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Old 03-03-2006, 02:22 PM   #26
Aristeia
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Great thread. In my experience teachers that stop training are the death knell. Many times their Aikido will actually go backwards as they start to make "adjustments" to techniques that never get tested. I agree with the comments about status, and fear of losing it. Nothing makes me respect an instructor more than when they make a mistake while demonstrating a technique and then point out what went wrong, as opposed to trying to cover it up pretenging that's what they meant to do all along.

But unfortunately there are instructors out there that feel that need to hold on to status, to never not know the answer to a question, to feel like they still need to be students. And equally unfortunately many of their students will not realise this is a problem unitl they've wasted a lot of time.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:36 PM   #27
Mark Uttech
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

This is a curious thread; my very first reaction was: "why do teachers stop learning? the only answer I know, is that they don't." Learning itself is a curious thing, even when one does not appear to be learning, learning is taking place. In gassho
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:46 PM   #28
Aristeia
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Mark you seem to be saying learning is *always* taking place. Are you suggesting there are not individuals who become stagnant and stop?

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:56 PM   #29
Michael Hackett
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Like Lynn, I saw much of the same at the last Aiki Expo. One thing really impressed me though. Matsuoka Sensei told our session that he was (and I paraphrase here) reexamining what he had been doing for forty years and is reinventing his aikido. He invited the students to experiment with him.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 03-04-2006, 07:53 AM   #30
Mark Uttech
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Reply to Michael Fooks: OF Course there are some teachers who become stagnant and stop. They go somewhere else and learn something else. But yes, 'learning' is always taking place. Everything seems to have naturally built in filters. The filters are another type of test, people are tested for persistance, determination, etc. I recall reading a comment by Rinjiro Shirata Sensei, after practicing 50 years: "I think I am starting to get the hang of shiho-nage..."
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Old 03-06-2006, 02:51 PM   #31
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

I am not sure about learning always taking place. I think it depends a lot on your definition of learning. The Zen Buddhists talk of learning through enlightenment. This would be when there is a reformatting of how you understand the world. When there is a full reformatting, that would be like becoming a Buddha. However, the incremental type of learning that I think you are talk about, Mark, seems to be more like practice because that learning only helps to solidify that which you already know by practicing that form of thinking. It feels like more of an institutionalization than learning. It is like organizational change and transformation. Incremental change is now known, through quantitative experimental verification, to not lead to true organizational transformation, but to institutionalization of the existing culture. If you want to transform your organization, you have use the tools of the new culture to create that new culture. You can't transform an organization using the tools of the old culture. For a true organizational transformation to occur, in other words, for the organization to truly learn new behaviour, step-wise change must occur, not incremental change. It is a lot like that Zen Buddhist idea of enlightenment. That is the purpose of the Koans, to break the old pattern of thinking so that it leads to a catastrophy cusp in thinking modality. Anyhoo, I believe that true learning only occurs when that catastrophic change in ways of thinking occur. These catastrophic changes may be small but they are discontinuous from the old pattern. If you are lucky, you can get small moments of enlightenment every week but that would be hoping for a lot. You can't have too many large ones or someone might think you have a multiple personality. I seem to get a lot though, when experimenting and doing research on the basic fundamental principles of Aikido rather than just practicing technique. I use the practice as a way of verifying my new understanding through experimentation and testing of my hypothesis concerning some issue in Aikido. Well, I have to go and experiment some more now. Have a good practice.

Rock
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:48 PM   #32
Perry Bell
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Quote:
Bruce Kimpel wrote:
A number of questions on this forum (cross training, drop out rates, not seeing progress, and many others) are identifying the same issues -- teachers that for whatever reason are not responding to the needs of the students.

Students are telling them that they need something different when they drop out, or when they switch to another teacher, or when the constantly seek seminars, or directly in comments such as "The classes are always the same, I don't feel I am progressing".

All teachers (not just martial art sensei) easily fall prey to a comfortable pattern. They create the curriculum (which takes a fair bit of work) and then they simply play and replay it through out the years. When students quit teachers attribute it to "other" issues, and while students can get bored for many reasons most are within the teacher's control.

