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Old 09-11-2003, 11:47 AM   #1
twilliams423
Dojo: Hacienda LaPuente Aikikai
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Aikido Seminars

In the current issue of ATM, the editorial makes a case for having reached the saturation point with Aikido seminars.
Personally, I have two issues here. One is with the current state of seminars in a general sense and the second is my own perspective on attending them.
As to the first, there seems to be a core group of teachers who consistantly travel and conduct seminars. The same dojos host and the same group of students train. Very rarely, one has the opportunity to see someone different or practice with someone different. Nothing wrong with this, in my view,especially if one needs quality instruction or likes enhancement through variety. This is fine. The first several years of my practice I was at every seminar I could find.
I find myself now, having reached a point in my own training that the base of depth and breadth of my experience is such that other than with a very few Sensei with whom I have developed a relationship, I have little interest in putting out the effort to attend seminars anymore.
Maybe the seminar market is saturated. Maybe I am a little burned out on them. I'm sure there are lots of other opinions out there.
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Old 09-11-2003, 02:10 PM   #2
Chuck Clark
 
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I think it's alot easier for teachers to travel than all of the students. Budo practice usually happened around a local teacher and dojo in days gone by. Travel was difficult even though distances weren't as great as in the US for example.

Budo practice around the world now must find a way for students to get exposed as often as possible to the most senior teachers possible.

Seminars are a good way to do this and support teachers/organizations as well. A wide variety of teachers' teaching styles make it possible for students to find connections that are meaningful for them.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 09-11-2003, 02:23 PM   #3
paw
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Chuck,
Quote:
Budo practice around the world now must find a way for students to get exposed as often as possible to the most senior teachers possible.
Why?

Most senior doesn't equal "best". Even if it does, given the number of people at a seminar, how many really interact with the senior teacher? In my experience, very few, with there being some notable exceptions that prove the rule.
Quote:
I think it's alot easier for teachers to travel than all of the students.
Ironically, I disagree. I'd rather spend time and money to travel to a particular instructor and train with them for a day or so than attend a seminar with them. If I travel to them, I can schedule group classes with them or private lessons, thus ensuring personal attention (not just this instructor working with me, but also the personal agenda that I have, specific issues that apply to me and not to someone else, even though we are both performing the same technique) ... something I probably won't get at a seminar.

Tom,
Quote:
I find myself now, having reached a point in my own training that the base of depth and breadth of my experience is such that other than with a very few Sensei with whom I have developed a relationship, I have little interest in putting out the effort to attend seminars anymore.
I agree completely.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 09-11-2003, 07:11 PM   #4
Chuck Clark
 
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I didn't go into the subject enough. I agree with you both.

If you have a senior teacher that you particularly like (and they are not "concert masters" or teachers that just show you their waza, but actually lay hands on the students and pass on a transmission) then it is still easier to get that teacher to 30 students than to get 30 students to the teacher.

It's great that you take the initiative to go to the teacher. That is, of course, the best way to go. However, there are many people that can't afford trips two or three times a year along with their normal training. Both of these training modes are good.

I definitely think it's best to find the teacher/s that you learn best from and get with them as much as possible.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 09-27-2003, 02:17 AM   #5
Nafis Zahir
 
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Seminars have both pros & cons. The pros are that they offer a chance for us to learn from some of the Shihan who are getting up there in age and are starting to become ill and leave this earth. I truly miss Toyoda Shihan. He was a great and fun man. We also get a chance to see different ways to do techniques. I am a Shodan and have been doing Aikido for 8 years. But I see Shihans Kanai, Chiba or Yamada doing technique without much effort, I realize that there is alot we are missing. The cons are that politics now plays a huge role in Aikido and seminars. Alot of it has come down to money. How many times have we all been to a seminar and worked out with people who have no business being Shodans? But because of politics, many people get promoted who shouldn't. When deciding whether to go to a seminar, look at who is teaching and if you go, get out of the seminar what you can and keep training.

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