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Old 03-31-2003, 06:27 AM   #26
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
I am quite a new isntructor myself, and have encouraged many of my students to train with higher grade instructors on courses because I don't want them to see me as the personification of aikido. Although during demonstration my students are quite obliging; often because during demonstration you do many of the techniques slower and stop to point various things out. However I make sure I train quite intensively with the more senior students and often they catch me out (e.g. grab my leg as I walk away from uke, or show me that they can strike me when I am doing a throw). As long as this is no competitive and they are understanding the principles I am teaching rather than just being awkward I am more than happy when this happens as I need to improve as well.

It is likely that any instructor that does 1000 throws will not have every one which is right. I say to my students that we are like live training dummies - we want to achieve our self-defence capabilities as much as possible, and this means at times being more awkward and at other times going with it; knowing when to do this is the secret of being a good uke.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 03-31-2003, 10:57 AM   #27
IP Hash: ab2e8cf7
Anonymous User
Ian Hurst (happysod) wrote:
Anonymous, quick question, are you saying your dojo's students are actually performing under par as regards others in the same association or is it just a matter of style (sorry, couldn't decide which you meant).
I would say for the most part that technique is under par. We do have students who come to the university from different styles, and generally that isn't an issue for us. As a matter of fact, some of our best students have come from other styles, and have a better grounding in the basics.

But new students aren't always really learning to use their center;e.g., way too much muscling, pulling and such going on at the 1st and 2nd kyu levels.

I make a point to point out (in a nice way) when my partners don't have my center, and let them feel the difference between muscling uke, and not muscling uke.
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Old 03-31-2003, 01:54 PM   #28
Larry Feldman
Dojo: Atlanta School of Aikido
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 373
My original Aikido teacher learned West Coast (of the US) 1960's style Aikido. When I tested for my Black Belt I found out that he had stopped his own learning many years ago - and more importantly was not interested in learning anything new.

I met people who offerred to train me on the 'new' curricula required by the organization we belonged to. I drove 3 hours each way once a month for a weekend of training (you are not alone anonymous!). While I learned the 'new stuff' which I did with his approval, I also learned 'newer' ways of doing the 'old' stuff. When I tried to practice this way - I was told flat out, my way or the highway.

It was the highway for me - 7-8 years of training 'remotely' once a month.

Did my Aikido surpass his, undoubtably yes.

It was a difficult but rewarding path for me. I started (and continue to) train under the Senior student of one of O-Sensei's uchi deshi, and the Shihan himself. No comparison to my first instructor.
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Old 03-31-2003, 03:13 PM   #29
Dojo: LBI Aikikai
Location: Barnegat/ NJ
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3
It is the hope of all teachers that some of their students will surpass them, or at least have a broader/ deeper understanding of the lessons they teach.

The humble student will only surpass their teacher in the eyes of students.

I don't think we should dwell on such things, anymore than we should consider ourselves more practiced than our partners. We do what we must, we find knowledge where we can, and we try to use what little brains we have is the best manner possible ... praying our teacher doesn't decide to thrash us like rag doll because our heads have become swollen from praise.
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Old 04-01-2003, 05:47 AM   #30
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Anonymous User
Kelly Allen wrote:
what about the rare prodogies? The odd person who seems to pick up the technics the phylosiphy like a duck takes to water. Wouldn't those people tend to surpass their teachers?
I think Kelly has hit the nail on the head, this definitely happens. I read an article on Wudang mountain Tai Chi where the master was explaining about large (not a true translation) people who need very little teaching compared to others. Obviously no one can cheat natural progression but quality of teachers, time put in, type and quality of practice, natural talent and thought in daily life can produce astonishingly varied results in students. Spirtual experiences can be a factor, but that is a personal subject.
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Old 04-01-2003, 12:08 PM   #31
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Anonymous User
so if you change teachers is your original teacher still your teacher?

if you're a prodigy and can't learn anymore is your teacher still your teacher?

if you are not competing against your teacher how can you surpass your teacher?
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Old 04-03-2003, 09:23 AM   #32
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Anonymous User

Thanks for all of your input everyone; it does make me feel a bit more relaxed about my situation.

I hope to be able to talk to the head instructor at our main dojo about the situation as well, to get his ideas.

The thought of starting another dojo locally has crossed my mind, and as a group we would like to leave the college to have more flexible training schedules, etc. That setup would have me teaching more, and passing on other ideas to the classes, which I like.

Going it alone would be tough, I think, as we're in a small town that may or may not support two dojos (as well as the gazillion other m.a. schools on campus and in town). And, of course, there would be the traditional "splitting of the students" over who to follow.

And Sensei has talked about going on sabbatical next year, too, which would leave me teaching almost all the classes for 6 or 8 months.

We'll see what happens.

Domo Arigato, y'all
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Old 04-10-2003, 06:26 PM   #33
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Anonymous User
Not well intentioned....

