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Old 05-30-2004, 12:01 AM   #1
AikiWeb System
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Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

AikiWeb Poll for the week of May 30, 2004:

Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.
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Old 05-30-2004, 04:51 AM   #2
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 522
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

My highest-ranked teacher, a fourth dan, has been working with me a lot on kokyo dosa (both partners kneel, nage puts out her arms, uke grasps them, nage unbalances uke backwards and then takes her to the side). Many times, I'll do what I think is a good kokyu dosa entry and she'll sit there unmoved, shaking her head and smiling, and make me try again until something clicks.

At our recent seminar, there was a sudden moment of stillness in mid-practice, and all of the junior students quietly turned to watch our teacher doing kokyu dosa with the guest sensei. She was practicing the entry with immense intentness and concentration, and he was smiling, shaking his head a little bit, and not moving. It was amazing to see.

She doesn't get as many opportunities to train as we'd like, but she's definitely still learning.

She's also still learning how to teach, as became obvious when I was struggling with forward rolls. I was our dojo's worst forward roller ever, I think--it took me five months to learn how--and she would come back from seminars with new teaching techniques and patiently try them on me. She found several that were helpful for students in general, though none, alas, that seemed to work on me! (One of the senior students finally taught me to roll, quite suddenly, but I'm sure sensei's five months of coaching and tooth-gnashing were essential in getting me there.)

Mary Kaye
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Old 05-30-2004, 07:26 AM   #3
tiyler_durden
Location: Amsterdam
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 68
Netherlands
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

Hey,

Sadly i would say "Yes" i (IMHO) think that my sensei has stopped learning as (Once again IMHO) I think the standard of black belt in my Dojo is very poor.

My Fiance came to watch my last lesson and the teacher had a small time out for the black belts to show their skill,so to speak and even my fiance who takes no interest in the MA scene commented on how bad their technique and skill was!!

Sad day for all I think.

Just my 2 cents

T.D

"Deal with the faults as gently a your own"
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Old 05-30-2004, 11:16 AM   #4
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 393
United Kingdom
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

Really hard for me to answer this one!

Of my many teachers, some have stopped progressing in some ways. Some are still very much progressing. I wouldn't say any have totally stopped progressing though.

Ruth
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Old 05-30-2004, 11:19 AM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

No, not in the least. I have seen him (Phong Sensei of Tenshinkai Aikido, 6th Dan) at Doshu and the Aiki Expo attending and particpating in other's workshops.

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 05-30-2004, 11:44 AM   #6
AsimHanif
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 479
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

One of the reasons I have switched affiliations is because of this issue. If your instructor does not continue to progress, how can you. Sure he or she can get you to a certain level but then your progress stops. I guess this relates to the Sh Ha Ri stages.
I can see my Shihan studying the higher levels of refining his art. He recently commented to me about putting his stamp on my technique which made me think that he was not content that I could just execute a technique but do it in a specific manner. He is trying to carve out an identity within his art while still maintaining the Aikikai foundation elements.
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Old 05-30-2004, 01:44 PM   #7
otto
Dojo: Independent
Location: Maracaibo/Zulia
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Venezuela
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

In my opinion , to answer such a question you would have to know your teacher's limits for a good enough time to asses wether he still at the same point or has moved forward.

So far , i havent meet such boundaries with him....so , i dont know.

Yours..

"Perfection is a Process"
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Old 05-31-2004, 01:29 AM   #8
David Yap
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 561
Malaysia
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

Quote:
Ottoniel Ojeda wrote:
In my opinion , to answer such a question you would have to know your teacher's limits for a good enough time to asses wether he still at the same point or has moved forward..,snip>
Yours..
This is a fact. Unless, one has trained and is apt in one martial art (not necessarily including aikido), one would not be able to judge the limitations of ones teacher. There is always a motivating factor in everyone of us to continue training in aikido, i.e. the passion for the art. Years ago, a place where we trained was being closed and the instructor was still looking for an alternate place for a new dojo. At the last day of the training there, he gave a speech that confirmed most of our (the students') feelings - between the lines he sort of admitted that he wasn't interested in teaching, he had no choice because he had made the decision of quitting his full-time job to become a full-time aikido teacher. Though he was good in teaching the children class, he just wasn't cut out for the adult class - we guessed it was the inferiority complex in him. While waiting for the new place, he gave us a choice of training with other instructors at other dojo. Somehow, those of us who chose to train with other instructors were given the cold shoulder by him when we happened to meet him - probably he felt we were disloyal to him.

Met him again in a recent seminar. My perception of him is still status quo as far as his personality and his demostration of the art of aikido is concerned. The jutsu is obvious but the "do" /the essence of the art is missing. The cold shoulder is still there despite the polite attempt to greet him.
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Old 05-31-2004, 11:09 PM   #9
Largo
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
Location: Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

I wouldn't continue to train with someone who stopped progressing. Our sensei is constantly revising and reworking techniques, combinations, and teaching styles. Actually, there are a few times I wish he'd knock it off so I could finally get good at something. ( as soon as I get something down, he up and changes it. It's almost like he's waiting... )
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Old 05-31-2004, 11:24 PM   #10
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

Must say that after someone has been training for oh say 35 years how can someone with let's say less than five judge. It's not the level of skill but the rate of progression.