If you are a teacher and you don't listen to what your students are saying (or notice it from their actions), then you are not progressing as a teacher.

We have all heard the comment, "teachers teach because they can't do". Teachers get angry when they hear this because they know that few people attract students if they didn't know what they were talking about -- but why do so many teachers stop "doing" once they become teachers? If their excuse is that they can't concentrate on training and teaching at the same time -- then at least they should be concentrating on becoming a better teacher -- no?

Why is it that students see more interesting Aikido when their sensei demonstrates at a seminar than in their own dojo that they pay to be in all year round!?!
Why do you think people are so interested in seminars in the first place, cause they get to see a level of Aikido that rarely gets shown to them on a daily basis -- why is that?
Teachers say that they concentrate on a subtle, different aspect each time they teach Ikkyo -- but only the advanced students will notice that, the rest will just think "is there any other technique besides Ikkyo in Aikido?"

If students say they don't feel they are progressing, then a teacher has to reevaluate his methods of testing and rank progression. Most students need clear outlines of progress, milestones and goals to work towards, and they need to see that they are progressing down that road to feel confident in themselves. Why do teachers say, "well that's the way we do it around these parts" when they hear the same student questions time and time again?

Why don't teachers try new things once and a while to shake things ups a bit?
What's the danger, if something doesn't work -- then you don't do it anymore (you learn from the experience and move on). Why are teachers so fearful of changing their curriculum? Do they live by the old "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" wisdom? That's called maintenance mode, and nobody progresses in maintenance mode.

Almost every student on the planet asks their sensei how to defend against kicks, and leg-takedowns, or judo throws, etc. and get the standard answer, "The same principles apply regardless of the attack". Why then do they never practice it in their dojo? In the old days (in Japan) they did it all the time. In every other martial art except Aikido sensei demonstrate practical application against common attacks. Why in Aikido do we feel compelled to do 50 versions of wrist grabs, and none against kicks?

By moving out of a comfort zone, and exploring new ways to teach Aikido we respond to our students needs and learn how to be better teachers.

Just some thoughts, and I welcome others to participate.

Bruce
Hi Bruce

Very well put I have no doubt you will put noses of of joint with this one, I have been teaching for a very long time I have been practicing and teaching for 30 years and I understand what you are saying, in my classes I always ask for input from my students as they to are my teachers, that does not mean I will change the broad carriculuum but sometimes its nice to try different things, in my childrens class when we play games after class I watch what they do so I can see what they enjoy if i see it works for them I will incorporate it in at some level, I also ask for input for the parents because they talk to their children at home about the classes they to can teach me something not necessarily about technique but about the things they observe during class times etc

Good question

Train hard and practice heaps

Perry

Last edited by Perry Bell : 03-09-2006 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:10 PM   #33
Perry Bell
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Hi all,

Hows this for a comment made to me by a top instructor in Australia when I was a junior in my mid 20's I was a 2nd dan in karate with about 10 years experience and had been practising Aikido for about 3 years at the time I already had my own school running under the guidance of my instructor but this guy did not know that. I ask him why he was not taking notice of what I was saying at a heads of style meeting where I was representing my instructor.

"We head instructors only listen and talk to other head instructors, we dont listen to common students"

My view is if I did not have students to teach all I would be is a man with a black belt, so who is more important.

See my view on that on in another thread on the importance of a black belt.

Take care

Perry

Last edited by Perry Bell : 03-09-2006 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 03-10-2006, 06:57 AM   #34
Nick Simpson
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Quote:
In every other martial art except Aikido sensei demonstrate practical application against common attacks. Why in Aikido do we feel compelled to do 50 versions of wrist grabs, and none against kicks?
Thats a bit of a sweeping statement isnt it? Perhaps your organisation/dojo/instructor doesnt teach with other attacks, but that doesnt mean that everyone else in the art does so...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 03-12-2006, 12:00 PM   #35
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

I was reading about antique cars at one point. Apparently, there is actually a rating system which assigns points for various aspects of the car. It is very easy and only requires moderate expense to take an old junker which might be worth close to zero points and get it up to 70 or 80 points. It takes quite a bit more effort and expense to get its rated value up to 90 points. At 90 you have a pretty amazing car. Making an improvement of just a single point at that level takes massive expense and alot of effort.

