heads of state ie: at the white house, thus representing?

How pleased is Japan still to say He was and is ours and proudly acknowledge him as special?

To be honoured and then to honoured again posthumously shows what the Government think of such a person, shows they have that person as a national treasure. I need say no more.

In the martial arts world, that's worldwide, he is renowned and respected.

I would say he's a worldwide treasure ha, ha. But alas, maybe some are jealous and seek to put him as less. I often wonder why?

I wonder how good he is for the tourist trade in Japan? I bet their's a virtual pilgrimage to places associated with him. Mmmmm. More context.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:13 AM   #35
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Context is everything yes. So we had better look in the field of martial arts then and compare and contrast. How many received the purple ribbon and how many the order of the rising sun?
Without much searching I've found:

Order of the Rising Sun:
- Jigoro Kano (Judo)
- George Kerr (Judo)

Order of the Sacred Treasure:
- Trevor Legget (Judo)
- Keiko Fukuda (Judo)
- Anton Geesink (Judo)

Medal of honor - Purple Ribbon
- Yosaburo Uno (Kyudo)
- Kyuzo Mifune (Judo)
- Kinnosuke Ogawa (Kendo)
- Seiji Mochida (Kendo)
- Kaichiro Samura (Judo)
- Yasuhiro Yamashita (Judo)
- Ryoko Tamura (Judo)

So maybe you are giving much weight to the "national treasure" issue, and the other questions you possed could be easily answered. Do you want them answered?

Quote:
But alas, maybe some are jealous and seek to put him as less. I often wonder why
Or maybe is about seeking to put him as he was. Do you think the founder, and what he developed, need lies, disinformation and soviet style propaganda to be fully appreciated?

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Old 12-02-2011, 10:19 AM   #36
Chris Li
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I wonder how good he is for the tourist trade in Japan? I bet their's a virtual pilgrimage to places associated with him. Mmmmm. More context.

Regards.G.
A distant third after Judo, Kendo and Karate (which isn't even Japanese) - might be less than Kyudo, in numbers of actual practitioners in Japan. Not that it matters, I know of koryu where the entire art can fit in the same (small) room and have dinner together.

Like Demetrio says - no need for exaggeration.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-02-2011, 01:19 PM   #37
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Without much searching I've found:

Order of the Rising Sun:
- Jigoro Kano (Judo)
- George Kerr (Judo)

Order of the Sacred Treasure:
- Trevor Legget (Judo)
- Keiko Fukuda (Judo)
- Anton Geesink (Judo)

Medal of honor - Purple Ribbon
- Yosaburo Uno (Kyudo)
- Kyuzo Mifune (Judo)
- Kinnosuke Ogawa (Kendo)
- Seiji Mochida (Kendo)
- Kaichiro Samura (Judo)
- Yasuhiro Yamashita (Judo)
- Ryoko Tamura (Judo)

So maybe you are giving much weight to the "national treasure" issue, and the other questions you possed could be easily answered. Do you want them answered?

Or maybe is about seeking to put him as he was. Do you think the founder, and what he developed, need lies, disinformation and soviet style propaganda to be fully appreciated?
Still don't see your point. An Honoured citizen, a rare thing. A treasure. A national treasure.

Something to acknowledge.

Funny how people find ways to put it down and call it perspective. Out of all the millions and millions of people born in Japan not many make it to such greatness. That's about all the perspective you need. All treasures.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:34 PM   #38
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Here's a point for those interested on Ueshibas Teaching ability. Let's put some more emphasis on the students study ability and let me point out something in the west you are quite familiar with.

What do you have at Universities? Be they Harvard or Oxford. Do you have senior teachers or senior lecturers? What's the difference?

Senior lecturers are considered the tops but what do they do? Basically they lecture. It is up to the student to take notes and study and practice in their own time.

So Ueshiba did both and and a lot of the lecturing side also. Now which students went and did their homework on his lectures? Compare that to which students just said 'No one understood him'

Now compare that to how many thousands also say that as they progress they begin to understand what Ueshiba meant when he said.....

As I repeatedly say, it's not the teacher you should look at usually, it's the student. Bad students blame the teacher, the book, the cat whatever.

Now add to that also Shuhari and and you will see that only good students can learn this way, it's the way he learned and he was a great student.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:37 AM   #39
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Hello Graham

Thanks for these points:

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Senior lecturers are considered the tops but what do they do? Basically they lecture. It is up to the student to take notes and study and practice in their own time.

