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Hanna B
02-12-2003, 03:47 PM
Will my aikido develop proportional to the dose of training I am on? Will six classes a week make me progress in double speed, compared to three classes? 50 % faster?

Or is the training dose not the most relevant thing?

akiy
02-12-2003, 04:06 PM
From "Zen in the Martial Arts":
A young boy traveled across Japan to the school of a famous martial artist. When he arrived at the dojo he was given an audience by the sensei.

"What do you wish from me?" the master asked.

"I wish to be your student and become the finest kareteka in the land," the boy replied. "How long must I study?"

"Ten years at least," the master answered.

"Ten years is a long time," said the boy. "What if I studied twice as hard as all your other students?"

"Twenty years," replied the master.

"Twenty years! What if I practice day and night with all my effort?"

"Thirty years," was the master's reply.

"How is it that each time I say I will work harder, you tell me that it will take longer?" the boy asked.

"The answer is clear. When one eye is fixed upon your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the way."
That quoted, though, I think it really depends on the student, the teacher, and the student's peer group -- not just how much time one spends training at the dojo.

-- Jun

rachmass
02-12-2003, 04:07 PM
Hi Hannah,

It depends on the person, and where they are at in their training. I've trained as much as six days a week, two hours a day, and as little as two days a week. Sometimes the two times a week bouts are making more progress than the daily training which has burned me out in the past. I think it depends where you are in your training, and it varies from individual to individual. Personally, I find four days a week to be optimal.

best,

Rachel

Nacho_mx
02-12-2003, 04:53 PM
If you can take six classes a week, do it. How fast can you improve depends on regular attendance and your own natural talent. Donīt expect immediate rewards because that leads to early frustration.

MaylandL
02-12-2003, 08:38 PM
...Personally, I find four days a week to be optimal.

...
I would tend to agree with this based on my experience. I train Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays with 2 hour sessions. There is enough recovery time between sessions and enough mat time to make progress.

I guess that's why my wife says she's an aikido widow ;)

All the best for training.

Bogeyman
02-12-2003, 10:18 PM
Personally I find that it varies as to my optimal amount of mat time. The important parts for me are that I am enjoying myself and that I am able to focus sharply. If either of these are happening then I get less out of the training. A couple of other factors are how well you connect with your partners (including their ukemi) and your sensei. Sometimes I find that one two hour class is best or I will train everyday for weeks. Just trust your feelings.

E

PhilJ
02-13-2003, 12:04 AM
Jun beat me to the punch on that story. It was my original teacher's favorite. :)

I agree with Eric, and recommend you try "winging" it. Ask yourself what you learned two days ago, and if you can remember, then you probably aren't on the "burn out" track. ;)

Be careful about sinking into a microbiotic-type viewpoint. That is, don't get so involved in the little details that you lose sight of the big picture.

Finally, if you can go back to class the next day -- fully refreshed -- then I say "Why not?" :)

*Phil

bob_stra
02-13-2003, 12:38 AM
Will my aikido develop proportional to the dose of training I am on? Will six classes a week make me progress in double speed, compared to three classes? 50 % faster?

Or is the training dose not the most relevant thing?
Progress at what? Accumulation of techniques or technical proficiecy in a few skills?

Either way, FYI

http://216.239.33.100/search?q=cache:eZIJkLpRKwIC:www.unlv.edu/Colleges/Health_Sciences/Kinesiology/classes/KIN750/meta.pdf+%2Bmassed+%2Bvs+%2Bspaced+%2Bpractice+%2Bkinesiology&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/dept/coachsci/csa/vol31/table.htm

Edward
02-13-2003, 02:08 AM
I myself practice aikido 6 days a week, and practice kendo on Sundays. If you believe the DO theory, you have to practice every day. The purpose of the practice is not to improve, but the practice itself. If you focus on the improvement alone, you will get frustrated by how slow it may (or may not) come.

Now to answer you question, I think yes, the improvement is proportional to the amount of training you invest in. But it is also proportional to the quality of training. 4 days a week of intense training are definitely better than 6 days of half-hearted trainings.

On the other hand, improvement doesn't come in continuous flow, but rather in short bursts after long periods during which you feel no progress at all, or even that your technique is regressing.

