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Old 12-12-2011, 08:25 AM   #101
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Just a thought: If Alan Ruddock trained "every single class" including Sunday, and saw Osensei a "couple of hundred times" it would put Osensei there about 30% of the time during that three-year period right? But we already had a discussion about where Osensei was. This one is about his ability to teach in those times and locations.

Carl
Well, it does show he taught. It does show that yet another of his students went on to his current high position.

Now if we look at how many of his students went on to be leaders of their own 'styles' and their success then it becomes a bit of a no brainer to me.

He did send his teachers out to teach around the world. Therefore he had a plan, a dream.

So he wasn't only a good teacher but also a visionary and basically what you would call a Master.

Once again I say it's more to do with how well you study and practice so maybe a more fruitful thread would be 'Students of O'Senseis learning ability.'

Anyway, the posts were merely for added information for you in your musings.

Regards.G.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:35 AM   #102
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Well, it does show he taught.
This is not about IF he taught but about his teaching skills, HOW he taught.

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Old 12-12-2011, 09:44 AM   #103
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
This is not about IF he taught but about his teaching skills, HOW he taught.
Maybe. So how do you find out? I've answered already with my opinion of HOW. But for those who want to find out they would probably want to look at WHERE, WHEN, WHAT, IF, TO WHOM, HOW OFTEN, WHO UNDERSTOOD, WHO DIDN'T, WHY......... ETC.

Ha, ha, Why? is an interesting question. Why did he teach? If you don't know the answer to that then how can you judge his ability fairly?

Regards.G.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:55 AM   #104
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

This is from another thread:
Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

If the student isn't ready, the teacher could be standing right in front of them and they'd never know it.

We all see Ueshiba Sensei's students as they are now. It's easy to forget that they were once beginners too. Can we really blame a bunch of athletic men in their twenties for not really "getting" everything the old man was rambling about? Would we really expect them to have the same understanding that their older selves can demonstrate?

Katherine

A quote by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

"The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes, but with the heart."

It is my belief that any interaction with O'Sensei was a teaching. A uchi deshi does not learn just on the mat.

Cheers,
Jeff
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:41 AM   #105
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Jeff Black wrote: View Post
It is my belief that any interaction with O'Sensei was a teaching. A uchi deshi does not learn just on the mat.
Sure. But what did they learn? Did they learn the Secrets of Aiki, or did they learn that Ueshiba Sensei was a grumpy old man who was finicky about his bath?

The answer would have had as much to do with the temperament of the student as with the pedagogical skills of the teacher.

I took a course in grad school that was commonly described in student evaluations as "Fireside Chats with Prof. L." The professor sat at his desk and told stories. He rarely used the board. I think there was a textbook, but he rarely referred to it. The topic was ceramics engineering and the behavior of glasses. It was one of the most challenging courses of my life. Not because the material was difficult -- it wasn't, at least relative to something like quantum mechanics -- but because it was so difficult to extract tangible information from the lectures.

I'm also reminded of the scene in Jonathan Livingston Seagull where Jonathan is lecturing the young gulls about love and the Great Gull. But the young gulls are so exhausted from flying practice that they mostly just drift off to sleep.

Katherine
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:28 PM   #106
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Maybe. So how do you find out? I've answered already with my opinion of HOW. But for those who want to find out they would probably want to look at WHERE, WHEN, WHAT, IF, TO WHOM, HOW OFTEN, WHO UNDERSTOOD, WHO DIDN'T, WHY......... ETC.
I agree that Osensei's location and the timing from the other thread has some relevance here and vice versa. However it is probably better not to use Ruddock Sensei prowess as a gauge for Osensei's transmission: If you do the maths, the statistic I gave you was actually pretty generous and although it is still awesome to have the founder popping round even that often, the bulk of the remaining time would have been under the other teachers whom he described. There is perhaps more value in looking at how Osensei fit himself into the training and what he expected of the regular teaching staff.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I took a course in grad school that was commonly described in student evaluations as "Fireside Chats with Prof. L." The professor sat at his desk and told stories. He rarely used the board. I think there was a textbook, but he rarely referred to it. The topic was ceramics engineering and the behavior of glasses. It was one of the most challenging courses of my life. Not because the material was difficult -- it wasn't, at least relative to something like quantum mechanics -- but because it was so difficult to extract tangible information from the lectures.
What do you think the purpose was in this kind of teaching style? Was Mr L just not very good at teaching this unchallenging material?

