Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Learn to teach, teach to learn

There's this interesting thing in both aikido and judo - an uke-tori relationship in which uke and tori are both learning the art at all times. Each partner is actively feeding off of the other. Both partners learning, both partners teaching, each partner serving as training equipment for the other, each serving as the media through which the art is expressed.  This is part of that "mutual benefit" thing that Kano was always talking about.
Without one partner or the other, without someone filling both roles, the amount of aikido or judo you can learn is pretty limited.
The roles of teacher and student are similar to the roles of tori and uke. Both are active, both are giving something and both are receiving something.  Because the teaching of these arts is structured in this mutually-beneficial feedback loop between two partners,

you can't learn the thing without teaching it,

and you cannot teach it without remaining a student.

Photo courtesy of Angel Medinilla

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Patrick Parker
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