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December 15, 2010

Teaching is Learning

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this article is to apply the Ki principle (mind moves the body) which is the fundamental of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido to our daily life.

It is not enough just to read, but it is important to positively practice the subject given each month. Learning through practice will be your lifelong asset.


Teaching is Learning

In Shinshin Toitsu Aikido training, “teaching” is not merely transferring knowledge and showing techniques, but is communicating so that the students become able to do it. The instructor may believe that he has taught enough, but it does not mean actual teaching unless the students become able to do it as a result.

Of-course the learning attitude of students is important. However, this time I am talking about the basic attitude of the instructors. Teaching is not just “one-way”, but is “interactive - (two-way)”.

There are both types of people, those who are quick at learning, and those who are slow at learning. Those who are quick at learning can master immediately. From the point of view of the instructor, teaching is easy in this case. However, for those who are slower at learning, instructors need to teach again and again, so in fact the teaching for them is harder.

Koichi Tohei Sensei says “teach 11 times if student does not understand after you teach 10 times, and teach 101 times if student does not understand after you teach 100 times”. You may give up if your student cannot do it after you teach 100 times. However, your ability in teaching improves by believing that your students will definitely be able to do it, and continuing teaching with various methods.

When you understand the above fact, you will be able to appreciate the opportunity to teach those who are slow at learning. By teaching, we learn many things.

Then, is there not much to learn by teaching those who are quick at learning? Yes indeed, there is much to learn from them. I started teaching the “top prospects” in the LA Dodgers from this year. They have excellent physical ability and a sharp sense, so most of them can understand what they are taught at once. Moreover, they sometimes understand even what I have not yet taught.

Not only baseball players, but those who are at the forefront in each field have “good sense” that they have mastered by working hard in their field. “Posture” and “One Point” that are taught in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido training can be a foundation for not only Aikido, but any other fields.  And there are many other things in common, therefore, they can easily understand the feeling and connect to their own senses.

In my position, I teach instructors and members of Ki Society, and I teach Ki Principles to those who are at the forefront in each field, therefore, I also learn many things. They are really quick at learning, so they apply what I teach in a way beyond my expectation. The pitcher with the LA Dodgers, whom I taught, showed me his pitching form afterwards, saying that his form had improved after learning One Point. I am impressed by how he applied the Ki Principle to his profession.

When we teach, we always need partners, so “teaching” can be considered communication. Since the old days, it is said that “teaching is learning.” The attitude that we try to also learn from our students is very important. I teach more than 300 days a year. I always set myself to this basic attitude and then teach.

There is an event called “Ki Forum 2011.”  At this event I give a lecture concerning what I learned throughout the previous year.

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