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August 17, 2008

What Makes a Suitable Instructor?

【Question】

Hello, Tohei sensei.

It has been six years since I began practicing Ki-Aikido, and I am now a Shodan (1st degree black belt).  I love to train with my teacher and friends in the dojo.

I have been asked by my Sensei if I would like to become an instructor now? I really want to, but I cannot decide because I am not sure if I can.

Could you please teach about what makes a suitable instructor?

【Answer】

Hello.

I know how you are feeling. Everything has a beginning, and sometimes when we begin something we feel uneasy. These days, I have the opportunity to teach all over the world, but I remember when I also was beginning to teach and I got very nervous.

The most important thing in becoming an instructor is whether you feel happy for helping others or not.

I would like to encourage anyone who feels pleasure from helping others to become an instructor. If you are not yet developed in the technique of teaching, this is not so important.  You will have many opportunities to improve your teaching technique in the process of trying to improve your students. And of course you can also continue to study even after you become an instructor.

On the other hand, what if someone teaches only because he or she wants to teach. In this case, their teaching motives are selfish, because it doesn’t matter to them if their students improve or not. Once this kind of person becomes an instructor, they only want to teach and always avoid studying. I would not want this kind of person to become an instructor.

So which kind of person are you? If you are in the former category, you should not go forward and begin teaching right away. Please take the recommendation to teach from your instructor, and at the same time continue to practice from now on. There are many things that will come to you through the teaching of others. These are unavailable if you teach only for yourself.

In Japan, if you become instructor, you can join the instructor seminars that are held once in a month at both the Tokyo main office and the Osaka main office of Ki Society. I will teach you personally at those seminars.

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