View Full Version : Perfection and Mistakes

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01-03-2003, 02:25 PM
I recently sat down with an old guitar playing friend and we discussed a seminar we took years ago. The teacher, a Jazz great, offered his oppinion about how we learn and I realized that I had forgotten where I had originally heard this advice.

I'd like to share it here and suggest its application to Aikido training.

He said - "Never practice your mistakes." "When you train, only practice what you do perfectly, too many people try to hammer their way through a piece of music just to get to the end.

He went on, "While learning, slow down and play at a speed that allows you to play perfectly. Once you have mastered this speed, go only as fast as you can without mistakes."

There was a great deal more but the important thing is that we have a chance to train in Aikido in this very method by stopping what we are doing when we get out of center or simply lost. It will require an understanding Uke, but try stopping or going slower untill you actually master the technique and control of Uke's center. By repetition, we reinforce those nueral pathways that allow us to respond instantly when necessary - if we constantly reinforce shoddy technique or poor centering we respond the same way. Poor and shoddy.

This requires time and patience - so many people just want to throw someone down, damn it, or to fly. And some will find this too much like Tai Chi in moving slowly. I suggest that you try it. By being honest and really stopping when you feel yourself lose the technique or uke's center, you will be more aware of limitations and less bound by ego. And you won't practice your mistakes.

01-03-2003, 02:43 PM
Practice does not make perfect... perfect practice makes permanent! :p



01-04-2003, 11:08 PM
As both an Aikidoka and a guitar playing, my deepest compliments and appreictaion for reminding me of this most valuable lesson. Could not agree more.

Until again,


01-05-2003, 02:06 AM
One of my AiKiDo teachers once told me, "we tend to hurry through those places where we are least comfortable. You would think that if we were interested in improving our technique then those would be exactly the places we would want to slow down and pay attention."

Lyle Bogin
01-05-2003, 09:26 AM
The trouble is that we often don't know where our mistakes are, or the nature of our practice changes and perfect techniques suddenly become mistakes.

But the general lesson is a classic