Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Black Belts in the house

So, what happens when you have three shodans in class and no teacher? Who teaches? Thing was, I new I had seniority over one shodan, but not the other. He was a shodan in Koro Ken Aikijitsu (another style under Sensei Morallo) and this was the first time I've met him. He's studied longer than me, but hadn't been training in Koro Ken for a while, just stuck with the aikijitsu. So, I took on the kata/kihon portion and then diverted to him for some aikijitsu fun. But.....three kids also showed up to the upper belt class, and they were all upper belts. So, I taught them rolling while the other shodans had fun doing aikijitsu Ippons. I finally had my turn to do Ippons, but did not have enough time doing them since the kid's class was starting up. Urgh. I was a little frustrated about the situation since I decided to join the upper belt class to continue my learning, but teaching is learning, too, and I can't forget that. If Sensei had been able to teach class things would have been different. He looks to me to teach; really, really wants me to teach. In fact he wants me to teach in Burlington, VT, where we will be moving to this April. I've wanted to have my own students, but really want to take more time to work on those things I find uncomfortable, like wrist grabs and throws. I'm fine with all the pugilistic applications of our kihones, but throwing and grabbing need more work. When those become comfortable I will think about taking on students. I'm just not ready to go out on my own, and don't really feel that a shodan is ready to do that alone. I've just started to sink into all of this and don't want to rush it. I have plenty of time. The key is to not get frustrated when you have to teach instead of learning new things.


John Wood said...

I asked a Shodan (who should be a Nidan if he'd take the test), about what to do since at my Judo club I'm only a 2nd Brown and not qualified to teach. He said "you're always and only qualified to teach what you DO teach that. When you're not teaching, work on getting better at what you don't know, and always be honest with your students when they ask you something you're not 100% on."

[Mat] said...


what john wood said.

My first aikido teacher was a green belt...
But a very good green belt.

John Vesia said...

The key is to not get frustrated when you have to teach instead of learning new things.

Well, teaching is like learning new things. It is frustrating at times, but it's worth it!
; )