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A new member on the board just reminded me of something important. He posted about how his weaknesses becomes amplified through his training. This struck me a true statement that doesn't get discussed enough. I do think it's true that we see our own weaknesses stronger than ever when we train hard. That's what caused me to take such a long break from posting on this journal (see previous entry) in the first place. Now I am far more open to advice than I was previously, and my training is more fruitful now as well. It's so hard to make the transition from being a pretentious westerner, to something... else. It's a work in progress, but the effect in already in stark contrast to "how I was before." I wonder what changes in other people who have trained for a long time. I think for me, there are several things. The first one, which I will always struggle with, is humbleness. I grew up with two older brothers who were both geniuses (based on I.Q.) and I always assumed that I was too. I'm not. I need to understand that the reason I may have seemed smarter than some of my peers growing up was that I listened to my brothers. That lesson was completely lost on me untill I started training and found our that you have to listen to people who know about these matters. Another thing that I think has changed in me is a desire to do hard work or improve myself constantly. How many of us were/are lazy people? I know I was/am. But now, there is a strong motivation to not only improve myself emotionally and psychologically on the things that I know are a problem, but to seek out more and more weaknesses that I didn't know were there. That's when I decided, for the first time in my life, to try to be a little more optimistic. I also decided to try to never complain, which is really hard No really, I'm so glad I made that choice on both accounts, and I thank my Aikido training for reminding me why I should. There are lots of other things that I am learning, but the point is that I am working on it. It's not, as I suspected, all about the physical technique, that just illustrates the points. It's been said that you can get out of training what you want, and it can be a transformative art if you want it to be. It should be added that it'll let you know what you should be working on, and you have to be open to taking those hits. Just like in a technique, if you tense up your mind/muscles, and try to push your ideas/technique on the wake up call/uke, it becomes very difficult to feel what the training/attack is telling you to do. Anyway, these hits are coming for you all the time, and if you're not ready for it, you might not be able to take it.