So Ueshiba did both and and a lot of the lecturing side also. Now which students went and did their homework on his lectures? Compare that to which students just said 'No one understood him'
and

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Now add to that also Shuhari and and you will see that only good students can learn this way, it's the way he learned and he was a great student.
"...it's the way he learned" caught my attention in particular. I'd add that courses usually have assessments in which those who didn't get the goods from the lecturers tend to be weeded out. The experience in academia can vary greatly depending on the subject regarding how hands-on the "senior instructors" need to get to ensure their knowledge is passed on.

It doesn't appear that anyone will argue against the traditional model of "stealing". I mentioned the kuden (oral transmissions) as evidence that Osensei did explain technique sometimes but it seems for the most part that students had to pinch it. I pointed out what I thought the positives were earlier (regulation and active learning) but what if he habitually overdid it? Furthermore, if he overdid it and produced a generation of instructors underneath him whom he observed teaching and they clearly didn't have the goods, what was he thinking?

This affects everyone in the art, not to mention Daito Ryu if this is the same kind of pedagogy Osensei learned from Takeda.

Carl
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:47 AM   #40
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Hello Graham

Thanks for these points:

and

"...it's the way he learned" caught my attention in particular. I'd add that courses usually have assessments in which those who didn't get the goods from the lecturers tend to be weeded out. The experience in academia can vary greatly depending on the subject regarding how hands-on the "senior instructors" need to get to ensure their knowledge is passed on.

It doesn't appear that anyone will argue against the traditional model of "stealing". I mentioned the kuden (oral transmissions) as evidence that Osensei did explain technique sometimes but it seems for the most part that students had to pinch it. I pointed out what I thought the positives were earlier (regulation and active learning) but what if he habitually overdid it? Furthermore, if he overdid it and produced a generation of instructors underneath him whom he observed teaching and they clearly didn't have the goods, what was he thinking?

This affects everyone in the art, not to mention Daito Ryu if this is the same kind of pedagogy Osensei learned from Takeda.

Carl
Hi Carl.
Shuhari. I don't believe many really understand this. Stealing the technique does not mean stealing as in a car or whatever.

So many I hear talking about stealing techniques as if it means something untoward and also with that they look upon it as keeping secrets, withholding things, keeping things away from, etc. The people who look at it this way to my mind are too paranoid basically. In fact the true meaning of stealing techniques was considered an intellectual ability.

It doesn't mean stealing as they are used to using the word. Secondly they are thrown by the word 'technique'.

Once again I find people outside of Aikido understand what it means better than those in it.

So I don't believe O'Sensei overdid or 'underdid' anything for it is not many who have the ability to study properly in the way he did. Not many, be they Japanese or western. He merely expected others to study as he did.

When you say the traditional model of 'stealing' and students had to pinch it I feel there may still be a misunderstanding of what 'stealing' really means.

What do you think it means? As it doesn't mean pinching anything.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:27 AM   #41
phitruong
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Shuhari. I don't believe many really understand this. Stealing the technique does not mean stealing as in a car or whatever.
.
i don't understand the shuhari either since i don't understand Japanese.

you meant i can't just sneaking up to my sensei with a tanto and jacking him for techniques. as in, "Your techniques or your life!" maybe i have gone at this all wrong, because i have tried technique jacking various teachers with bokken, jo and even empty hand. so far they kept saying "your life". i don't understand it. don't they know that i am technique jacking them? why can't they just hand it over to make it easy for everyone?

a bit off topic. if you jack someone named rob, would that be jacking rob, i.e. double jack, i.e. black jack?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:43 AM   #42
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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i don't understand the shuhari either since i don't understand Japanese.

you meant i can't just sneaking up to my sensei with a tanto and jacking him for techniques. as in, "Your techniques or your life!" maybe i have gone at this all wrong, because i have tried technique jacking various teachers with bokken, jo and even empty hand. so far they kept saying "your life". i don't understand it. don't they know that i am technique jacking them? why can't they just hand it over to make it easy for everyone?

a bit off topic. if you jack someone named rob, would that be jacking rob, i.e. double jack, i.e. black jack?
Well you could try rocking, then you would have rocking robbing, you could try a hood as disguise then you would have robin hood, but please, in this pc world don't pick on jack that could be called jackism and thus you're a jackist.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:16 PM   #43
Ken McGrew
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

