Peter A Goldsbury
You are making a DVD series?? On aikido?? Wow!! Can I review them? Severely?
I would not have the gall to make a DVD series on aikido. There is so much that I do not know. Not that I am attacking you for it, however. Yamaguchi Seigo Sensei once made a video and forever complained about it afterwards. I can see why. But I have seen the instructional series made by the present Doshu, and other videos / DVDs made by other shihans like Yamada Yoshimitsu and M Saotome. The present Doshu's videos are almost exactly like his demonstrations. I saw the last one (at Iwama in April on Youtube) and it was typical Moriteru Doshu. Very professional. Are you making similar videos?
I share your views on teaching.
As for motivation, I went to my doctor earlier today and received a heavy dose of acupuncture, moxibustion and massage. He said, "You are very good for your age, but this is because you regularly train in aikido and do ukemi etc. But you are getting old and becoming stiff. You should remember that you have to train harder, to compensate, but in your own way. But you should never stop training. If you do, you will lose the zest for living."
Very best wishes and give my yoroshiku to Kawahara Shihan.
Guess I haven't seen you since either Hong Kong or Japan, I can't remember which. I will certainly give your regards to Kawahara Shihan.
I would be most grateful if you would review the DVD, and severly. The more severely you review it, the more I will learn (a note for this thread)
Yes, I had to do a lot of soul-searching before embarking on this one. I too am very worried about the formalizing of anything because of the key principle of growth in Aikido means that things must keep changing. I know that what I say now will change next year as I learn more. It will change as I grow older and change what I can do.
I spent a long time talking to Kawahara Shihan about this when he stayed with me for a couple weeks in the Caribbean. I only decided to do it with his encouragement and admonition that I had better get it done quickly before I become too old to do it any more. The major impetus for doing this is that I cannot visit all my students every year, especially those in the Caribbean and Asia as neither I nor they have those types of funds. Yet, I have a responsibility to continue training them.
Another key impetus for doing this is that many I have lead still do not seem to understand many of the things I tried to impart to them. From teaching university, both you and I should know that we need to repeat lessons many times for it to get through to our pupils. These DVDs give me that chance.
The last major impetus (and there are many other minor ones) was for my own training and research. As many have said on this website, teaching and trying to clarify is often one of the best training tools one can have. I have learned a lot in making these DVDs and I have clarified many things in my own mind. It was, in part, a training exercise for me (another bow to this thread)
While I agree that putting something down for posterity can be embarrassing (as you learn better), frustrating (since people think it is the right way and the only way), disrespectful (since it may seem as if you are saying that you know better than everyone else), stupid (because you are giving away your secrets), and expensive (in time and money). But, I was told to let go my ego and think about my students by my conscience and others (more or less). So I look stupid and lose my Aikido technical advantage, if it helps my students, then so be it. That is my responsibility. In this age where people like me are constantly on the move from one place to another, I have to take advantage of all technological advances to be able to give back what I should to Aikido.
There is another reason, I guess, that I am doing what I have started. I have had more than one Shihan tell me, before they died or retired, that they wish they had talked more to their students and that they wish they had left something more to get their students on the right track. I decided a while back, that I do not want to have those types of regrets. I have the ability and the resources to do these DVDs so I guess I had to do them. I am still highly involved in the production business though it often happens to be in business administration instruction.
In order to reduce the amount of regret I would have for putting something down in perpetuity, I have decided to focus on the principles in Aikido, rather than on techniques. There are a thousand different ways to do any technique, all of which may be valid. Rather than focusing on how to do a technique, I have tried to preserve the idea that the techniques in Aikido are not Aikido but simply demonstrations of the principles which, when combined, is Aikido. So I am trying to help my students understand what some of the principles are, their importance, their variations, some exercises for practicing those principles, and how they are applied in the Aikido techniques.
Unfortunately, I have only been able to produce one so far but am expecting to put another one out in the new year on Tai Sabaki. I am simply waiting to get some time to shoot this next one.
I am also waiting for more feedback on the last DVD so I would be greatly honoured if you would take the time to review it. I am more interested in criticisms than in plaudits so that I can improve the next one. It would also honour me if you would put the review up on the review site so that the other people involved in the production could see the feedback. And, finally, more publicity, even negative publicity is highly desired for increasing sales. I have to use the proceeds from the first DVD to fund the second one so the more sales I get, the sooner I can produce the next one.
P.S. My cardiologist told me that if I stop heavy exercise for more than a month, I will die. Apparently, my body has acclimated to a daily training regimen so that if I stop too long, my blood pressure and sugar levels rise to levels that are deadly. I have a broken hand from a bicycle accident but I still can't stop. I want to slow down, but now that I am running downhill, I can't stop