It's the same with this art. It takes a fair amount of time and effort to get up to the place at which you can open a dojo and not have people laughing at you. Every step upwards takes more effort. Each substanbtial change requires that you look anew at what you already could do. This is VERY difficult for most folks. At each step of the way, some folks drop out of the process and hit their level of comfort. If they are at a fairly high level of skill when they finally do this, it's not much of a problem because the number of people who will train with them and actually master everything they know is extremely small. If they start teaching too soon and then plateau out at only a moderate level of skill, their students will find themselves dissatisfied and the teacher will suffer when compared to other teachers see at seminars or events like the Expo.

It is an EXTREMELY rare teacher that simply keeps changing, keeps looking at new ideas, is still interested in what other people have acheived. O-Sensei was one such teacher. He never stopped changing. What is interesting is to see how his students tended to drop away as he changed. They were the ones who found their comfort level and went their own ways.

On the other hand, as someone who has been teaching for quite a while now, I know that many students who have left over the years because they felt they weren't getting something they "wanted" did so either because they hit the point at which they recognized that in order to get to that next level they would have to change (folks don't like to change) or they simply didn't have the patience to stick it out till they did get it.

This thing about teachers not "listening" to their students... Everyone I know who runs a dojo has a built in incentive to "listen" to their students. The big problem with the martial arts these days is that there are too many dojos in which the teacher isn't really teaching much at all but is simply giving the students what they want. That is virtually the definition of a McDojo; a place where the students are given what they want, not what is required to make an excellent martial artist. People may quit because they aren't getting what they want; but the question is, is what they want what they need to get good at the art? In most cases I would say no.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 03-13-2006, 12:45 PM   #36
Aiki LV
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Ledyard Sensei,
Wow, I don't think in recent times I've read something that someone wrote that was both so honest and eloquent. Your post really struck a cord and flipped a switch on in my head. Thank you for your contribution. I'm going to be mulling this one over in my head for a while.
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:50 PM   #37
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
The big problem with the martial arts these days is that there are too many dojos in which the teacher isn't really teaching much at all but is simply giving the students what they want. That is virtually the definition of a McDojo; a place where the students are given what they want, not what is required to make an excellent martial artist. People may quit because they aren't getting what they want; but the question is, is what they want what they need to get good at the art? In most cases I would say no.
Sorry George, but this sounds like a contradiction. If an instructor "teaches" what is "required to make an excellent martial artist" and the students stay in order to become "excellent martial artists," is that instructor not giving the students what they want? That would mean that every instructor that still has students is a McDojo. The only way I can see to make your definition work is if the students had no choice but to take lessons from that instructor. I don't see that being the situation except in a very few cases.

It seems more like all instructors teach what they think is best, whether that best is determined by themselves, by their training, by their Shihan, by their Ryu, by some book, by some students, or by a Ouija Board. Just because I say that my way is the "right way" doesn't make it so for all the people. My "way" can be right for some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. We make our decisions based on the way we were raised and our experiences. If some people make their decisions in a more democratic way, what is there to say that I am any more right than they are just because I have a vision of what Aikido I should be doing at age 80.

Aikido has had the requisite variety required to survive as the social and cultural environment has changed from before the war. That is one of the great strengths of Aikido. It continues to evolve to suit the social, cultural, physical, and meta-physical environment and the nature of the individual that practices Aikido. While I may poke fun at and denigrate Aiki-dancers, McDojos, or "Combat Aikido" dojos, I cannot seriously say that they are wrong. They are only "wrong" in my view.

I do the type of Aikido that is useful for my work and for my own development of body, spirit, ethics, and common sense. Students are welcome to come and practice and learn with me. The Aikido that I do is my Aikido. If some other people find is useful for themselves, then that means I have people to practice with and practice on. I could just as well decide that the type of Aikido I need to practice is the type that is suitable for everyone in all environments (a McDojo?).

