Gravity and Grounding
Speed, Timing, Breathing
Congruity and Training
Students, and Arts
Deciding to Leave
What to Expect, or...
"If you only knew what you were getting yourself into!..." Training in the martial arts is always demanding. Excellence demands an extraordinary amount of dedication no matter what the art. In aikido we are training in personal excellence: excellence at being ourselves. This means that our excellence unfolds throughout our entire lives. How (and if) it unfolds will depend on the nature and consistency of your personal training both in and out of the dojo. We are the products of our lifestyles, and each aikido class provides us with a magnified concentrated vignette of ourselves at a particular moment in time. For this reason, it is often difficult to deal with the intensity and the content of our discoveries about ourselves. Only continual and integrated training discipline can facilitate these lessons and provide us with the internal mechanism and strength to assimilate them efficiently. Perhaps by thinking about this you can understand three obvious, but often-ignored facts:
(1) All of the martial arts have a very high attrition (dropout) rate.
(2) All masters are highly disciplined in their training. It is the disciplined, consistent training over a long period of time which produces mastery. The start-stop-start pattern of "training" is more akin to "trying" than training.
(3) For as long as you do aikido, no matter what your age, you will improve.
To go the whole road will take (and give) more than we would ever have expected when we started. Whenever in doubt, go back to the basics. They will keep you on the path.