Carl
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:10 PM   #107
kewms
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
What do you think the purpose was in this kind of teaching style? Was Mr L just not very good at teaching this unchallenging material?
Given my grade in the class, I'm sure the student deserves as much criticism as the teacher...

In retrospect, I would say the most important lesson of the class was that engineering problems don't start out looking like problem sets. They start out looking like some phenomenon from the real world, and part of the engineer's job is to design the model, including deciding what is relevant and what isn't. Whether that was the lesson he intended to teach is another question.

Katherine
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:46 AM   #108
graham christian
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
I agree that Osensei's location and the timing from the other thread has some relevance here and vice versa. However it is probably better not to use Ruddock Sensei prowess as a gauge for Osensei's transmission: If you do the maths, the statistic I gave you was actually pretty generous and although it is still awesome to have the founder popping round even that often, the bulk of the remaining time would have been under the other teachers whom he described. There is perhaps more value in looking at how Osensei fit himself into the training and what he expected of the regular teaching staff.

What do you think the purpose was in this kind of teaching style? Was Mr L just not very good at teaching this unchallenging material?

Carl
My conclusion? All to do with speed.

O'Sensei was a master of his art. He trained teachers with a world vision of spreading his art.

Now we come to how much time that would take. How long does it take a student of martial arts to learn all the master has to offer? Add to this if he wanted many to do so.

Now add to this that many super sportsmen or athletes or even artists or artisans who then are asked to, or decide to teach enter the field of transmission and have to then learn a whole new art.

Now add to this the following: I don't know your level at Aikido but I am sure many of a high level have come across the phenomena of being able to do something and then when asked what it is they are doing or how to do it don't actually know. More precisely they understand how they do it but they just know they can and demonstrate such. Even an extremely talented child would be an example of this same thing. Then along come experts who can't do it and explain, alas.

Now add to this that so many, ego wise I might add, want to be able to do it 'like him' and want to do it like in two weeks. A craving for fast study. Quicker methods of study, wow. You can even get qualified over here in so many things, be it health and safety, a doormans licence, etc. by doing a few weekend courses. Wow, then you have the label, the piece of paper, so you are. What a load of nonsense, but it makes someone rich.

Speed. It's even inherent in this thread. If those taught by O'Sensei weren't up to his level by the time he died then ........blah, blah, blah.

Then that is equated with teaching ability?

Mmmm. Think I'll stick to study ability and teaching people how to study.

Regards.G.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:12 PM   #109
Henrypsim
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
This teaching approach also doesn't scale. How on earth is anyone supposed to learn the subtle movements inherent in high level aikido when their hands-on contact with a top level instructor is measured in minutes or even seconds? If Ueshiba Sensei's direct students had trouble reaching his level, and the direct students of the uchi-deshi had trouble figuring out what their teachers were doing, what hope is there for those of us who are three or four steps away from the Founder?

