Brian Kagen pick: “Instruction vs. Teaching, some thoughts” by Francis Takahashi from aikiweb.com

“Put simply, I see *Instruction* as being primarily focused on the study material, the very system for students to assimilate, eventually incorporate, and apply. Effective instructors rely on their own knowledge and confidence in their skill set, experience, and positive history of obtaining good results. It is a great place to start, as most students require such direction and follow up, regardless of the discipline or course of study. Great instructors exemplify enlightened purpose, superhuman effort and unyielding dedication over a lifetime of study and application of their craft.

*Teaching*, in my experience, certainly requires accurate direction and instruction of both basic and advanced techniques, theories, along with the requisite “trials by error”, on the part of students, as well as for the instructor as well. Yet, the art of teaching also includes the study and evaluation of the students themselves, their inner needs, true abilities and levels of motivation to excel. A teacher, then, must be in tune with the thoughts, self images and the unique challenges the students will encounter in their studies. A true teacher must remain a true student as well.”

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  1. Thank you, sensei! Well put.

  2. “A teacher is a student who teaches in order to continue his study.” Mochizuki Minoru Sensei

    An instructor teaches only techniques. It’s a job or a hobby. His personal life has nothing to do with it. He will quit or retire when time comes.

    A teacher teaches as a way to pursue his shugyo. Whatever he does is practice. It never ends because he has a vision and lives that vision. He sees life as a continuation of his teacher’s life to be continued by his students… A teacher never quits nor retires.

    A coach manipulates athletes so that they win on the field. His job or position depends on it. The athletes can do whatever they want in their private lives as long as they don’t get in trouble and their actions do not affect their performance.

    Do not see that as all black or white. Some instructors are teachers on the way, some teachers also coach and some coaches also teach.

    There are very few masters nowadays. Masters constantly look for improvement by following their hearts. They give their students the means to surpass them.

    But there are quite a few stars. Stars look for profit by following the demands of the market. They make sure no one surpasses them.

    Thank you Francis for sharing your thoughts with us. I am looking forward to your essays.

    Patrick Augé

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