Well, first, let's just get some perspective:
This is just my personal interpretation of fictional events happening to fictional characters in a fictional universe. If you don't care for my way of seeing it, you can always come up with your own.
I've come to these conclusions after seeing all the movies and reading each of the novelizations. Nothing of this is spelled out in a clear, concise, complete way,.. but there's a few hints and stuff in passing that make me think that this might be something Lucas might have been hinting at, or at least thinking about.
The only one who knows for sure is George Lucas... and that's assuming that he's given it all that much thought. Chances are he saw a solution to a plot problem, and that's just the way it fit best.
For thousands of years the Jedi follow their paths as glorified galactic policemen... doing a little diplomatic work, and putting out fires wherever they saw them.
At first they were vigilant about any signs of the Sith returning. But as the centuries wore on the only other force-using, lightsaber-wielding lifeforms they might have encountered in all that time just happened to be on their side.
But 100% of the opponents they encountered in their daily business were using beam and projectile weapons. Eventually they started to relax their training against other fencers, since their time was probably better spent learning defence against the billions of billions of lifeforms holding guns, rather than someone using a lightsaber. Any sparring going on that point was mostly friendly contests between Jedi, since it makes no sense to choose a lightsaber as a weapon unless you have the force, so the Jedi and the Sith are the only ones to have them. The Jedi are in total control of all the force-users that get discovered within the auspices of the Republic,.. and, as far as the Jedi, and the rest of the galaxy know, the Sith are totally extinct.
So when Qui-Gon first appears before the Jedi council after being attacked by Maul on Tatooeen, most of the Council is like "Sith Lord? Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?"
Only Yoda seemed to admit that it was a possibility, and that the Dark Side was too difficult to know for sure.
After Obi-Wan defeats Maul, the Council finally admits that he was a Sith Lord, but they don't know if he was the master or student. While they then stay watchful, continual problems with the Trade Federation as well as the recently renounced Dooku's separatists kept the tiny number of Jedi too busy to really deal with the problem and to make sure the rest of the Jedi were truly trained properly.
Why did Sidious choose Dooku? Well, he was a bit of an egomaniac, which made him easy conversion... but he also was one of the few that still fought in the old style (this was a phrase used in the novelizations,) and he could hold his own against another duellist. A trait to have when picking out a future Sith lord, who was going to have to fight sword-to-sword against fully trained Jedi... you want the best.
So now the Jedi are stretched all over the galaxy when the Clone Wars start. They now know Dooku is a Sith... probably assuming he was the master of Maul. The Jedi are in almost constant battles, and still, with the exception of a couple of encounters with Grievous, (which almost every Jedi who goes against him lost, if you note...) 100% of all their opponents are still using beam and projectile weapons.
But the point is that the Jedi are all just too busy fighting a war to really train against a Sith opponent properly.
As far as Yoda training the younglings: Well, he was head of the Jedi Council, and most likely the main political representative to the Republic. How much time could he devote to teaching and training in that role?
Most of the kids he's shown teaching are kindergarten age. (And what exactly is he shown teaching those kids? How to deflect blaster bolts with their sabers...) How much do you remember of what your kindergarten teacher taught you, specifically?
At some point other teachers take over and teach their style. But those early stages are most likely Force-use basics, and general education.
Eventually each student is paired off to a Master Jedi to be mentored, still fairly young if I remember correctly. The Jedi Master will really teach them most of what they will use. It's there that they will really learn the most about being a Jedi. Yoda got a chance to teach his theories and methods to his Padawan far more than he ever would to a group of very young kids in a classroom setting.
His methods would then further influence the padawans that his former apprentice later takes on, tempered by that knights personality and experiences.
But hey... it's just my theory. Nothing says it's the gospel, codified truth... but it fits what I saw in the movies, and makes sense to me.
Native XWA.Netter (Nutter?)
Last edited by edlib; 02-02-2006 at 10:37 PM.