This often repeated claim that O Sensei did not teach well because no one, allegedly, is as good as him. The people that make these claims have very high opinions of themselves and think they should be as good as O Sensei or their teachers, though they have trained for fewer years than their teachers. The argument that if O Sensei had been a better teacher there would be more greats like him is not a logical argument. Just about everyone learns tennis the same way. Everyone learns baseball pretty much the same way. Not everyone will be as good as O Sensei. But there are lots of people who are good. Even the people who doubt themselves. The problem is that they want to be good like a Bruce Lee movie, standing their ground, powerful, but Aikido is not about that.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:57 PM   #44
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
This often repeated claim that O Sensei did not teach well because no one, allegedly, is as good as him. The people that make these claims have very high opinions of themselves and think they should be as good as O Sensei or their teachers, though they have trained for fewer years than their teachers. The argument that if O Sensei had been a better teacher there would be more greats like him is not a logical argument. Just about everyone learns tennis the same way. Everyone learns baseball pretty much the same way. Not everyone will be as good as O Sensei. But there are lots of people who are good. Even the people who doubt themselves. The problem is that they want to be good like a Bruce Lee movie, standing their ground, powerful, but Aikido is not about that.
I think the opinion people have of themselves is beside the point. I think the argument surrounding pedagogy is a valid one. We probably agree Ueshiba was something of a "genius" with somewhat exceptional ability. This doesn't take away from the idea that his method of teaching probably wasn't geared as much toward explicit teaching as it was toward implicit teaching...or that his teaching style or emphases may have even shifted somewhat from situation to situation, and that it probably affected the way different aspects were emphasized in turn by different groups of people.
I believe there are almost certainly better ways, speaking very generally, to teach people; simply because the science of teaching is a bit more refined. I get the feeling O Sensei's method of teaching was very well suited for some people. I'm not convinced he expected everyone to get everything and suspect he left a great deal to the individual to make happen. He points over and over again to the idea that quality training comes from the quality of the trainer; that it is up to the student to internalize the art; that it is up to the student to figure out how to master the student, if that makes any sense. With that in mind I think it's likely he felt people would naturally develop as they were naturally inclined and that he may have even valued the idea that things should be allowed to grow somewhat on their own terms.
Strictly speaking, not everyone learns baseball the same way; the most widely established methodologies aren't always best for everyone.
My personal opinion is that "greatness" like O Sensei's is a matter of having a very high-functioning obsessive quality. "Greatness" is the product of passion and reason coming together in large doses (usually with a bit of luck) that most people can't (or more likely won't) do. In that sense I agree we don't need to have a bunch of O Sensei's for his teaching to be called "good," but I do think it's valid to suggest his teaching might have been shaped by his personal method of learning more than what might have been better for some of his students.
Thoughts?
Take care,
Matt

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Old 12-04-2011, 04:49 AM   #45
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Carl, thanks for the thread. This is not meant to be an attack on anyone, but, personally, I suspect questioning Morhei Ueshibas teaching ability often misses (amongst other things) what he was about at certain points in his life and how that relates to him teaching.

My own take, of course based only on the snippets of information we have and informed by what more knowledgable people have written here over the years, is that Ueshiba was first of all a person involved in a life long passionate (call it obsessive, I dont mind) search process of a highly individual nature that dominated all other aspects of his life. For a long time, daito ryu was quite central to that process, and since he got very good at it he taught, because daito ryu entails that. Later, I believe the different elements of his search all came together in a way that made deep and evident sense to him, and from that point onward he just expressed his individual, cosmologically all-encompassing, ongoing process. Expressing that process (and I draw on questions Peter Goldsbury, amongs others, has brought up), I do not think he had "an art" to "pass on" anymore, and I doubt teaching in the way it is suggested here (in my interpretation: taking structured and effective steps to pass on a clearly circumscribed art) was part of his expression.

It was suggested to him that he call the process aikido, and so he did, we dont know what he thought about it really. Ellis Amdur suggests, if I remember correctly, the possibilty that he saw himself as an avatar, and as such may not have seen any need for others to get as "good" as him in the art.

Note that I am not saying he did not teach, nor that he did not care about passing stuff on that was important to him. It may just not have been aikido in the way we see it, to the people we think, with the goals we have in mind.