The first place I trained was in a strip mall. It actually had the word "Masters" in the title. Anyway, I learned some ukemi in the two months that I trained there, but was soon aware that the place was garbage. However, I had the good fortune and participating in a true Aikido school (my current one).

I left the 'Masters' one and was presently sued by my "sensei." Eventually he won over $800 from me (with court costs and all). Anyway, I haven't been back to see their Aikido from my educated eyes, but I know his Aikido is crap. Someday soon I will pay that bully a visit, and throw his a@@ around.

If he technially is my first sensei, which disgusts me, I want closure.

BTW this post flies in the face of Ueshiba's vision. Perhaps one day my heart will catch up to my intellect and I wont be forced to embarrass the slime infront of his students.
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Old 04-12-2003, 12:07 AM   #34
tedehara's Avatar
Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
Re: Not well intentioned....

() wrote:
...If he technially is my first sensei, which disgusts me, I want closure.

BTW this post flies in the face of Ueshiba's vision. Perhaps one day my heart will catch up to my intellect and I wont be forced to embarrass the slime infront of his students.
You already know what the right thing to do is. Sometimes it's just hard to do it.

Forget about it and move on. Why compound an error?

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 04-12-2003, 08:38 AM   #35
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
all roads lead to me

Why compound an error?
To boost an ego.
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Old 04-12-2003, 08:08 PM   #36
IP Hash: e61d1eb2
Anonymous User
If you are lucky and start with a good teacher

you may surpass him/her someday in rank but he/she

will always know you better than you know yourself and will

always be able to find that opening to GET YOU! also no matter what you may say or think

you will always look for that expression on thier face when practicing for thier approval.
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Old 05-01-2003, 11:05 PM   #37
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Anonymous User
This seems to me to be a rather foolish discussion. We are not intended to be so focused on finding flaw in our instructors and senior students, we are supposed to be focused on finding flaws in ourselves, and working to repair them. If you are so gripped with flaws in your instructor's technique, move on. There is no chronic shortage of schools to train at. Otherwise, a proper student should have his or her eyes turned inward and focus on his or her own development.
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Old 05-01-2003, 11:12 PM   #38
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,319
But you see - your peers are a mirror. Your sensei's weaknesses, unless you are aware of them, will become your own.

We can learn from both sides of the coin.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:26 AM   #39
kironin's Avatar
Dojo: Houston Ki Aikido
Location: Houston,TX
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,037

Ian Dodkins (ian) wrote:
Unfortunately teachers don't get to train as much as students! Therefore progression of students can be expected to be more rapid.
Who says teachers don't get to train as much as students ?

That's a funny assumption.

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Old 05-02-2003, 09:27 AM   #40
Location: NJ
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 241
Humility is what makes a good student. Humbleness allows your mind to open for instruction. Certainly, I think our teachers' hope that we will surpass them, but its something that is better left unsaid. If you feel you have surpassed you teacher, I would think you have lost some humility.

My biggest fear would be not learning enough of my Sensei's teachings before he passes(which is an event that ought to be well far off into the future). Without humility, you cant be taught

Dont make me, make you, grab my wrist.
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Old 05-24-2003, 09:45 PM   #41
Dojo: LBI Aikikai
Location: Barnegat/ NJ
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3
With any luck, and open mind, there is that chance we allcan surpass our teachers, but isn't there always another student who will surpass us also? Damn silly thing to consider, but it means you have seen that glitch in the armour of your teacher and considered him/her to be your peer ... interesting dilema, eh?

Well, no matter how good any of us get, or are, we are all human. That is to say, there will come a time when skills dull, physicality is reduced to that of helplessness, and only the good graces of friends or our spirit will prevent others from doing us harm, if we live that long. Part of the great circle of life, the student replaces the teacher, just as the teacher becomes the student, no big deal.

It is quite interesting when one comes upon that enlightenment in training. Now ... that you have that idea, what can you do with it? What relevence will it be in teaching you respect or reverence, or will it swell your head with power? It becomes a test of sorts, and a problem we all must confront at one time or another, wanting to be equal to, or overtake our teacher ....

Oh well, choose wisely, or learn from your choices, wisely chosen or poorly chosen.
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Old 05-25-2003, 01:40 PM   #42
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,888
Overtake my teacher? I don't think so. If I did, I would probably be training someplace else.

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 05-31-2003, 01:16 PM   #43
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Anonymous User
If I ever suppress my sensei it will probably be a very good day for him and sort of sad for me. Cause it is sad to overgrow those who always seemed so high and great. Cause it is a wonderful feeling when your students overgrow you. It is a development. It is how it should be. There is no sense in your art or skill if your student (or his student at least) doesn't make it better. Because we are continued in our students. We get old and weak but our art goes forward. And the best part of us, the part of our heart and soul we have put in our students, it goes forward. It leaves forever and grows forever in the students of our students.
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