Your argument is leaking.

Rock
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:23 PM   #38
David Yap
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Hi all,

IMHO, the learning/growth curve in its 3-dimensional form is a spiral. Change is a spiral; it could either spiral up or spiral down. If I have remained with my first teacher, I would not have known whether he is still learning or has stopped learning. The fact is that he has allowed us to learn from others and that has ensured us that our spirals are upward bound.

Best training.

David Y
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Old 03-14-2006, 12:20 AM   #39
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
The only way I can see to make your definition work is if the students had no choice but to take lessons from that instructor. I don't see that being the situation except in a very few cases.
Hi Rock,
I understand what you are saying and I am not trying to make some absolute blanket statement that is true in all cases. Sure, no dojo would survive if it didn't deliver some of what the students wanted at any given point in time. But it is also true that the teacher has a perspective on things that the student can't possibly have. The teacher (ostensibly anyway) knows what is necessary to achieve excellence in the art (and that can be as a martial practice, as a spiritual practice, as conflict resolution, as dance,it doesn't matter... there will be a version of which ever approach speaks to the student which is a good version of that approach) Often that involves going through some things which the student will not find particularly appealing whether because it is too hard or he is not patient enough to put in the time and effort necessary to get to a place of understanding.

But what I am saying is true some of the time. It's not that case that a given student has no choice but to take lessons from a given instructor. it's that the average person doesn't even know what excellent is. E-Budo.com is full of stories of completely bogus instructors setting themselves up as grandmasters, sokes, etc and delivering a totally bogus product. Often these guys have students who are quite happy simply because thay don't know any better.

One of my former students got a job running a Tae Kwon Do school. He atught classes even though he actually had no background in tae Kwon Do and had only dome some karate informally (he was unraked). He received extensive instruction in how to run a dojo as a successful business. The place was run entirely on the basis of reinforcement theory. The ultimate goal was to get the student to sign another contract. Most of the students didn't know enough to know that the school was delivering a mediocre to poor product but the management definitely knew what most folks thought they wanted and delivered something that gave them the illusion that they were getting it.

I'm not ready to take the "It's all fine" approach. There is excellent Aikido and there is Aikido that isn't. Some approaches are less martial and more spiritual. Folks have widely different ideas about what they want. But I can recognize a good version of any approach and tell the difference between that version and one that doesn't have solid content. The folks who are offering the best training often aren't the ones who have the biggest and most successful dojos. That's all I'm saying.

Thanks for the input, it's always good to hear from you.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 03-14-2006, 05:07 AM   #40
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
There is excellent Aikido and there is Aikido that isn't. Some approaches are less martial and more spiritual. Folks have widely different ideas about what they want. But I can recognize a good version of any approach and tell the difference between that version and one that doesn't have solid content. The folks who are offering the best training often aren't the ones who have the biggest and most successful dojos. That's all I'm saying.
Hi George,

Thanks for the explanation. I think it makes sense. I have to mull this over a bit more. Yes, you can be a good anything and a lousy business person and your business will suffer. You can be a lousy technician but a good business person and your business can flourish. I've seen that in many fields of business.

But, I guess I have seen the evolution of martial arts in my lifetime from a more martial basis to an art basis. I have seen my martial art move from the martial to the art basis. If I had seen myself as I am now when I was 20, I would have been disgusted at the loss of what I understood at that time to be the martial aspect of my budo. My son sees it that way. I can laugh at how he thinks, inside myself, because I can see myself thinking and saying the same thing when I was his age.

I remember how many Aikidoists used to comment negatively on the softness of the old Doshu's Aikido. I thought some of those comments may have had validity until I was his Uke during a demo in the United States. I had an epiphany that day.and in the following days. The softness was not a lack of power but its correct use. The softness was a choice in how to manipulate me and my ability to take ukemi correctly. I began to understand martiality in a different framework. One that worked for me but perhaps not for others. It began to take the martial aspect and turn it into an art so that it became even more generalisable to everything else. I don't think I lost that martiality though, even though my son thinks so.

