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Takahama
08-23-2008, 12:28 AM
With regard to the Olympics, I was discussing with one of my senseis about the fact that athletes engage in daily practice with a very tangible goal in mind - winning a gold medal.

In the case of Budo, specifically aikido yuudansha and our daily practice, how important is it to set personal goals or targets? The conclusion in our discussion was that it's a matter of individual preference, different people have different approaches to goal-setting. My sensei noted that goals can be non-technical.

I'm interested to hear about people's approach to goal-setting in Budo, are they specific or general and how are they measured? Without them, is there a danger that we get into a kind of 'cruise-mode' on the Way?

When I was a white belt, my personal goal was clear in front of me: to become shodan. Things are not so tangible from the middle dans perspective. I'm not convinced that continued test-passing is a useful goal and I try to keep in mind the meaning of Budo.

The general purpose of my Budo training is to improve my character and try my best to apply aikido principles in daily life - to blend with and extend kindness to family, friends, colleagues etc. However, these are hardly training goals, and improvement in them is difficult to measure. I can only conclude that my training has no goals at the present time.

I'd be very interested to hear others' thoughts on this.

JamesC
08-23-2008, 06:56 AM
I have more than one goal at the moment.
-Not to occasionally hit my head when I roll
-Keep my unbendable arm
-Extend!
-Intent!
-Figure out what the hell is going on when Sensei calls out a technique in Japanese
-Keep Learnin'

I'm also a beginner so i'm not really sure this applies to me as much as it does to those of you who have been doing it for so long.

Then again...maybe it does?

Stefan Stenudd
08-23-2008, 11:07 AM
Goals are dangerous things. When you set up a goal, you can only learn what you already somewhat knew at the outset, or you would not have been able to make it a goal. You eliminate the element of surprise, of learning something that you had no idea of to begin with.

The way is the goal. It should be allowed to surprise you and transform you.

If you feel the need of formulating goals, make them ridiculously far-fetched. That way, they will take you somewhere marvellous, instead of just back to your starting point.

Kevin Leavitt
08-23-2008, 01:04 PM
George Leonard Sensei wrote a book on Mastery several years ago, that book comes to mind as being relevant to this issue. Mastery is a larger concept than simple goals. It is a complex process.

Mark Uttech
08-23-2008, 02:36 PM
Onegaishimasu. The zen master Taisen Deshimaru Roshi did a book on "Zen and the Martial Arts". He talked about the importance of being "Mushotoku", having no goal. I guess that meant that you had to show up at the dojo and practice. And do it over and over. And see what type of experience you had.

In gassho,

Mark

Janet Rosen
08-23-2008, 09:04 PM
I don't have any goals but I do always have a couple of problems/puzzles I'm working on...I don't actually "resolve" them but reach a certain level of understaning or plateau and by then several other things will have shown up...

jennifer paige smith
08-23-2008, 09:11 PM
Training is the goal.

Norton
08-24-2008, 04:00 PM
My goal is to be stronger and better .Very simple and honest, I think.

Thirza Schraa
08-24-2008, 04:29 PM
Hai,

I have a lot of training goals:
- getting fitter and ‘better organised' in my body after an accident 11 years ago
- feeling a beginner for 2-3 times a week, so to keep my feet on the ground. Since I'm a solo working trainer/coach there is a lack of personal feedback in my work.
- getting sweaty, and all the good things that come from that
- feeling alive at the moment my body ‘automatically' is taking Ukemi or is responding to a movement.
- Some vague dream about teaching Aikido

Thirza Schraa

mathewjgano
08-25-2008, 03:54 PM
I'm interested to hear about people's approach to goal-setting in Budo, are they specific or general and how are they measured? Without them, is there a danger that we get into a kind of 'cruise-mode' on the Way?

When I was a white belt, my personal goal was clear in front of me: to become shodan. Things are not so tangible from the middle dans perspective. I'm not convinced that continued test-passing is a useful goal and I try to keep in mind the meaning of Budo.

The general purpose of my Budo training is to improve my character and try my best to apply aikido principles in daily life - to blend with and extend kindness to family, friends, colleagues etc. However, these are hardly training goals, and improvement in them is difficult to measure. I can only conclude that my training has no goals at the present time.

I'd be very interested to hear others' thoughts on this.

My main goal these days is to get to train, but working two jobs and having a wife who plans everything months ahead of time makes that often difficult.
That aside, my overarching goal in Aikido is to better myself that I may better the world around me, whether it be in physical defense, developing a hard-working character, etc. My goal in life has long been to help in as broad a manner as I can muster and I feel Ueshiba Aikido reflects this same goal. After that it's great exercise and a fun way to spend a couple hours of a day. It keeps my body in shape, my coordination sharp, and my mind relaxed...can't ask for much more in something. These are some of the things that I plan on working on in my future training of Aikido so i guess they could be called goals.
Take care,
Matt

lbb
08-25-2008, 09:26 PM
My only goal is to keep training.

SeiserL
08-26-2008, 10:06 AM
IMHO, goals can be useful as indicators of a direction. Like mile markers are the freeway, you drive towards them, pass them, and keep going.

Norton
08-26-2008, 06:43 PM
IMHO, goals can be useful as indicators of a direction. Like mile markers are the freeway, you drive towards them, pass them, and keep going.

I agree. They encourage you to go further, they let you know that your hardwork's started paying off.

Cynrod
09-15-2008, 10:48 PM
I think no matter what you do in life you have to have a goal.

Training=Polishing and Polished=Goal.

PhilMyKi
09-16-2008, 10:36 AM
To be the best I can be at that given moment, then move onto the next. Will never quite achieve it, but the goal evolves with me :). I use this in nearly everything I do.

Amadeus
09-16-2008, 02:23 PM
My goals is quite simple:
- learn stuff
- meet people
- have fun

Some wiseguy said something about it's not the destination that's most important, but the journey. So I guess goals is a good way to get the direction. What you accomplish can be something totally different, but still kool gear.