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Old 08-28-2003, 02:12 PM   #26
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
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A couple of thoughts:

Even the notions that preaching as a teacher is annapropriately arrogant or that the philosophy of Aikido is contained within its techniques are notions that express values. When I think of ways that my training in Aikido affected my view of the world, one of the things that springs most to mind is my teachers reluctance to offer too much feedback and his (usually implied but occasionally acknowledged) insistence that each person finds his own way.

There is no doubt, as Michael says, that "Others may come to the same belief just through traiing. Or to a different belief." At the same time, I, as a teacher, may be rather uncomfortable with some of the beliefs my students come to. Of course, Alec would probably point out that this my discomfort and my issue, not the students. On the other hand, it is my discomfort and it may well be a reason for me to re-examine my teaching and see how it may have played a role. Is there room for this sort of examination?

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:56 AM   #27
Aristeia
Location: Auckland
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 971
New Zealand
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A couple of thoughts on your thoughts.

Firstly, and I probably should have made this more clear earlier, please understand that I don't necessarily think that "preaching philosophy" is arrogant. It's just that I don't think it's particularly useful or effective.

In regards to your last point, I think I'd have an easier time understanding where you are coming from if we talk in the concrete. What sort of beliefs would you be uncomfortable with your students coming to? How could your teaching have played a role? Are you able to give a hypothetical?

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-29-2003, 09:17 AM   #28
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
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I agree that preaching is often neither useful or effective. I guess that I think of it in a sort of Seidokan way. One of the interesting attitudes in Seidokan Aikido is that, often, it is possible to become more and more effective (technically) by doing less and less. However, unsurprisingly, the techniques stop working if you actually do nothing at all. Riding this razor edge of doing as little as possible and no less is, I think, the right place to be in terms of 'preaching.'

As far as coming to beliefs that I'm uncomfortable with: I guess that if I found myself at the head of a school where visitors were not welcomed or where advanced students gave the feeling that they did not value working with beginners, I would want to re-examine the message I was conveying. Here's another which is more personally relevant to me: I think that part of the 'philosophy' I see in Aikido regards concern and regard for your surroundings. Personally, I'm a bit of a slob and also don't put as much into the dojo as I should. I can easily see my students, if I have my own dojo, reflecting that. I'm sure preaching wouldn't make a difference, but I do think it would be time to examine what I thought might make a difference.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-29-2003, 12:15 PM   #29
Aristeia
Location: Auckland
Join Date: Sep 2002
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New Zealand
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Agreed on all counts. Move along people, there's no argument to see here....

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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