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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 1999 4:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 988
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Glasheen sensei and others:

The other day Gary Khoury came down to my dojo and held a wonderful seminar on sparring technique, and gave some insight to
to what tournament sparring is like on Okinawa and mainland Japan. During the seminar, Gary said something that was sad, but made a lot of sense. He said, that after the Sensei Mattsons', Van Cannas', etc. are gone, who will be there to take their place? Who will take up the challenge to get people and practitioners alike together? Difficult question to ponder.
I guess it is easy to say that somebody will, but it's hard to believe that somebody with a reputation like Sensei Mattson or others will arise and be known. I know that those of us in the generation after Sensei Mattson, who have been training for over 20 years, and have dojos or students of their own, will find it extremely difficult to put something together of the likes of the Summer Camp. I hope that someone with mutual respect from everyone will stand up and accept the challenge.

While I am rambling, another thought came to mind. After the seminar a young student of mine came to me and asked me why I was a participant in the seminar where I outrank Gary Khoury. The question was asked in the vain of pure sincerity and meant no harm to myself or Gary. He was just curious. I told him that Gary had some very good information to give us, that I do not possess, and that I don't care what rank a person is so long as they have something to offer.
He seemed quite amazed that I would work out along my own students. I guess the question for those of you, is how many of you instructors actually go to a seminar to work out with people regardless of the rank of the individual. I think we have all seen those people who never work at seminar. Those are the people I don't understand. Are they afraid that they may embarress themselved in front of their students?

Just something for bantering about.


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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 1999 6:37 pm 
That's a good question, Mike, about students who outrank the host not taking part in the seminar.

I have seen the identical scenario many times in the TKD world where students who outrank the instructor absolutely REFUSE to participate in class, no matter how good the instructor is or what he has to offer. So it's not unique here Michael.

Too bad, too bad. Many instructors talk the talk..... Their loss.

Aside, Moe: I stood in front of a class of 10 BB students once in Chicagoland and replaced my BB with my old white belt for a lecture on belt colors, etc. 3 of them couldn't stand the heat I gave about artificial black belts and walked out of my class.

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Allen - uechi@ici.net - http://www.uechi-ryu.org




[This message has been edited by Allen M. (edited 04-22-99).]


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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 1999 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 2422
Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Moe:

Actually, I had been dense enough not to read Sensei Khoury's forum and didn't know about the Seminar.

Also, I have no idea what rank Sensei Khoury is, but if Mike had recommended his Seminar, I would have tried to attend.

About your other points; you are absolutely correct. I am guilty.

I am not sure why "ego" gets in the way of learning. I am not sure why we think "rank" should "protect" us somehow from superior talent.

Points well taken. Despite the fact that rank is artificial, I won't give mine up. Other people have.

I get locked into temporal loops where I do not choose to learn. Perhaps my only excuse is that I have not digested what was already on my plate thouroughly yet.

JOHN T

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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 1999 8:32 pm 
John. They even had pyramids in ancient Egypt.

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Allen - uechi@ici.net - http://www.uechi-ryu.org


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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 1999 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17032
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Mike

You present two very interesting issues.

ISSUE 1: Who is/are the heir apparent(s)?

ISSUE 2: Is the rank of the student relevant when considering the rank of an instructor?

Issue 1 is a very interesting one to ponder. I can only add that I have watched phenomena like this in the Uechi world on both a big and a small scale. My personal feeling is that this is something that should not be planned too much - for several reasons. First of all, George and Van and Jimmy and Bobby and, and,....are still here. Carpe diem! We've got lots of work to do to worry too much about that stuff. Frankly I'm glad there are people like George around. What a thankless task great men like him perform. Do you think he's in an enviable position? I don't. I'm glad he's here to take all the crap and handle all that he does so well so I have more time to play karate and be myself.

And when that fateful day comes....have faith. Cream eventually rises to the top. It may be a painful transition, but every passing of the baton from any great leader in the greater Uechi community is an opportunity for someone new to grow to their full potential.

As for the rank of teacher vs participant in a seminar, all I can say is that I don't give a damn. If there's something that can be learned, I'll swim with the minnows and guppies. They're usually having more fun anyhow. Those that forget what it's like to be a beginner again are - in my book - in danger of karate senility. And those who worry about rank and appearances have long lost the meaning of what they are doing.

-- Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 04-22-99).]


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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 1999 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 925
Location: Long Island
View from a kyu:

How about holding seminars in which only the invited speaker/teacher/instructor wears a black belt. EVERYONE else wears a white belt.