I can say without doubt that my technical Aikido is improving faster than my teacher's. The same can be said with regard to my students and their relationship to me.

What also changes is emphasis - sometimes due to age and what the body can do, sometimes due to spiritual growth. We can often understand physical limitations but the latter is more difficult.

So my point. I don't even ask myself if my teacher is still progressing, although I am sure he is. The question is - am I progressing.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-01-2004, 12:37 AM   #11
GaiaM
Dojo: Bend Aiki Martial Arts
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Must say that after someone has been training for oh say 35 years how can someone with let's say less than five judge. It's not the level of skill but the rate of progression.
I agree with Peter but also with those that can see a lack of progression in their teachers. While a newer student might not be able to judge their teacher's technical growth, there are other important aspects of aikido that don't neccessarily depend on years and years of experience to judge, especially if a student is serious and spends a lot of time with their instructor.

While it is not appropriate for me (after 4-5 years) to judge the technical growth of my teacher (with 23 years of experience), I can tell when he is truly engaged in improving both his own aikido and his teaching ability/style. So while I can't neccessarily judge WHAT progress he is making I can clearly tell that he progressing. It shows in the way he runs class and in new techniques and ideas he shares with us.

The more energy he puts into his own growth and that of the dojo, the more energy and time the students contribute and the healthier the whole community becomes. It is easy to see.

May we all continue to grow and change for as long as we live!

Gaia

___________
Gaia Marrs
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Old 06-01-2004, 02:34 AM   #12
PeterR
 
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

Quote:
Gaia Thurston-Shaine wrote:
While it is not appropriate for me (after 4-5 years) to judge the technical growth of my teacher (with 23 years of experience), I can tell when he is truly engaged in improving both his own aikido and his teaching ability/style. So while I can't neccessarily judge WHAT progress he is making I can clearly tell that he progressing. It shows in the way he runs class and in new techniques and ideas he shares with us.
Good point.

I guess you could say that if they still inspire their students than they are progressing.

We've all known teachers (Budo or otherwise) where the question becomes - why do they bother. Avoid these people because they will drain what joy you have in our little thing.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-02-2004, 05:46 AM   #13
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

Tough question. Actually one of the strongest questions, because it shines the light directly back at ourselves. In gassho
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Old 06-02-2004, 08:19 AM   #14
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

Although progress can be measured in many ways here are a couple of my thoughts. One, I look to see if my instructor constantly does techniques the same way or does his evolving understanding of the art cause him to make changes in his technique. Does the instructor regularly or peridiodically attend seminars as a participant? Are there improvements in the instructor's teaching methodology or skill? Does the instructor work on a self study program if isolated (reading, tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc.)? Does the instructor work to understand and explain the subtleties of the art-or is it just a constant "monkey see-monkey do" approach? Does the instructor encourage students to study outside the dojo.
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:26 AM   #15
Bronson
 
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Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

  • does his evolving understanding of the art cause him to make changes in his technique.

    check

  • Does the instructor regularly or peridiodically attend seminars as a participant?

    check--I don't know how regularly he attends. His work takes him out of country and I know he goes to other dojo when possible. I do know at our summer camp he was on the mat with the rest of us. He even took my class...talk about nerve wracking

  • Are there improvements in the instructor's teaching methodology or skill?

    check

  • Does the instructor work on a self study program if isolated (reading, tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc.)?

    check--he's said he can't sleep on planes and so uses this time to read/watch dvd's on his laptop etc.

  • Does the instructor work to understand and explain the subtleties of the art

    double check

  • Does the instructor encourage students to study outside the dojo.

    check

Ok, so we seem to be doing alright

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 06-03-2004, 10:56 AM   #16
gilsinnj
 
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Dojo: Aikido Mt. Airy
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

If anyone answered yes to this question, they should be looking for someone else to learn from. There should be no end to your aikido learning whether that is through technique or through study of the other basic principles of Aikido.

My Sempai was shot and paralized less than one year ago. He's started teaching again on a regular basis, and I feel that he is stronger in his Aikido that he was before he was shot. While his physical body is not capable of doing the Aikido techniques, he is now able to focus on the mental and spiritual side of Aikido. He's had a lot of time to look at himself and analyze what got him into the situation he's currently in and learn from the experience.
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:47 PM   #17
Lucy Smith
Dojo: Samurai Dojo
Location: Montevideo
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Uruguay
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Re: Poll: Do you think your aikido teacher has stopped progressing in aikido?

Well, my Sensei is like a god to me right now. I think he's great as an Aikidoka and as a person, but of course, I'm not even a 5th kyu yet, so my opinion on this doesn't count. However he's always attending seminars as a participant, visiting other Dojos, and at least once a year spends like 3 weeks or more in Brazil with 6th, 7th and 8th dans (he's a 3rd dan), improving his thechniques and learning new stuff. So, objectively: he does progress.
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