What you see

Teaching is not just a matter of the instructor holding forth while you absorb the knowledge; at least not in our dojo.

Frequently, what we do is after sensei shows us something, we demonstrate it for each other one or two at a time. After we're done, everyone is invited to comment. We each share what we noticed as good or bad, wrong or right, about our fellow iaidoka's progress and performance. Since everyone does things differently, and everyone is at a different level of progress, and each of us will notice different things than the others do, it's very informative method of doing things. It helps us to assess our own progress, as much as it teaches us to be observant.

Our sensei is on a different path, however; so while he's - and we - are generally looking at each other's form and jo-ha-kyu, for example; we are looking at his intent and purpose when he demonstrates for us. He goes last, and we have to estimate his actions, and comment on what we see.

This works only because we have a small class. If there were more of us we wouldn't be able to work this way. The value of observing others in this way, is like the value of teaching others - it solidifies your own knowledge, when you teach it to someone else.

2017 06 08 - 12:13

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