Olivier Uyttenh
02-13-2003, 03:21 AM
I myself practice aikido 6 days a week, and practice kendo on Sundays. If you believe the DO theory, you have to practice every day.
I do believe in the DO theory, but I think aikido isn't always practiced inside the dojo, one can also practice aikido in every day life, outside the dojo. Aikido is more then just technique...

O.

Edward
02-13-2003, 03:46 AM
One more thought...

If your target is technical proficiency, it has been unquestionably proven that optimum training is 4 days a week. There is no significant improvement if you train more than that, in the countrary, over-training has negative effect on performance.

However, we are practicing a DO discipline, and the ultimate target is to understand the principles of the Budo and to realize oneselves. This can only be done through daily strenuous physical exercise. Monks used to do that through farming, we do it through training. Technical proficiency will come naturally, but is not sought as the main purpose.

Hanna B
02-13-2003, 03:59 AM
If your target is technical proficiency, it has been unquestionably proven that optimum training is 4 days a week. There is no significant improvement if you train more than that, in the countrary, over-training has negative effect on performance.As you claim that something has been unquestionably proven, I feel the urge to ask for the evidence. Well, professional musicians practice for hours each day... is that a mistake?

If you however are talking about physical shape, weight lifting, aerobic exercise etc. then I am with you.

Regards
Hanna

Duarh
02-13-2003, 04:54 AM
I'm also wondering about the 'unquestionably proven' part. . .if it's so unquestionably proven, why do people bother at all with courses like the Yoshinkan senshusei one with 3 practice sessions a day most days of the week? Do you think those people would progress just as fast if they did 2 hours 4 times a week?

That aside, I can, as a musician, say that the law of diminishing returns works in music as well as anywhere else. The first hour (or two hours) of practice are USUALLY the most rewarding, followed by a decline in 'productivity'. Sometimes, though, as in aikido, it's when you're utterly exhausted that you understand something new.

Edward
02-13-2003, 05:20 AM
As you claim that something has been unquestionably proven, I feel the urge to ask for the evidence. Well, professional musicians practice for hours each day... is that a mistake?

If you however are talking about physical shape, weight lifting, aerobic exercise etc. then I am with you.

Regards

Hanna
Well, I assume that for a professional musician, the little extra benefit that he or she can get from this substantial additional effort is still worth it. The same goes for competitive athletes for whom a fraction of a second can decide winners and loosers. For the hobby aikidoist, it is doubtful that the sore muscles and stiff limbs and frequent injuries resulting from daily practice would be worth the little extra progress they can get from.

As for Toms' mention of the Senshusei course, I guess this course's purpose is not only technical as many Yoshinkan people would tell you, but also they want to teach the students to go beyond pain and physical exhaustion in order to build the personnality and discipline of the participants.

paw
02-13-2003, 05:52 AM
Edward,
If your target is technical proficiency, it has been unquestionably proven that optimum training is 4 days a week. There is no significant improvement if you train more than that, in the countrary, over-training has negative effect on performance.

If you could provide the evidence for this statement, I'd be very interested it in.

Regards,

Paul

bob_stra
02-13-2003, 09:19 AM
Edward,



If you could provide the evidence for this statement, I'd be very interested it in.

Regards,

Paul
I'd like to see it as well

I have a study done on postal workers learning new skills for the mail room. It compares different interval and training loads vs overall accuracy after x weeks.

I will try to dig it up on the other computer - it makes for some interesting reading.

Edward
02-13-2003, 09:39 AM
Edward,



If you could provide the evidence for this statement, I'd be very interested it in.

Regards,

Paul
Sorry but I don't have any evidence. This subject has been discussed previously on aikiweb and several links were given, but I didn't bookmark them. Moreover, I have seen this in several books about sports and fitness, but I can't really give you any references. You have to take my word for it :D

Maybe someone can help?

jaime exley
02-13-2003, 12:21 PM
This is a very interesting conversation!

I think that it might be helpful to make an important distinction. Time spent in Aikido class does not necessarily equate to quality practice time.

The analogy of the professional musician is probably very useful. For a musician there are two very different relationships occuring. The first is his/her relationship with the instrument. This takes hours upon hours of time spent on the most basic of exercises, scale patterns and etudes. Maybe in Aikido this kind of practice would consist of taiso, suburi and kihon type movements.

