The Ability to Learn

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this article is to apply Ki principle (The mind moves the body) which is the fundamental of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido to our daily life.

It is not enough just to read, but it is important to positively practice the subject given in each month. Learning through practice will be your lifelong asset.

The Ability to Learn

A few days ago, I dined with a university professor who is a close friend. I teach a liberal arts class at the university, therefore we discussed the ability of university students to learn as an important subject common to each of us.

It is said now, and has been said in the past, (in a negative manner),

“It is not acceptable how young people behave these days…”

Indeed, I am sometimes surprised at the ideas held by students. A common understanding between the professor and me is the fact that university students nowadays lack the ability to think for themselves.

To the question “1+1=?,” the answer “2” will be concluded. However, for the real problems we face in our daily life, there is no fixed answer like this. Therefore, what we must do is discover the solution to life’s questions by ourselves.

Sometime ago, one university student consulted with me about his career. He began by asking,

“What kind of career should I pursue?”

I am not a fortune-teller so I did not have a fixed answer for him. According to his story, he entered the university due to his parents’ strong encouragement. However, he could not decide about his career for the future before his graduation, so he entered a post graduate school at the university. I was surprised at his lack of ability to think for himself, as he is a post graduate student and already in his mid-twenties.

Under the current education system in


, students are encouraged to seek fixed and prepared answers to problems. This kind of problem solving will not help these students to successfully engage in a future that is uncertain.

“Should I marry this man?“

This is the most extreme question I have ever been asked. I can only advise but I can never decide on behalf of any student regarding such a question.

I sometimes hear the same type of questions in a dojo.

“How can I perform this technique?”

This is the type of question that reveals the questioner is not willing to think for himself, and this will not support further learning. This type of student does not try to think for himself, but instead just seeks the answers easily and without effort. If you want to ask the above question to support further growth, what should that question actually be?

When I teach, I only give some hints to improve the students, so that they can learn by their own thinking and practice. Then, the important practice of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido becomes their ability to think for themselves, find a good method, and master that. In other words, their overall ability to learn will improve in this way. The ability to learn is applicable to every situation, including jobs. If we are given the answer (which looks like the answer) by the others and stop thinking for ourselves, we are not able to gain the ability to learn.

Not only the instructors of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, but also people who play a leading role in every field, should once again consider what the teaching is.

Teaching is ______?_________. The answer here is the way the ability of students to learn will be improved.

The following is the subject for this month.


    What sentence will be inserted in the underlined blank above? There are countless answers.