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So here you are walking your path of Aikido.
Only you can walk your path, of course you train with your classmates in the dojo, making progress together, attending courses together -- but make no mistake the path you are walking is your own.
There will no doubt be students who have less commitments to family and work than you and can attend class more often -- this is there path.
Likewise there will be fellow students with a heavy burden of family and work, and although you would like to help them, that is their path.
Your path will not be an easy one, there will be obstacles and diversions along the way, at times you will feel your progress has stopped, though the small breeze against your face reminds you, that you are still moving forwards.
Every obstacle is an opportunity for personal growth and development.
This is your path, the quality of which is decided by you, progress along your path is achieved by your efforts alone
A few Years ago, I would look forward to reading Rev. Kensho Furuya's daily message Sensei was the head of the ACLA (Aikido centre of Los Angeles) and his messages were thought provoking and inspirational.
One theme Sensei Furuya often repeated was taking note of even the smallest detail of your dojo practice and take it to heart.
Recently getting changed, I realized that the zori I was putting on weren't actually mine! I must have put on the wrong ones at the Doshu course, due to the volume of people at the venue.
Oh well, I will look after my newly ‘acquired' zori and in future make sure I am being more aware and focused in the dojo, even when practice is over……
I was recently asked by a friend, to recommend an Aikido book for him as he was joining the Police force in 2 weeks.
'well they'll probably teach you whatever you need to know' i told him
"yes but i want to get a heads up, i want to look as though i know what i'm doing" was his reply.
'well the best way would be to join a club...'
"no i haven't got time time for that" he interrupted
'well there's (i reeled off a few titles) which show techniques in detail etc'
"umm right" his reply (without making notes of my suggestions)
I met up with him last weekend, and he showed me his book -- Dynamic Aikido (Gozo Shioda)
'oh right, i've got that one, it's got some good diagrams to work from' i told him.
"no its not very good" was his reply "its all broken down into small movements" he seemed disappointed in his lack of progress.
ohh... then i realized - he needed the 'Magic book', the one where he just sits back and is imbued with all the technical knowledge.
i'll have to borrow his copy, if he ever finds it.....
Until then i just keep going to the Dojo.