Katherine
There is hope. Please see my Introduction when I just join Aikiweb. O-sensei was not good in transmitting what he knew. Is that consider good or bad teacher is beside the point. His students did not get what he truly trying to teach and that is Aiki as demonstrated in his writings.O-sensei consider technique in itself is secondary, hence he do the same technique differently when he teach. But thru his writings he has said that Aikido without Aiki is not Aikido (something to that effect). He also said something like "when he turn around and thought his students were following him but saw no one there". Evidently, he was disappointed. Even to this day, the main focus of most (notice I said most and NOT all) modern teachers and students are in technique which is Ai-Do and not Aikido and miss the main focus of what O-Sensei was trying to teach.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:28 PM   #110
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Henry Sim wrote: View Post
There is hope. Please see my Introduction when I just join Aikiweb. O-sensei was not good in transmitting what he knew. Is that consider good or bad teacher is beside the point. His students did not get what he truly trying to teach and that is Aiki as demonstrated in his writings.O-sensei consider technique in itself is secondary, hence he do the same technique differently when he teach. But thru his writings he has said that Aikido without Aiki is not Aikido (something to that effect). He also said something like "when he turn around and thought his students were following him but saw no one there". Evidently, he was disappointed. Even to this day, the main focus of most (notice I said most and NOT all) modern teachers and students are in technique which is Ai-Do and not Aikido and miss the main focus of what O-Sensei was trying to teach.
There is hope. Please see my Introduction when I just join Aikiweb. O-sensei was not good in transmitting what he knew. Is that consider good or bad teacher is beside the point. His students did not get what he truly trying to teach and that is Aiki as demonstrated in his writings.O-sensei consider technique in itself is secondary, hence he do the same technique differently when he teach. But thru his writings he has said that Aikido without Aiki is not Aikido (something to that effect). He also said something like "when he turn around and thought his students were following him but saw no one there". Evidently, he was disappointed. Even to this day, the main focus of most (notice I said most and NOT all) modern teachers and students are in technique which is Ai-Do and not Aikido and miss the main focus of what O-Sensei was trying to teach. When O-Sensei's student ask him why is it that they cannot do what he does, his answer was "you do not understand Aikido". One other thought, O-Sensei's is very powerful, not because he has muscles or because he was built like a giant but because he uses Aiki to generate power to his technique. How many modern teachers can do that .... very very few. The good news is that more and more teachers in Japan and other countries are beginning to realize that and have made effort to "empty their cup so as to add more tea". In time, all students in Aikido will definitely learn Aikido and not just Ai-Do.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:11 PM   #111
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Henry Sim wrote: View Post
There is hope. Please see my Introduction when I just join Aikiweb. O-sensei was not good in transmitting what he knew. Is that consider good or bad teacher is beside the point. His students did not get what he truly trying to teach and that is Aiki as demonstrated in his writings.O-sensei consider technique in itself is secondary, hence he do the same technique differently when he teach. But thru his writings he has said that Aikido without Aiki is not Aikido (something to that effect). He also said something like "when he turn around and thought his students were following him but saw no one there". Evidently, he was disappointed. Even to this day, the main focus of most (notice I said most and NOT all) modern teachers and students are in technique which is Ai-Do and not Aikido and miss the main focus of what O-Sensei was trying to teach. When O-Sensei's student ask him why is it that they cannot do what he does, his answer was "you do not understand Aikido". One other thought, O-Sensei's is very powerful, not because he has muscles or because he was built like a giant but because he uses Aiki to generate power to his technique. How many modern teachers can do that .... very very few. The good news is that more and more teachers in Japan and other countries are beginning to realize that and have made effort to "empty their cup so as to add more tea". In time, all students in Aikido will definitely learn Aikido and not just Ai-Do.
"When O-Sensei's student ask him why is it that they cannot do what he does, his answer was "you do not understand Aikido".

This sounds like a familiar quote of Henry Kono. I have come across this quote on Aiki web before, but it was a little bit different (shows how a story at times develops into something else entirely, a bit like with urban myths).
I met Henry Kono the first time in 2000, when I had invited him to come over and give a weekend seminar in the Netherlands. During class he told the story how one day he decided to ask O Sensei a question that was in his mind for quite a while. He had seen what O Sensei did and he had looked carefully at what his students (including himself) did and to him it was not the same thing. So he asked O Sensei "Why can't we do what you can do?" O Sensei answered him; "Because you do not understand Yin and Yang". After class in a private conversation with Henry I questioned this remark by O Sensei. And Henry Kono told me; "Yes, you are right, he did not use the words Yin and Yang. In reality O Sensei told me that we could not do what he did because we did not understand Izanagi and Izanami. But most people do not understand this. So I simplified it into Yin and Yang". And this is how he still explains it in his seminars and on his dvd's.
Yin and Yang can be compared to Izanagi and Izanami. But it is not exactly the same.

As far as transmitting knowledge is concerned, a good student does not depend on explanations, sometimes simply hinting at the right direction will do.

Tom
http://aikido-auvergne-kumano.blogspot.fr/
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:36 PM   #112
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
"When O-Sensei's student ask him why is it that they cannot do what he does, his answer was "you do not understand Aikido".

