Teacher or Coach

I often worry that my aikido ability is not good enough for me to be teaching. I don’t train often enough for my timing and sensitivity to be good enough that my demonstration of technique is really slick. On the positive side, I do feel that I have a good understanding of aikido principles and a reasonable depth of knowledge of aikido techniques, history, philosophy and so on.

The question is what do people want or need from the person running their classes?

Arguably, a beginner is going to be able to learn something from anyone with more experience than them – assuming that they are not trying to teach them something they don’t understand.

But perhaps more hopefully, and what I would like to believe, is that people learning aikido need a good coach more than a good exponent of the art. You see this a lot in sport, the rugby or football coach is not able to perform at the level of the players but their understanding of the game allows them to get the best out of their team. Boxing coaches are similar.

Now that I say that, it occurs to me that you generally only get a good understanding of something when you have, at least at some point in your life, been good at it yourself. Also, you can’t beat a great demonstration of aikido to inspire and motivate, if not educate.

Oh well, better get more training in then…