Aikido Kobayashi Dojo

Aikido, My Way.

Part 6 To Train Good Instructors Takes the Understanding and Cooperation of the Members

In order to successfully train young instructors, the cooperation and understanding of the dojos members is needed.

Sometimes I would hear about long time practitioners complaining about not wanting to take a class from a former kohai, or junior student.   “I taught him ukemi first” or “I don’t want to learn from him”.  When that happens I request,  “He is now an instructor so please work with him.”  Even when something happens, I just look at them and think they're so young.

Soon the members brighten up and stop complaining but there may be more trouble.

When someone becomes an instructor, he or she shouldn’t just do throws but should expect to be thrown as well.  However in Aikido, one improves when taking ukemi.

There are a lot of instructors who only want to demonstrate by throwing, but I don’t feel this is right.  Isn’t it good to take ukemi from the people you’re teaching?  This is not connected to a teacher’s authority.  In Kobayashi Dojos teachers should not have that kind of attitude and should serve as a model with confidence.  If a young person puts on air, I correct this way of behaving.

If I order the university Aikido Club students to clean the dojo, I have them clean each area where there is dust using a cloth so as not to raise more dust.  They’ve never used dusters before.  There are cleaners that can suck up the dust into plastic bags but these can raise dust that could then be breathed.

I was shocked at how many Japanese people really don’t know who to dust properly. On the other hand, it’s wonderful the way many can use a computer.  People like me haven’t made any inroads into that yet. Young people today are growing up in an era of too much prosperity, and can’t do without convenience very well.  They think that if they need something they just go buy it.  In the old days, we made do with what was at hand.

When I became independent, I was able to do just about anything, because I had my merchant father as a model.  Today’s youth have knowledge but no experience. I want them to gain more experience.

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