education or teaching the distance or space between the teacher and the student
is very important.
the distance or space between them is close enough, it is possible to deal with
private matters. If the distance is too far, it would be difficult to become
involved and participative with each other in any kind of private situation.
easiest relationship to make reference to would be space between members in a
a family, there are times when we have to give advice and be involved with situations,
even if it might be a very sensitive situation. Therefore it is simply
necessary for us to step in closely in order to say something.
schools, the distance between individuals in relationships is not likely to be
as close as in family relationships. In particular, the distance difference
between relationships teacher and students have, is going to be quite different
than those relationships between parents and children. Thus, there are things a
teacher can and cannot do.
main role of a school is to provide students with a forum for learning, as well
as to develop and cultivate social skills. Therefore it is appreciated that
schools fulfill their responsibilities. But when it comes to matters of
discipline that involve teaching the basics of becoming independent, this
responsibility belongs to parents and family. Discipline should not be out-sourced.
relating to nurturing should be taught at home and should not be pushed over to
schools to be responsible for. If, for instance, a teacher was given this
responsibility he or she might be violating the student’s privacy.
space involving work relationships is even more distant than family and school
relationships, as advice can only be given on work related issues to fellow
or school related issues cannot be forced on to the work environment making
work relationships responsible in this way. If this happens it could lead to
families, schools and work companies there are different distances that have to
be recognized and understood.
clear example that can be understood easily is the relationship between a mentor
(“shisho”) and disciple (“deshi”).
relationship between mentor and disciple is not the same as a relationship
between teacher and student.
mentor’s relationship with his or her disciple is based on wanting to tell, to teach,
and to pass on knowledge to a particular disciple that can be trusted
completely. A disciple’s relationship with his or her mentor is one of yearning
to learn everything and accept any advice from the mentor.
relationship is not just about understanding interests. In some cases it is as
deep as, or even closer than, a relationship between parents and children. This
can be felt and carried through only because the distance between mentor and
student is very close.
is why it would be very fortunate and special if and when a disciple is able to
meet or find a good mentor.
the past, there was a program for “Uchideshi Training”. Each Uchideshi took 10
years to learn everything completely and graduate. Efficiency in training and
education cannot be measured, which is why this program also had limitations in
present, instead of having the “Uchideshi Training Program” we have started an “Instructors
Development Program”. We select Instructors from around Japan that will be able
to continue the development of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido for the near future and
next generation. Recently, by trying to develop a closer distance with these
instructors, I have started teaching and practicing even more often with them.
recently, I have started receiving requests for interviews regarding
relationships between teachers and students.
in Japan, there is a problem with students inheriting high level skills from
high level teachers of crafts, cultural arts, activities which have a high
level of importance to Japanese culture and many years of history. People have
discovered that the education at schools and companies is not enough, and they
have started to review the relationship between master and disciple (teacher
communicating and teaching, the master cannot always say things that are easy
to listen to by their disciple. Most first time disciples who are just
beginning to learn, feel that it is too difficult or too much trouble to go
through. However, these feelings usually only last temporarily and the results,
achievements, and lessons learned have far more value in the long run.
fear of being disliked or hated, have increasingly started to influence parents
making them unable to discipline their children, as well as teachers having
difficulty in giving advice or having control of their students, and even bosses
being unable to lead and advise their employees.
of the main reasons contributing to this is the inability to understand the proper
distance involving relationships. If we are unable to understand our role and
our responsibilities clearly, how are we then able to comment, guide or give
advice of caution to those that need it. We may not be giving advice
appropriate to the circumstance of the situation.
in the world of professional athletes, the trend of coaches nowadays is to only
give good comments and advice that players are interested in hearing. This
apparently is what seems to be considered a “good coaching”.
a person only wants to hear good comments and advice from their work and
personal relationships, it would not be an exaggeration to say that he or she
has wasted their chance to continue to learn and improve.
in Japan, roles in homes, schools and work (societies) are not clear. If these
roles continue to remain unclear it would become more difficult to fulfill
I believe is that responsibilities should be clear and learning the difference
in distance or space involving relationships is important in fulfilling our
to say, Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Dojos and classes have a role to play and we
will continue to fulfill our responsibilities.