Coyle sensei and I were told by Chiba shihan to go to a certain town to give a course to a newly formed Aikido club.
The gentleman who was instructing there claimed to be 3rd Dan Aikido, but since at the time, Chiba Shihan was the only man who could grade so high in Britain, the grade was obviously false.
Coyle sensei asked "What should I do if this man came on the mat and professed to be a 3rd Dan?"
Coyle sensei and I were once asked by Chiba shihan "Do you wish to learn true Aikido?". We were confused because we were half way through a two week long course. He continued "I cannot teach true Aikido to two hundred students, so the Aikido you see at large seminars is not true". Of course we said we wanted true Aikido.
For the next week Chiba shihan all but ignored Coyle sensei and me except to come over each time he had demonstrated a technique and throw Coyle sensei and me repeatedly with it.
He even came over and said "WHY are you training with these persons they are a fools!", we had to excuse our self from the unfortunate fellows and look elsewhere for a partner.
The answer ‘Kill him!’. Granted that Chiba shihan could not speak English so well at that time, the message came through. If the man says he is 3rd Dan then he should be treated as such and if he finds it a traumatic experience, he has only himself to blame.
Since this was also a diplomatic visit, Coyle sensei hastened to explain that if he did knock this gentleman about perhaps it would leave a bad impression with the students.
Sekiya Shihan was at the seminar and Coyle sensei and I sought his advice and he said "First of all NEVER ask for an explanation until you have tried with all of your spirit and concentration to find the answer for yourself. Chiba Shihan shall be watching you both".
He continued "The only way to learn is to "steal" the technique by watching like a hawk and training constantly to find it. Chiba shihan shall show everything not hiding anything but he shall not hand it to you. You must prove yourself worthy by your own effort to progress. All of the true values in Aikido come from your own unremitting effort. When a Shihan sees this then he shall guide you".
Coyle sensei was told that in this instance he should be likened to a tightrope.
The tightrope is there and if treated properly, is not dangerous. Should someone claim to be an expert in tightrope walking he should be free to attempt it.
If his technique and attitude is correct he can walk the way. On the other hand if his technique and attitude is not - he will fall.
No blame can be attached to the rope, for it does not try to shake anyone off, nor does it invite anyone on, but when it becomes involved in its non-involved way with anything, if the person is true he shall learn, if he is false he shall certainly be made to see this.
There was little oral instruction. Chiba shihan said that Aikido cannot be expressed in words let alone taught by them, the art is learned "through the pores of the skin. If you accept my guidance and join me in the search discovering for yourself then your Aikido shall be true. If someone takes you by the hand whenever he let's go you shall be lost. Find your own true Aikido and do not become a mere shadow of your teacher".
The approach today is so different in many clubs