Teachers are just like parents
Anyone who has parents who are still living may probably share this experience/feeling. Despite the fact that I am into my late forties and my children are growing up, my parents still communicate to me as if I am still their innocent child.
The same goes for my previous teacher(s). Last week, I paid a visit to the dojo of my first aikido teacher whom I have not train with for quite a number of years. Since learning from him, I have received instructions from various teachers who are more or less experience than him - both locally and abroad (including Japan). The reason of my visit was to re-establish my ties with him and to re-kindle our friendship. In a way, I stepped into his dojo as if I have never left. He did not ask me to show/demonstrate any of my techniques that I have learned and so, I tried to follow his class to the best of my abilities and which I would have been more comfortable if I had been a beginner. To be frank, I was rather nervous in his class as I wasn't sure how to "behave". I was alright in the jiyu form but in the katai form I was doing "horribly" and that's where I was just another student in my teacher's eyes.
The problem is I have moved on over the years and was no longer comfortable with the forms he had taught me or with his present forms. As the class progessed, I began to make more "mistakes" in his eyes and also made some genuine mistakes due to my disturbed state of mind.
By the end of the class, I realised that I have moved down the path and might have even surpassed him in forms and spirit. Some of the techniques/forms were not executable without the nage using excessive force on the uke's joints; there were too many redundant moves and generated space that allowed the uke to regain his/her balance. As his student, past & present, I can only offered him my spirit and said, "Hai sensei!, I noted".
So whatever it is, he was my first sensei and he started me on my path of aikido; for this, I am forever grateful to him. Domo arigato sensei.