When will we be ready to become an ‘instructor’? Take the role of a ‘Sensei’. of course, there is no such time frame. Or there actually is?
And credentials seems to matter as a calling card for instructors, and is more pertinent for the business of Aikido instructorship. Because Aikido is predominantly non-competitive, it is difficult to determine if the sensei is of good quality. for other martial arts, there is championship to show medals to brag your superior skills. In Aikido, we have come across folks who claimed to have more than a decade of training, and yet failed to display skill worthy of that length of time in training.
There is basically two ways to get into the role of teaching. One is to become one, just like that, and work towards realising the role of a teacher, this is likened being thrown into the deep end and hope for the best. Some senior belts take it to task and throw themselves into teaching. I guess there is a little ego trip there, to be called an instructor. some did it for the money, albeit not a large sum to be made. Some did this by opening their own dojos, perhaps after 5-8 years of training, and they are typically 3-4 dan.
There other way was to ‘succeed’ in the instructorship. Which means that the person takes over the teacher, as the teacher. This would like be the unfortunate result of the current teacher becoming incapable of teaching, resulting in the next best student taking over the role.
In Singapore, it seems that that are many people very keen to venture out and teach Aikido. there is a new school started recently, and this chap is a 4th dan, with about 8 years of training, and i hope he has got what it takes to give a decent Aikido lesson. What digs me is the lineage that is missing, these new schools couldn’t explain who they’d learned their trade from. More often, they decided to start their own school because they have had a series of disagreement with their own instructor, and decided to venture out on their own, so as to continue their Aikido practice and since they are on their own, they might as well brandish themselves as the instructor of their own school. They know about the concerns of lineage as much as i do, and seek ‘technical advisors’ so as to shore up their credentials. and there are shihans out there very willing to offer their role as ‘technical advisors’.
It is easy for me to critique from this level of perspective as i am not an instructor, although i should be competent enough to teach. I have not venture towards that, because I have not receive Harry sensei’s blessings. until he does, I will continue my practice, as i am an Aikidoka, not an Aikido instructor.