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Re: My criterion for selecting a teacher or mentor.
村長 :: Sonchou
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There are a few points here that I'd like to have a quick closer look at.

One of the key words here is "to me".
Depending on our attitudes and motivations for training, the type of mentors we need may vary from person to person.

Of course there are these common expectations like trustworthiness, control, a level of knowledge etc. But apart from these let's not forget that different "types" of mentors approach this art from different angles, thus teach and practice on different ways. You may consider this or that type of instructor a "weaker" one in knowledge, but you can never know what that instructor would really be able to do and is willing to do (as Papa-san said this weekend in another context), because you do not see the whole picture of him/her.


The another thing is the expectations about the mentors.
They must have a fair amount of knoweldge that they should be able to pass on to you and also should be able to beat anything out of you.
But I honestly think that people sometimes expect too much of these instructors by placing them on a pedestal and not allowing them to be just as normal human beings as "we are".
Do not think that mentors do not make mistakes. They also make mistakes but they also work on them.


Also, simply an instructor who can beat the hell out of you (and can also teach these to you) is not the most important thing in my opinion.
I used to have such an instructor and although he was/is a very good fighter, he simply was not the type of mentor I needed because the personal factors did not meet. He lives a completely different kind of life than what I live and sees things on a different way to how I see things. He's not worse, not better - just different.

If you choose a mentor you probably want to learn seriously. And it is always about more than just how to fight. And if you are not on the same wavelength, this will not be a long-life relationship, be him/her the one with the highest level of knowledge in the country.

This is how I see this.

Eva

Posted on: 2007/5/7 17:08
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Re: My criterion for selecting a teacher or mentor.
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My critea is both the character of the person and if they are able to do things I can't - making me want to learn more.

One shihan said to me the day he stops getting anything out of soke's class is the day he stops attending - but after decades he hasn't felt anywhere near that stage. I think this is beacuse Hatsumi-sensei is always moving forward too.

I suppose something else is that the person is moving forward and not standing still or going backwards.

Posted on: 2007/5/7 18:21
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Re: My criterion for selecting a teacher or mentor.
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Eva, Nice post!
I suppose it boils down to what you want out of the martial arts and the Bujinkan. And, eventually that may lead you to a mentor that can hopefully give you these things. So, I suppose any objective criteria is near to impossible to create. It merely boils down to why you train and what you want out of it.


Posted on: 2007/5/8 11:07
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Re: My criterion for selecting a teacher or mentor.
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Quote:

鬼 wrote:
I suppose it boils down to what you want out of the martial arts and the Bujinkan. And, eventually that may lead you to a mentor that can hopefully give you these things. So, I suppose any objective criteria is near to impossible to create. It merely boils down to why you train and what you want out of it.

I think I've spoken here too about my periodical "three questions"; why do I train, how would I like to train, am I training the way I'd like to...

I feel these 3Qs might help one determine if the training you are getting is IT for you. Though, things might change as one "ages"

Posted on: 2007/5/8 13:54
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Re: My criterion for selecting a teacher or mentor.
村長 :: Sonchou
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Quote:

Yamazu wrote:
Quote:

鬼 wrote:
I suppose it boils down to what you want out of the martial arts and the Bujinkan. And, eventually that may lead you to a mentor that can hopefully give you these things. So, I suppose any objective criteria is near to impossible to create. It merely boils down to why you train and what you want out of it.

I think I've spoken here too about my periodical "three questions"; why do I train, how would I like to train, am I training the way I'd like to...

I feel these 3Qs might help one determine if the training you are getting is IT for you. Though, things might change as one "ages"


Wholeheartedly agree.

This is why sometimes it can happen that the mentor who has been good for you for 5-6 years will not be good after a while as you grow older, grow into Budo and you start discovering your aims, motivation, personal style etc.

Eva

Posted on: 2007/5/8 15:59
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Re: My criterion for selecting a teacher or mentor.
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I agree with Eva. I think it is an accurate statement that a great mentor at one stage in your career might not be a great one at another stage. Some people are not very good at all in teaching the VERY basics. If they are too far advanced and can't remember what it was like to just be starting out, they might not be the best for beginners. The same can also be true. You could have someone who is very good at the basics, but may have never gone much beyond that. I have seen that in a couple of students who transfered to my classes. It was apparent (to me) that their teacher probably focused on the basics to the point that every time a person joined the group, every one went back to the beginning (yes, I understand the value of the basics -- I am not looking to start a war over "all you ever need is the SSnK and KH). A LOT of this has to do with fate (or something like it) though. What is left out of this discussion so far is that many (most) people when they begin in this art have to go to who is nearby. If you have a particular type of person who may not be a good mentor, you have a choice of not training or training with someone not right for you. That is tough. I have trained with people (I would not call them mentors) because that is all I had at the time and I wanted to train. Fortunately for me, I then found Papasan. That makes it easy. He is the perfect mentor for me, has been for many years, and will continue to be for as far as I can see. If I had not found Papasan (or he found me), then I would have wanted to change mentors. So I can easily see how people would start with someone until they know enough to know they need to change mentors.

Jeff Walker

Posted on: 2007/5/9 8:01
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Re: My criterion for selecting a teacher or mentor.
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Quote:
I think I've spoken here too about my periodical "three questions"; why do I train, how would I like to train, am I training the way I'd like to...

I feel these 3Qs might help one determine if the training you are getting is IT for you. Though, things might change as one "ages"


Those are very good questions to ask but, 2 and 3 are a little to subjective to help someone train the "right way" for them if they didn't know better.

Ah... I can't quite narrow what I am trying to say about it though. An example might help: Little Johnny wants to play baseball really well, but he doesn't know what is the most effective way to train. So he decides that playing baseball on the PS2 is just as good as any way to train.

Or a better example: Little Johnny wants to learn to throw a gyro-ball, he thinks that the gyro-ball is thrown "this way". But, little johnny doesn't actually learn how to throw the gyro-ball, it is actually thrown "that way". You should be able to get the gist.

But, if people are well informed I think your questions are perfect. Thanks!

Posted on: 2007/5/9 16:14
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Re: My criterion for selecting a teacher or mentor.
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Quote:

鬼 wrote:
Quote:
I think I've spoken here too about my periodical "three questions"; why do I train, how would I like to train, am I training the way I'd like to...


Those are very good questions to ask but, 2 and 3 are a little to subjective to help someone train the "right way" for them if they didn't know better.


Well... actually that is the way I've intended. And these are not to be pondered on by oneself, but if one gets negative answers from oneself, then talking to the teacher, checking things with him/her from the "nagative answer" onwards....

If one feels PS3 is the way to go.... it's their choise, but I can't help them with tips

Posted on: 2007/5/9 17:17
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Re: My criterion for selecting a teacher or mentor.
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I think that the only way to find a teacher or mentor is in finding someone or something that relates to your mentality because ninjitsu isn't for everybody and working from their. Next try to find someone that is able to show and explain your faults and explain what to do to improve them

these are only my opinions

Posted on: 2007/5/10 9:44
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Re: My criterion for selecting a teacher or mentor.
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I think Soke describes it very well in his little speach.

http://www.kutaki.org/modules/newbb/v ... hp?topic_id=3580&forum=26

Marty

Posted on: 2007/5/10 11:57
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