Now I believe this pattern, expressing the results of a passionate search process and being confronted with the requirement to "teach" as a result while not having a body of knowledge to pass on, is actually quite common in highly creative people involved in similar processes. From some cursory reading it seems to me something similar was the case for Moshe Feldenkrais; in his case, the insight that he taught a "method of no-method" was somehow preserved, but is still at odds with the fact that there is now the "Feldenkrais method". It would be interesting to know whether there are other examples.

So, in a way, I arrive at a point similar to Grahams: how does a student best learn from such a person and process. One student of both Morihei Ueshiba and Feldenkrais told me about the later: "I did not study with Moshe to learn another profession. I wanted to understand how he thought" That seems a good strating point to me.

But anyway, I feel I am just paraphrasing Goldsbury, Amdur and years of reading here, etc., if that is the case pardon me please...
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:49 AM   #46
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Perhaps it is more fair to his memory to judge, or discuss his teaching abilities from the period when he was actually teaching.

The era in which he actively taught he produced some remarkable men; Inue, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tomiki, Shioda, Hisa etc. These men were pretty substantial in their day.

Retired....has meaning. I don't think it is correct to castigate someone who handed over the reigns to someone else for where the wagon ended up. I also think it is presumptuous to think he should have had the same vested interest. His asking Shirata to "you go help my son, everyone has left the dojo..." at least in part shows his own acknowledgment of a separation of responsibility due to his..."retirement" from regular teaching.
So, on the whole, judgment of his abilities as a "teacher" should be when he was actively doing so. It is documented that he was never a day to day active presence at hombu dojo after he retired.
All the best
Dan

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Old 12-04-2011, 08:06 AM   #47
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post

Now I believe this pattern, expressing the results of a passionate search process and being confronted with the requirement to "teach" as a result while not having a body of knowledge to pass on, is actually quite common in highly creative people involved in similar processes. From some cursory reading it seems to me something similar was the case for Moshe Feldenkrais; in his case, the insight that he taught a "method of no-method" was somehow preserved, but is still at odds with the fact that there is now the "Feldenkrais method". It would be interesting to know whether there are other examples.
Another one just came to mind: JL Moreno, creator of psychodrama, at his time influential in psychotherapy, theater, and sociology: apparently a wildly creative and charismatic character, and very effective therapist (also: an obsessive womanizer with megalomaniac streaks...), to whom the "method", that was created from what he did (though great in itself), somehow does not seem to do full justice - especially the aspect that students try to this day to extract a "theory", which he supposedly developped, from his often unsystematic and idiosyncratic writing in order to make him fit socially acceptable notions of therapy. Or so I take it...
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:12 AM   #48
Lee Salzman
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Now I believe this pattern, expressing the results of a passionate search process and being confronted with the requirement to "teach" as a result while not having a body of knowledge to pass on, is actually quite common in highly creative people involved in similar processes. From some cursory reading it seems to me something similar was the case for Moshe Feldenkrais; in his case, the insight that he taught a "method of no-method" was somehow preserved, but is still at odds with the fact that there is now the "Feldenkrais method". It would be interesting to know whether there are other examples.

So, in a way, I arrive at a point similar to Grahams: how does a student best learn from such a person and process. One student of both Morihei Ueshiba and Feldenkrais told me about the later: "I did not study with Moshe to learn another profession. I wanted to understand how he thought" That seems a good strating point to me.
There are in fact methods of "no method" that are rather common in CMA, but rather than name them, I think it is fairer to state what makes some of them tick: Realize that any fixed form is an initial crutch just to give the student an idea of a larger context of application, that must be discarded as soon as the student gets the idea and can practice it in the larger context. The student must understand this even as he is being taught the crutch.

For instance, it may be easy to find "jin" standing in one spot, but to find "jin" in all movements is too difficult a starting point for basically anyone, so you first have the student find it in standing. If the student were to cling to standing, he would hinder his ability to express it eventually in all movement. So for any initial crutch, an equal amount of time must be spent learning how to get off the crutches. The longer you use the crutch, the worse off you are. Likewise that does not mean you won't go back and test your ability to use that crutch, as a test of your progress in the larger context, but that the crutch is never the vehicle of progress. This extends even to particular fixed movements or forms or waza. Progress is measured by widening scope.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:17 PM   #49
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Still don't see your point.
It's a very simple one:

"afforded the honour of national treasure on a government and nation level" = BS

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Old 12-04-2011, 05:32 PM   #50
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
It's a very simple one:

"afforded the honour of national treasure on a government and nation level" = BS
I take it BS=Beautifully Said......

Regards.G.
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