031) The Best Teacher: Week of March 29,2009
I hope that the last two weeks have helped all of you realize the importance of my trying to get each of you to become your own best teacher. My job as Sensei is to be a very good guide. I cannot make anybody change what they do and I can not teach anybody something that they are not ready to learn. I have asked each one of you to focus in on some aspect of what you do that you would like to improve upon and what you would like to learn how to do.
If something is not working, it is easy to attribute the failure to something outside of ourselves. It is far harder to stop and look inside ourselves and ask ourselves what are we not doing correctly. This is particularly the case if we see people doing something that we cannot do yet. We need to be humble and self-aware. We need to have integrity and honesty. These are necessary components that help us improve in what ever it is we try to do.
In my training at the Hombu Dojo on Friday, I chuckled and reflected to some of my training partners how funny it was that our teacher at 70 y/o has to be remain focused on executing techniques so that nobody gets crushed! There is still so much that I am trying to learn. It takes a lot of work to become your own best teacher. It certainly helps to have good guides to lead you on the path!
I will try and spend some quality time with every student this week to help him/her address issues that they would like to improve upon in their execution of his/her Aikido.
Marc Abrams Sensei