The point of all this is that I have seen myself move away from the main stream because of my background and the type of work that I still do. Because of that, I guess I have a lot of tolerance for different interpretations of Aikido, even those that are market-driven and not technically nor artistically driven. I guess I have to go back to a conversation I recently had with Kawahara Sensei. He pointed out that he believes that real test of your Aikido is not going out and getting into a bar fight but whether the Aikido is useful for what you do with it (getting into bar fights is not the normal life for most people). I guess that means that my Aikido will turn out to be a little more functionally oriented than that of some but not as much as the Aikido of others.

Rock
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Old 03-14-2006, 11:07 AM   #41
jonreading
 
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Lot's of comments to address...where to begin...

As a teacher, my job is to pass the knowledge of aikido to my students. I must develop efficient and challenging teachings to maintain the interest of my students and promote participation and development. This is a difficult task for me as an instructor, but I am responsible for best identifying what with help my students learn. It's still learning, but it's different subject matter. Good teachers will succeed at this task, poor instructors will not. The problem the initial thread identifies are those instructors that cannot succeed selling the primary commodity of an aikido dojo - instruction of a martial art. Therefore, those instructors (and dojo) use other resources to susidize their primary commodity (lower fees, easier testing, less rigorous training, etc.); they appeal to students using other incentives to stay in "business." As an instructor, my "business" is to pass the aikido I learned from my instructor on to my students and improve that aikido in my training. Whether my dojo is 1 student or 100 students, my task remains the same.

As for Sensei Ledyard's comments, I couldn't agree more. The idea of giving students what they "want" is a poor understanding of education. The integrity of aikido relies on providing students the tools they need to develop and the encouragement to face the difficult challenges of training; those students that possess the attitude, courage and ability will develop into the next generation of aikidoka. There is no law that says "thou shalt train everyone that walks into your dojo."
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:17 PM   #42
Michael Hackett
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

I'm not an aikido instructor, but Ledyard Sensei says makes a lot of sense to me in the context of my experience with adult professional students. Having taught at the community college level, in professional training seminars, and other settings I felt obligated to teach the students what I knew they needed to perform successfully in our profession. I didn't necessarily only teach what I thought and believed they needed, but what allied professional organizations and state governing boards determined was necessary. What many wanted was flexible starting times, no tests or papers, several breaks each session, easy grades and a course completion certificate. I could have given them what they wanted and ultimately degraded the standards of our profession, or given what they needed to raise the standards. I chose the latter and my withdrawl rate was pretty high. Those who stuck with it generally did well in the future.

Thinking back on it, my instructors in the Marines weren't too terribly interested in what I wanted either. I'm thankful to them that they provided what I needed though.

I recognize that neither example addresses the idea of keeping the doors open and the lights on each month. As a student, I'd prefer receiving great training on the lawn of a neighborhood park than poor training in a beautiful dojo.

Last edited by Michael Hackett : 03-14-2006 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Poor construction

Michael
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Old 03-15-2006, 01:58 PM   #43
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

What I find interesting is that it is often the student that demands that the teacher stop learning and evolving. "Well, he/she didn't USED to it that way..." and all that. I think that students sometimes get confused, feel like the original teaching was correct, or that the new teaching implies the old teaching was a waste of time.
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Old 03-15-2006, 06:22 PM   #44
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
It continues to evolve to suit the social, cultural, physical, and meta-physical environment and the nature of the individual that practices Aikido. While I may poke fun at and denigrate Aiki-dancers, McDojos, or "Combat Aikido" dojos, I cannot seriously say that they are wrong. They are only "wrong" in my view.
Rock
Sorry, but such approach makes possible the existence of McDojo in aikido world. There are surly quite few qualities that are essential to call activity Aikido. Some of them are: martial element, Budo sprit...etc. If a practice lacks it, it is not only wrong, but we can't call it aikido at all.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Some approaches are less martial and more spiritual.
If someone can't back up physically his "spiritual" blah blah blah against full power attack, we can clearly say, this instructor not only stopped his learning but regressing to infantilism.