The second is the relationship with other musicians. One could call this area "ensemble skill". These are skills like being able to play in tune with other people, blending with the dynamic level of the group and being able to follow a conductor. In aikido this might relate to the relationship that we have with our partner. Perhaps the best way to develop these kind of skills is to practice with people that are better than we are and Pay Attention!! Jazz musicians have a term for players that are able to sit in with any group and sound like they've been together for years. They say these people have "Big Ears".

I have more ideas on practice, but I have to get back to work so maybe I'll check back in later.

Jaime

paw
02-13-2003, 01:12 PM
Jaime,
I think that it might be helpful to make an important distinction. Time spent in Aikido class does not necessarily equate to quality practice time.

I agree, which is one of the chief reasons why I'm inclined not to believe the optimum train time is 4 times per week. (And I can't find any information about this....help?)
The analogy of the professional musician is probably very useful.

I'm not so sure about that. Music has a set beginning and set ending. Physical interactions that involve martial techniques that have a set ending are called WORKS (or FIXED). Works are, by definition, phony. Given such a fundamental difference, is music a good analogy?

Regards,

Paul

jaime exley
02-13-2003, 02:02 PM
Thanks Paul.

I think I see the issue that you're getting at. I'm afraid to get too much into it here because it's off the topic of this discussion, but I will say this. I agree that Aikido and Music are very different endeavors. However, I do think that there is a lot to be learned about the nature of practice from music. Maybe that's just because I have a classical conservatory education. I'd love to continue this with you so I'll send you a private message.

On a different note, I'm realizing that I didn't make my original point very clearly. What I was trying to say was that progress in some skills can be directly linked to practice time (as long as it's quality practice time) while other skills are much more nebulous and intangible.

I tend to think that there is absolutely no substitute for good practice. That said, no amount of practice in the world can guarantee success.

Jaime

bob_stra
02-14-2003, 01:59 AM
Here's that post workers thing

http://danielson.laurentian.ca/drdnotes/2206_schmidt_ch08.htm

Abt halfway down the page, under "Balancing Practice and Rest"

pointy
02-14-2003, 04:34 AM
speaking of how much time to spend practicing in your dojo and music ...

im not a fan of his, but i think john coltrane said that there comes a certain point when one has to practice without an instrument. i.e., to practice internally

it's good to give stuff time to sink in IMO

as far as dojo-itis goes, if im on the every day schedule, one class per day is all my body can stand. two classes and everything hurts 8-|

i often do 2 anyway, ouch!

paw
02-14-2003, 06:05 AM
Evan,
as far as dojo-itis goes, if im on the every day schedule, one class per day is all my body can stand. two classes and everything hurts

You may want to consider reading this thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3352)

Regards,

Paul

pointy
02-14-2003, 02:00 PM
i guess by "everything hurts" i really meant "my wrists."

my right wrist was sprained pretty badly a while back and it's still healing.

i can do the excersise / cardio part of it with no problems.

it's a good read tho, thanks Paul.

evan

Hanna B
02-18-2003, 11:59 AM
The purpose of the practice is not to improve, but the practice itself. If you focus on the improvement alone, you will get frustrated by how slow it may (or may not) come.A challenging view indeed! I agree that you should not concentrate too much on improvement, as this will make you frustrated. However, I'm not a zen buddhist and I have always seen continous development as a goal in aikido. A major goal, actually, easier to fulfill now than it will be in twenty years. The joy in the moment, and development over longer time.
]Progress at what? Accumulation of techniques or technical proficiecy in a few skills? Good question. I mainly think of improving a smaller set of techniques, not so much about memorising variants thereof.

I personally believe that the first five years or so, training dose means a lot. After that, I'm not so sure. After about four years of training, I almost stopped - practised only two classes a month, which is nothing. For one term I was still able to perform reasonably well - the second I felt I was loosing what I knew. I could not stand it, and increased to more normal training does again.

I have seen people come back to aikido after years of absence, looking at it with new eyes and quickly learning stuff they did not see while they were doing the regular-training-routine.

Two years ago, I cut down on training from 4-5 classes a week to about half. The thing is, I do not see that my progress has slowed down. I find it strange. I have previously experienced that development happened after a period of intense training, rather than during it. But this is not the case now...