Scott


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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 1999 3:20 am 
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Location: Long Island
JD,

Wouldn't a big workout differ from a seminar in which there is a certain person/person's teaching certain aspects of there respected art/style/technique/philosophies... I look at a seminar in the same vein as a job/workforce related seminar would be. You are there to either teach or learn. Not the same as, at least to me, as a general "workout" whether large or small. The only thing to be expected at a seminar is that you pay attention to what is being presented and learn from it. It is not really part of a students everyday dojo activity where a student expected to be showing an improved proficieny of what their instructor has been teaching them over a period of time but rather a specialized course if you will.

But then again I could be wrong. I often am.

Scott



------------------
Martial Arts Of Long Island
members.aol.com/mstymtn/karate/
Quality Martial Art Sites
members.aol.com/scotttd/ma1.htm
George Mattson's Directory Of Links
www.xpres.net/~gmattson/cgi-bin/links/index.html


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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 1999 5:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 148
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Mike,

There are times when it is really unfortunate that I live so far from the epi-center of the uechi world. I usually try to make it up there several times a year but can not always plan it around events such as Gary's seminars. I do plan on visiting with Gary when I come up in a few weeks though.

Those of you who live in the Mass area - you have no excuse for not interacting with a world class athlete like Gary.

Well, maybe you do.

Do the words "DENIAL" and "EGO" and "THEM" burn your ears?

Forget rank. As an instructor, aren't you obligated to your students (hey, even to yourself) to become more proficient in your practice, to cultivate yourself as a lifelong student?

Or do you think you've mastered everything there is to master?

You don't learn by standing back and overseeing - you learn by doing. Just like when we go to GEM's summer camp. You get involved, you immerse yourself into the experience and you come away with something new (besides the bumps and bruises).

I had a TKD BB do occasional classes several years ago in the area of ground work, grappling, takedowns, throws, etc. Why? Because I didn't have the working knowledge that he brought to the class. And I was always the first uke - because I wanted to learn, not just watch.

Moe Mensale


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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 1999 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 1897
Location: N. Andover, Ma. USA
Seminars can be a wealth of information that are generally geared to a specific topic (that one may not be regularly exposed too or have a need for more depth of knowledge). It shouldn't matter of rank as no single Martial Artist has all the answers or practices all the different methods. As any (True) teacher will tell you, they always learn from even the new students, so why should a seminar be any different.

I attend 10 - 20 seminars a year and give about the same. Just talking with Martial Artists from other viewpoints or styles is always enlightening. It is also a great way to answer those nagging questions. If one is stuck on rank then they will always be held back on their personal journey.

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Evan Pantazi
http://www.erols.com/kyusho


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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 1999 5:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 988
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Bill,

I have to agree with you. Sensei Mattson does not get near enough credit for all the hard work that he does, and I hope that he will continue for many years to come. However, the inevitable will occur at some point where Sensei packs up his golf clubs and moves to Florida to play 36 holes a day. :-) The question still resides. What then? Who will have the reputation, the savy, the know-how to put people together the way Sensei does? You? Me?(I doubt I will ever have that kind of energy). What's in store for the next generation of Uechi/Shohei karate-ka? I don't know the answer, but it certainly makes me wonder what's in store for my students. That's why I push them to get to the summer camp, and other seminars. You never know when the last one will be.

Scott,

I think that every class is a seminar. The teacher gets up in front of the class and imparts his/her knowledge. And I agree with whoever stated this, but the at a seminar there is one person who teaches and the rest are students, regardless of rank.

To all:

That brings up another interesting point. When you teach a class (everyone, not just Scott), do you teach for the class, or for your own workout. My personal belief is that the teacher is there for the students, not directly for himself/herself (although I agree that you learn a tremendous amount by teaching).
I believe that good Budo is taught in a circle. Just like Uechi where you learn Sanchin first only to get to Sanchin once the eight kata are learned, good Budo would mean that you start out as a students only to become a teacher, only to become a student once again. That means, as a teacher, my job is to produce other teachers. Don't you think? What then of all those students who have trained for many years but do no teaching? Are they getting the whole package then?

How about that for a tangent?

Mike


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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 1999 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 2422
Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
To all:

As previously said, sometimes the best way to try and learn soething is to try and teach it.

Operative word try.

Other times, just DO it.

Cyclical maybe?

JOHN T

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 Post subject: instructors
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 1999 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 2422
Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Allen:

I thought, on reflection, your "Pyramid" analogy interesting. One school of thought says the were "modeled" on natural desert formations in which remained the hardest stone weathered to a point. At this point the formation is hard to wear down further, except very slowly.

This begs the question as to whether the survivor at the point/top was the most worthy, the most lucky or simply predestined.

JOHN T

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