Nagababa

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Old 03-15-2006, 08:11 PM   #45
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Sorry, but such approach makes possible the existence of McDojo in aikido world. There are surly quite few qualities that are essential to call activity Aikido. Some of them are: martial element, Budo sprit...etc. If a practice lacks it, it is not only wrong, but we can't call it aikido at all.

If someone can't back up physically his "spiritual" blah blah blah against full power attack, we can clearly say, this instructor not only stopped his learning but regressing to infantilism.
If a person says they have a true martial element to their aikido outside of a war zone, I would question what they meant by martial element. Outside of a war zone you could not maintain a martial element without going to jail. What we now call Aikido with Budo spirit, people 60 years ago would call McDojo. What I see now compared to when I started budo, I would have to think that we are all McDojos. However, I have listened to the teachings of Ki-iku, Tai-iku, Toku-iku, Joshiki-no-kanyo. In the intervening years, I seem to have developed some common sense and didn't get stuck on just the Tai-iku. I seem to also have been able to develop some spirit so that my full power attacks now compared to the full power attacks of ten years ago are much more powerful and I do not dare use a full power shomen-uchi, yokomen-uchi, tsuki, or mai-geri attack since we train to actually hit if the nage screws up.

Change, flexibility, and adaptability is one of the fundamental principles of Aikido. In a war zone, we do war zone Aikido. In La-La Land, we do La-La Aikido. In the land of McDonald's we do Mckido in McDojos. I practice that level of Aikido that is most suited to my environment. If I do an Aikido that is too harsh not only do my practice partners suffer but so do I. If you are a war zone style Aikidoist, you best look for a war zone to go to and see how good your Aikido really is. Talk to me after you come back from that war zone.

Rock
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Old 03-15-2006, 08:23 PM   #46
David Yap
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Quote:
Lyle Bogin wrote:
What I find interesting is that it is often the student that demands that the teacher stop learning and evolving. "Well, he/she didn't USED to it that way..." and all that. I think that students sometimes get confused, feel like the original teaching was correct, or that the new teaching implies the old teaching was a waste of time.
Hi Lyle,

I hope that you are only referring to a beginners class.

The teacher needs to accept the fact that some students could be more creative and analytical than him/her and would someday surpass him/her. As a parent, I wish this would be the case for my children.

First of all, I like to define that teaching may not be the same as doing the technique. The teacher may change his way of communication to the students and the manner in which he/she execute the technique remains the same.

As student, I would accept any change in teaching (i.e. the execution of the technique) from the teacher provided the new teaching is proved to be logical and practical. As I have mentioned earlier, change can either spiral upward or spiral downward. Of the teachers I have trained with, I have seen some with ascending curves, some with sideway lines and some just yo-yo. This means some are continuing to learn, some have stopped learning and some are still trying to figure them out; and, IMO those in the last category are ones who you have exampled in your post.

Best training ... teaching

David Y
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Old 03-15-2006, 09:55 PM   #47
Thalib
 
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Lightbulb Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Well,

I've been out for a while and this is my first post since then.

Anyway...

Learning... when you stop learning, you stop breathing... I know that all of you have heard of this before, especially those who have attended leadership and motivational courses/classes.

This is true in anything that we do in this relative world. We have to keep evolving. One cannot deny another from evolving.

For me, it is best to watch your teacher evolve, so you will know the steps that need to be taken. Many mistook it by ignoring the old ways before the teacher had gone to the next step, saying that it was the wrong way and I am not going to teach it that way any more.

One has to remember that the old ways were what brought oneself to the current state. The old ways could be refined but not dismissed totally. The new discoveries could be incorporated into the old teachings. Now, this does not mean that we are changing traditions, but maybe we are, but we don't dismiss it completely. Find the meanings, why was it done that way?

I think this is the form of 'keiko', literally: tracing the old (ways). Meaning, the old ways were done for a reason, it is up to us to find out why, trace it to the roots. Many think when we learn new things, when we evolve, we are changing or deviating from what it is suppose to be. In my opinion, it's actually the reverse, we are evolving because we understand the roots of the teachings.