We should not talk about my physical shape, however. I never practise in higher tempo these days, and am not interested in sports or jogging... :o

Edward
02-18-2003, 09:04 PM
A challenging view indeed! I agree that you should not concentrate too much on improvement, as this will make you frustrated. However, I'm not a zen buddhist and I have always seen continous development as a goal in aikido. A major goal, actually, easier to fulfill now than it will be in twenty years. The joy in the moment, and development over longer time.
Well, let's face it. We all have our limitations, and there will be certainly a level where we would not improve any more, or very very slowly. We are not born equal in this respect.

I have seen people with more than 20 years experience and others with only a few years with very similar technical levels.

I think we should do aikido for the joy and well-being that it provides us, that is enough reward by itself. With this kind of attitude, I believe improvement would come more naturally and even quickly than if you actually seek it.

And I'm no Zen buddhist either ;) but don't forget this is a traditional Japanese martial art.

Cheers,

Edward

Hanna B
02-19-2003, 09:31 AM
I never intended to ask for the ultimate way of improvement, just what affects it... the only thing I do not want is to stand still.

There are many things that come easier if you don't try too hard. That does not equal that these things should not be considered goals!

I can not see any contradiction between joy and well-being as a short-time goal and development as a long-term one.

So, you do not want to have goals that get harder to fulfil over the years, and that some people do not succeed in fulfilling? Why not?
And I'm no Zen buddhist either but don't forget this is a traditional Japanese martial art.I would suppose your opinion on the matter is rather unusual. Am I wrong?

happysod
02-19-2003, 10:49 AM
Just curious, but what are you using to measure "successful training"? Speed you can fly up the belts, the respect of your fellow ukes?

The reason I'm asking is that one of the hardest things I've found with aikido is how to actually measure whether you've got any better at the damn thing or not. I've also had to reassure many students at the lower kyu grades that "yes you're improving and no you can't quit you 'orrible little person".

That's why I've plumped for the slog approach, just keep turning up as often as your body/partner/life can stand it without turning you off completely and hope that dojo osmosis actually works. If you're not enjoying the training, give yourself a break, it's allowed. Also, if you meet your current goals, just change them.

bob_stra
02-19-2003, 11:23 AM
Just curious, but what are you using to measure "successful training"? Speed you can fly up the belts, the respect of your fellow ukes?

The reason I'm asking is that one of the hardest things I've found with aikido is how to actually measure whether you've got any better at the damn thing or not.
I agree with that. It really is inordinately difficult to "measure" progress in aikido. Some days are good, some days are klutzy. Which is the accurate reflection of skill?

For me, I've settled on the idea of going by feel. How "good" was today vs the last "good" day? Was it easier to perfrom X? Did I respond with Z given Y? Did I allow myself to flow from A to B when A didn't work?

To (badly) paraphrase - "It's a lot like dancing. The more technical you get, the less enjoyable. The more enjoyable, the less technical. You're kinda screwed huh?"

paw
02-19-2003, 01:09 PM
I agree with that. It really is inordinately difficult to "measure" progress in aikido. Some days are good, some days are klutzy. Which is the accurate reflection of skill?

They both are.
The more technical you get, the less enjoyable. The more enjoyable, the less technical.
What do you mean by "technical"?

Regards,

Paul

PeterR
02-19-2003, 07:46 PM
To (badly) paraphrase - "It's a lot like dancing. The more technical you get, the less enjoyable. The more enjoyable, the less technical. You're kinda screwed huh?"
I know what you mean but like Paul I'm asking define technical.

Personally speaking there are times where I really enjoy getting very very technical. Other times I just want to move.

Edward
02-19-2003, 08:57 PM
I would suppose your opinion on the matter is rather unusual. Am I wrong?
I think you are :) I believe this is the approach of all traditional Japanese martial arts. I am not saying that improvement is not important. It should not be important to you, and that's how you WILL improve faster.

This is kind of hypocritical thinking, but Asian religions and philosophies are all so fond of this kind of rhetoric, where if you want something you should not seek it, then it will come by itself. Kind of following your shadow.... :)

bob_stra
02-20-2003, 03:07 PM
I know what you mean but like Paul I'm asking define technical.
For me technical means getting too caught up in the headspace. For example, being curious abt how my body feels when doing the move isn't too technical. Playing with the move (if/then) to differentiate things isn't too technical. Starting to wonder if I could create the perfect backwards shaping drill to learn this move in x hours over y days...too technical.

It's too technical once it stops being a "playout" and turns into a workout.