This sounds like a familiar quote of Henry Kono. I have come across this quote on Aiki web before, but it was a little bit different (shows how a story at times develops into something else entirely, a bit like with urban myths).
I met Henry Kono the first time in 2000, when I had invited him to come over and give a weekend seminar in the Netherlands. During class he told the story how one day he decided to ask O Sensei a question that was in his mind for quite a while. He had seen what O Sensei did and he had looked carefully at what his students (including himself) did and to him it was not the same thing. So he asked O Sensei "Why can't we do what you can do?" O Sensei answered him; "Because you do not understand Yin and Yang". After class in a private conversation with Henry I questioned this remark by O Sensei. And Henry Kono told me; "Yes, you are right, he did not use the words Yin and Yang. In reality O Sensei told me that we could not do what he did because we did not understand Izanagi and Izanami. But most people do not understand this. So I simplified it into Yin and Yang". And this is how he still explains it in his seminars and on his dvd's.
Yin and Yang can be compared to Izanagi and Izanami. But it is not exactly the same.

As far as transmitting knowledge is concerned, a good student does not depend on explanations, sometimes simply hinting at the right direction will do.

Tom
http://aikido-auvergne-kumano.blogspot.fr/
Interesting - what would you say are the differences between Yin and Yang and Izanagi and Izanami (as Ueshiba used the terms here)?

Hinting at the right direction is a common Japanese methodology - but if you look at the results it really doesn't work very well, even in Japan. In the mass teaching environment of Aikido I would say that it works...not at all, really...

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-31-2012, 04:24 PM   #113
Henrypsim
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
"When O-Sensei's student ask him why is it that they cannot do what he does, his answer was "you do not understand Aikido".

This sounds like a familiar quote of Henry Kono. I have come across this quote on Aiki web before, but it was a little bit different (shows how a story at times develops into something else entirely, a bit like with urban myths).
I met Henry Kono the first time in 2000, when I had invited him to come over and give a weekend seminar in the Netherlands. During class he told the story how one day he decided to ask O Sensei a question that was in his mind for quite a while. He had seen what O Sensei did and he had looked carefully at what his students (including himself) did and to him it was not the same thing. So he asked O Sensei "Why can't we do what you can do?" O Sensei answered him; "Because you do not understand Yin and Yang". After class in a private conversation with Henry I questioned this remark by O Sensei. And Henry Kono told me; "Yes, you are right, he did not use the words Yin and Yang. In reality O Sensei told me that we could not do what he did because we did not understand Izanagi and Izanami. But most people do not understand this. So I simplified it into Yin and Yang". And this is how he still explains it in his seminars and on his dvd's.
Yin and Yang can be compared to Izanagi and Izanami. But it is not exactly the same.

As far as transmitting knowledge is concerned, a good student does not depend on explanations, sometimes simply hinting at the right direction will do.

Tom
http://aikido-auvergne-kumano.blogspot.fr/
Thanks for the clarification. My mistake. In my "defense" and in my OPINION, yin and yang, internal power, aiki, elbow non-source power, six directions etc. is Aikido supplemented by techniques, (that I think is the reason why I read somewhere that O-Sensei always did the same technique differently,) hence my mistake. At this present time, how many Aikidokas understood why O-Sensei said what he said, let alone teach the "secret" of Aikido.....(where the power comes from, how a small guy can overcome a big muscle guy). that O-Sensei was trying to emphasize. As a member of the Aikido family, I would like to see Aikido be elevated to its REAL pedestal in my life time. It can be done if only more Aikidoka would "empty their cups". Unfortunately......sad.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:14 PM   #114
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Interesting - what would you say are the differences between Yin and Yang and Izanagi and Izanami (as Ueshiba used the terms here)?

Hinting at the right direction is a common Japanese methodology - but if you look at the results it really doesn't work very well, even in Japan. In the mass teaching environment of Aikido I would say that it works...not at all, really...

Best,

Chris
We could endlessly discuss the differences. Or the nuances. And although, if you look at the description in the Kojiki, not exactly the same, on the whole they are similar. The emphasis on Izanagi and Izanami is of some importance to my training and teaching, but for most In and Yo will do the job just fine.