In teaching when you have evolved to the next step, do not forget where you came from. You have gone step by step in order to have reached where you are; let your students know and learn those steps. If you have difficulty reverting back, ask one of your seniors that have been with you since before that time to teach the basics.

Personally, I love teaching basics although my Sensei always teaches beyond basics. I want the new students to know the steps, where we were and how we got here. It's not like magic and suddenly you know all of this stuff already. The trial and error we have been through, the agressive moments in teaching that we had in the past, the realization, the spiritual discoveries, and so on. Those had to be understood first hand. My understanding that we cannot jump but we can progress, and that progression could be fast or slow depending on the person.

It is not the end result, but the process...


Regards,

K'

Quote:
David Yap wrote:
Hi Lyle,

I hope that you are only referring to a beginners class.

The teacher needs to accept the fact that some students could be more creative and analytical than him/her and would someday surpass him/her. As a parent, I wish this would be the case for my children.

First of all, I like to define that teaching may not be the same as doing the technique. The teacher may change his way of communication to the students and the manner in which he/she execute the technique remains the same.

As student, I would accept any change in teaching (i.e. the execution of the technique) from the teacher provided the new teaching is proved to be logical and practical. As I have mentioned earlier, change can either spiral upward or spiral downward. Of the teachers I have trained with, I have seen some with ascending curves, some with sideway lines and some just yo-yo. This means some are continuing to learn, some have stopped learning and some are still trying to figure them out; and, IMO those in the last category are ones who you have exampled in your post.

Best training ... teaching

David Y

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
--------
http://funkybuddha.multiply.com/
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:13 PM   #48
djalley
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 26
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

Quote:
Bruce Kimpel wrote:
If you are a teacher and you don't listen to what your students are saying (or notice it from their actions), then you are not progressing as a teacher.
Hi Bruce.

Check out the book "Kodo Ancient Ways" by Kensho Furuya. It's available on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/089...lance&n=283155

I read it and it really changed my perceptions of martial arts, teaching, being a student, etc.

I am not a teacher. Hopefully I will grow sufficiently to become one one day, but for now I am concentrating on just learning.

One of the big things I learned is how the average student takes from the instructor, uses the school, and eventually moves on to something else. There is little devotion to a school, belief in an instructor, or perseverence to learn the art. We need immediate gains, need to learn something very new and exciting every class, and need to feel "growth" or "fulfillment" very often or we lose interest.

The teacher is not there to give the students what they want. He is there to teach aikido. The students are there because THEY WANT what the teacher is offering. You chose to learn aikido. You found a (hopefully) great instructor to learn from. Now learn. Don't expect the curriculum to be modified for you and your needs.

D
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Old 06-12-2006, 11:28 PM   #49
topan tantudo
Location: Jogjakarta
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

before become teacher they had to be student. when they become teacher and forget how become student and the student needs, so he is not a teacher.
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:31 PM   #50
mriehle
 
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Re: Why do teachers stop learning?

I was looking through this whole thread for a place to hang a pithy comment about my own experience. It didn't appear. What this means to me is that this has been, so far, a really worthwhile conversation...

...in which I'm learning a lot.

But I do have one personal perspective. I think I may have been lucky to be thrown into teaching early on. I was barely a shodan when I was pretty much treated as an instructor, with no room for equivocation on the subject. This meant that I never had the chance to think of myself as having "arrived". My teaching style has always involved a certain amount of exploration, which means I learn something about my own Aikido in pretty much every class.

I don't know that everyone would react to this the way I did. But I did.

I still need to train with my teacher and my peers sometimes, though, because of a phenomenon that has been increasingly bothering me. There are certain techniques that are dependent on timing to a large extent. Those techniques are trivial for me to execute with my students. Not because they take the fall for me, but because I know their personal timing backwards, forwards, inside out and a couple of other directions. Doing these techniques with my students will never teach me a thing.

So, I was waffling on going to train tomorrow night. I guess I'd better go...

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