I was not talking about common Japanese methodology. Neither was I talking about a mass teaching environment. In the West a rational approach to teaching and learning prevails. In that approach the result counts. And we have created methods in which we can measure this. If the required result is not there, then the teacher or the teaching method has failed. And that means that we have to adjust the method. It also means that the student can question the method. Sometimes this works out just fine. Especially in our modern society. But not always and not everywhere.
The problem is that human beings are not rational. Their learning patterns do not follow mathematical lines.
If one where to learn a classic trade, whether it would be pottery, hunting, music, dancing, roof thatching, masonry, bookbinding, painting one would find this in every traditional culture as being common knowledge, not just Japanese.
That is not to say that there is or was no method in teaching. The European guilds for example had very meticulous methods of teaching. Nevertheless the apprentice was expected to pick up the finer details himself. And at the end of his apprenticeship give proof that he was as good if not better then his teachers.
This means that the student learned something more or something else then was given in the method of teaching. This was always fully understood.

Why would you say Mozart was such a good musician at a very young age. Because his father had a better teaching method?
Why are artists, musicians, sculptors, painters, actors, all talking about the technique, about experience, skill, and about... something else; creativity, the whisperings of their muses, the breath of god, that sparkle of light,...

This is the point where every rational teaching method will fail. It is something that cannot be taught. But it can be hinted at...

Best,
Tom
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:36 PM   #115
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Henry Sim wrote: View Post
Thanks for the clarification. My mistake. In my "defense" and in my OPINION, yin and yang, internal power, aiki, elbow non-source power, six directions etc. is Aikido supplemented by techniques, (that I think is the reason why I read somewhere that O-Sensei always did the same technique differently,) hence my mistake. At this present time, how many Aikidokas understood why O-Sensei said what he said, let alone teach the "secret" of Aikido.....(where the power comes from, how a small guy can overcome a big muscle guy). that O-Sensei was trying to emphasize. As a member of the Aikido family, I would like to see Aikido be elevated to its REAL pedestal in my life time. It can be done if only more Aikidoka would "empty their cups". Unfortunately......sad.
Henry,
It was not meant as criticism. It was something that I remembered as I read your writing. On the whole I tend to agree with you. It is more interesting to see a small guy overcome a big guy then vice-versa. We do not need Aikido to figure out that a big strong man could overcome a smaller person. I am not sure what you mean with "supplemented by techniques", I would rather say that the techniques and the keiko of Aikido are a way of entering and understanding the art, but they are not the michi itself. O Sensei was not just teaching techniques or only ways to overcome some one else, but he was guiding us on that Aiki no michi.
Greetings from the Auvergne,
Tom
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:46 PM   #116
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
We could endlessly discuss the differences. Or the nuances. And although, if you look at the description in the Kojiki, not exactly the same, on the whole they are similar. The emphasis on Izanagi and Izanami is of some importance to my training and teaching, but for most In and Yo will do the job just fine.
Why bring it up, then, if you're not interested in discussing it?

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
I was not talking about common Japanese methodology. Neither was I talking about a mass teaching environment. In the West a rational approach to teaching and learning prevails. In that approach the result counts. And we have created methods in which we can measure this. If the required result is not there, then the teacher or the teaching method has failed. And that means that we have to adjust the method. It also means that the student can question the method. Sometimes this works out just fine. Especially in our modern society. But not always and not everywhere.
The problem is that human beings are not rational. Their learning patterns do not follow mathematical lines.
If one where to learn a classic trade, whether it would be pottery, hunting, music, dancing, roof thatching, masonry, bookbinding, painting one would find this in every traditional culture as being common knowledge, not just Japanese.
That is not to say that there is or was no method in teaching. The European guilds for example had very meticulous methods of teaching. Nevertheless the apprentice was expected to pick up the finer details himself. And at the end of his apprenticeship give proof that he was as good if not better then his teachers.
This means that the student learned something more or something else then was given in the method of teaching. This was always fully understood.

Why would you say Mozart was such a good musician at a very young age. Because his father had a better teaching method?
Why are artists, musicians, sculptors, painters, actors, all talking about the technique, about experience, skill, and about... something else; creativity, the whisperings of their muses, the breath of god, that sparkle of light,...

This is the point where every rational teaching method will fail. It is something that cannot be taught. But it can be hinted at...

Best,
Tom
Mozart was a special case, as are most prodigies - though I imagine that certain kinds of parents do have something to do with it.

Rational or non-rational, Japanese or Western, training is meant to achieve a certain transmission of abilities. If those abilities don't get passed along (and IMO, they haven't) then whatever method was used...it just didn't work. Talking about inspiration won't eliminate that problem.

For my money, the "hinting" method has been way over-romanticized, and just doesn't work very well in most cases. If it did, then you'd see multiple cases of people replicating Ueshiba's skills, and their students doing the same thing. The fact that you don't shows that the transmission broke down somewhere along the line.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-01-2012, 05:11 AM   #117
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Why bring it up, then, if you're not interested in discussing it?

Mozart was a special case, as are most prodigies - though I imagine that certain kinds of parents do have something to do with it.

Rational or non-rational, Japanese or Western, training is meant to achieve a certain transmission of abilities. If those abilities don't get passed along (and IMO, they haven't) then whatever method was used...it just didn't work. Talking about inspiration won't eliminate that problem.

For my money, the "hinting" method has been way over-romanticized, and just doesn't work very well in most cases. If it did, then you'd see multiple cases of people replicating Ueshiba's skills, and their students doing the same thing. The fact that you don't shows that the transmission broke down somewhere along the line.

Best,

Chris
Context. I brought it up to show how a story develops into a different story.

Now you want a different discussion. And I already explained my position. Read the Kojiki and compare it with the classic Yin - Yang image. Make up your own mind if there is a difference or not.

The "hinting" method if you want to call it that way is still a commonly used method. And it works just fine in many of the arts that I mentioned. It is is a creative method that asks a fair amount of input from the student. As it is in use at this very moment and very succesful, I do not see why it should be considered over-romanticized.

IMHO O Sensei was not just teaching techniques or skills. He was teaching something else as well. A teaching that has a lot in common with Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto. The essence of that did not always come across with all of his own students (but there are those who got it!). And the following generation seems to have even more problems with it. But is that the result of a failing teaching method?
Buddhism is struggling with the same problem, beekeeping is a problem in the USA. Is that the result of a failing teaching method? Or is it more a clash of cultures?

And no, the transmission of Aikido did not break down somewhere down the line. It is a matter of finding the right teacher.
Best,
Tom
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:30 AM   #118
Chris Li
 
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Context. I brought it up to show how a story develops into a different story.

Now you want a different discussion. And I already explained my position. Read the Kojiki and compare it with the classic Yin - Yang image. Make up your own mind if there is a difference or not.
Well, the problem here is not just the Kojiki, but the fact that the Omoto-kyo interpretation of the Kojiki is somewhat different than the standard - and that Ueshiba's interpretation is often different from that.

What I was interested in was whether or not Kono had any specific comments on the differences, or whether that's your own personal assumption.

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And no, the transmission of Aikido did not break down somewhere down the line. It is a matter of finding the right teacher.
Best,
Tom
I spent a lot of time in Japan, and I saw just about everybody (including Hikitsuchi), and I'll have to disagree there, but I suppose that YMMV.

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Chris

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Old 04-01-2012, 02:07 PM   #119
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Well, the problem here is not just the Kojiki, but the fact that the Omoto-kyo interpretation of the Kojiki is somewhat different than the standard - and that Ueshiba's interpretation is often different from that.

What I was interested in was whether or not Kono had any specific comments on the differences, or whether that's your own personal assumption.

I spent a lot of time in Japan, and I saw just about everybody (including Hikitsuchi), and I'll have to disagree there, but I suppose that YMMV.

Best,

Chris
I may miscomprehend you here entirely, but are you saying that you saw just about all Aikido teachers in Japan and none of them practiced Aikido?

If so, how did you come to that conclusion?

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Tom
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:29 PM   #120
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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I may miscomprehend you here entirely, but are you saying that you saw just about all Aikido teachers in Japan and none of them practiced Aikido?

If so, how did you come to that conclusion?

Best,

Tom
I never said that any of them practiced Aikido.

If you look back at the beginning of the long thread that you have entered at the end (and six months after it started), you will see that it is all about the teaching ability of Ueshiba, and whether he was actually able to transmit his skills consistently (or at all, really).

If he were able to do that then there should have been multiple students after him that reached or exceeded his level. They, in turn, would have students that met or exceeded them, and so on.

I said that I saw a great many of Ueshiba's senior students, and their students in Japan, and that was not, IMO, the case.

If you believe that your teachers are replicating Ueshiba's skills and successfully transmitting them, then great, I hope it works out for you.

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Chris

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Old 04-02-2012, 10:14 AM   #121
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

The question is, did the Founder actually have some degree of pedagogical skill? Did he deliberately refrain from disseminating information in order to maintain superiority, or did he teach to the extent of his ability unable to disseminate all the information he had.

I skimmed through all the many responses, I maybe saying the same thing as others. The Founder has passed away. The two questions have importance is to his direct students. I would suspect that if they never complained than this isn't an issue.

Aikido isn't the only art I have experienced, where some instructors will hold information from their students. In school, when in the 5th grade you learn basic math skills. The teacher withholds all their knowledge from the class when teaching because the students are not developed their math skill to understand the more complex mathematics. It is not uncommon for a teacher in that class to teach advance math skills to those students with a greater aptitude for math. Students who struggle with math are taught accordingly. The teacher doesn't over-whelm these student with advance information teaching to the level of comprehension.

Analogy that is a favorite of mine is school. Does any school teacher teach all the knowledge the have? The school system has grade levels where each grade level teacher teaches more information at each grade. Students that progress through the grades pass and their skills increase. I was such a student. My learning experience wasn't completely teacher dependent. Of all the teachers I had non- of them taught me everything they knew. There times where I excelled beyond the class and teachers taught me more than the rest of the class. Then there where times I sought out a tutor. Going through the educational system there was a point that I took responsibility for my own learning and knowledge.

Not all people who train in Aikido have the same aptitude for learning. Bad teachers are fully aware of students learning aptitude. The unethical motives and self gain agendas of these teaching are easily exposed. They withhold information in all sorts of ways from their students. Holding in a carrot in front of a student is one way these poor teachers do things to withhold information. Discrediting other schools, teachers and even the Founder by saying they have cheated their students by withhold information, is another way. Looking at a teacher it can be spotted whether or not they have the students best interest in mind.

There are students who take their own responsibility for their learning and then there are those who demand. The responsible students move forward and develop skill, not demanding to know everything the teacher knows. They are more self-confident in knowing they will progress and obtain that information. Because these students work hard with an non-dependent teacher attitude. The demanding ones who feel the teacher owns them something, will stay idle or progress very slowly in their development. A resentment toward the teacher develops strongly in the dependent student, because the student is lacking progression. The reason for that lacking of skill is due to the student not having self confidence; not aware taking responsibility for their learning plays a huge role in success, especially as the progress.

What I know of the late Founder, it is clear to me he had his student's best interest in mind. He had dedicated students that helped Aikido grow into what it is today. Selfish teachers don't last long, flashes in the pan. Teachers like this don't develop their organizations as big as Aikido. They don't even come close to having the goods.

Last edited by jackie adams : 04-02-2012 at 10:25 AM. Reason: tune up on the last couple of paragraphs.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:24 AM   #122
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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The question is, did the Founder actually have some degree of pedagogical skill? Did he deliberately refrain from disseminating information in order to maintain superiority, or did he teach to the extent of his ability unable to disseminate all the information he had.

I skimmed through all the many responses, I maybe saying the same thing as others. The Founder has passed away. The two questions have importance is to his direct students. I would suspect that if they never complained than this isn't an issue.
It's not an issue if it worked - if he produced people who were able to replicate his skills consistently and pass those skills along to their students.

If that's not the case (and, IMO, it isn't) then all this talk about how these are valid teaching methods is meaningless.

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Chris

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Old 04-02-2012, 01:20 PM   #123
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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It's not an issue if it worked - if he produced people who were able to replicate his skills consistently and pass those skills along to their students.

If that's not the case (and, IMO, it isn't) then all this talk about how these are valid teaching methods is meaningless.

Best,

Chris
Yes, that is what I am saying. Those students became proficient in their skills, even if the Founder held back information. As easy as it is to look just at his post-war students, his pre-war students also where very skilled. The basal separation of each group is in the Founder's change of philosophy that has nothing to do with him holding or not holding back information. Whether post or pre war students those who are well known and responsible for spreading Aikido where the top of the class. No one in their right mind wouldn't put their best students forward.

Aikido would have never grown if the Founder didn't understand the value in sharing information. You can't have epic failure in representation when getting people's attention. For years there has been a low hum of dissatisfaction with the Japanese students first taught by the Founder. The complaint is they didn't tell non-Japanese students everything.  An argument that may have validity. If you really want to sabotage the empire that was built,  withhold information from everyone. Fast and easy way is to seal the lips and don't demonstrate. Instead lie and fake it. But the problem with that is, students will catch on very quickly and afford no validity to the teacher and move on.

Not everyone is a grand old teacher either. Many people have great adeptness, but are unable to communicate as well as other which they are measured. That isn't fair. In the face of that, the students of the Founder where successful enough to expand the interest of Aikido. It is meaningless.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:38 PM   #124
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Yes, that is what I am saying. Those students became proficient in their skills, even if the Founder held back information. As easy as it is to look just at his post-war students, his pre-war students also where very skilled. The basal separation of each group is in the Founder's change of philosophy that has nothing to do with him holding or not holding back information. Whether post or pre war students those who are well known and responsible for spreading Aikido where the top of the class. No one in their right mind wouldn't put their best students forward.
Well, that's where we differ. I don't think that any of the students got near the level of the Founder. Everybody got something, some a little, some a fair amount. But what they got they mostly didn't understand well, so their students in turn never reach up to the level of the Founder's students - and so on, in a downward spiral (not the good kind).

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Chris

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Old 04-02-2012, 03:08 PM   #125
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Re: The Founder's Teaching Ability

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Well, that's where we differ. I don't think that any of the students got near the level of the Founder. Everybody got something, some a little, some a fair amount. But what they got they mostly didn't understand well, so their students in turn never reach up to the level of the Founder's students - and so on, in a downward spiral (not the good kind).

Best,

Chris
Hello Mr. Li.

I hope your day is going as good as mine, and life is treating you well.

That is a popular valid argument. From that argument, the thought that comes to mind is what did the Founder get from his teachers who where far more conservative and strict in doling out information? It isn't hard to figure out that wasn't much in comparison. The Founder had the genius to circumvent that obstacle, via training himself. Unlike today, during the Founder's time a seminar circuit didn't exist to support his development in pre-war or post war Aikido. Who would he go to at the time to teach him what Takeda did not? He had no resources outside Takeda, the Founder was left to his own devices to learn what Takeda with held from him. That alone makes a person more hungry. In the case of the Founder's students, I don't believe the Founder held back information. I do believe a wider generation gap existing between the Founder and his students than the Founder and his teacher.

I have read articles that argue some of the Founder's students both pre and post war had excelled remarkably in skill equaling to that of the Founder's. Suggesting to me, these student then became in the same shoes the Founder was in after the Founder's death. If you have the desire, the hunger, you will improve with or without a teacher. I don't think too many people think that having a teacher pass away early in a person's training places a person in the same situation as if the teacher withheld information.

We are fortunate today with so many opportunities to experience other teachers from a variety of willingness to share information. There are videos, internet, seminars, visiting a dojo all giving out a variety of information. The Founder and his students made videos, put on seminars, published books and other means of disseminating information. These actions are not those of individuals who want to withhold information and keep it to themselves. It is clear to me they wanted to disseminate information. There are those who do feel they didn't.

My thoughts go back to teaching kids math. Those who have or develop an aptitude, work at it, are hungry, take responsibility enjoy greater success. Students who are teach depended relay on the teacher for all information. If the student lacks the aptitude for example, that student can't learn independently. The student's success is heavily dependent on and at the will of the teacher.

I have never thought high Aikido skill was stratospheric outside of anyone's reach. The Founder set the mark based on his abilities. He took from jujutsu and form his knowledge base created Aikido. His accomplishments are his own. I think that is an example for all of us in the way we can pursue Aikido. The caveat is, it took the Founder years and thousands of hours of practice with the right mind set that lead him to his skill. The Founder's skill wasn't created in an day. His students gain great skill as well, they didn't learn over night. The most detrimental issue I think is when a student is his own worse enemy lacking confidence. Then it is the idea the teacher's knowledge is the pure truth which can't be questioned. A teacher no matter who it is doesn't have all the answers or carries a magic bullet. Students must accept the idea of independent study, instead of dependent study.

Because I take that view, am not a disgruntled student who feels cheated and lied to by his instructor. I am in contrast, a student who will push on and reach the higher levels of Aikido. I am a content happy student.

Hope everyone has a great day.
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