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mathewjgano 09-21-2007 04:08 PM

Constant training?
 
What do you think of the concept of continuous training? Do you practice it in some form? What ways might one train continuously, assuming you think it possible?
Right now I'm working in construction and I find that it provides a pretty good means for conditioning my body. My muscles of course get stronger (and tighter, unfortunately), but I also get to work on moving with precision, balance, etc. It seems like a great way to train while also paying the bills. Certainly my spacial awareness improves when trying to guage whether or not a fixture will fit through a limited opening, etc.
Any thoughts or examples of your own?
Take care folks,
Matt

Roman Kremianski 09-21-2007 09:18 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
Continuous training as in training everyday, or simply training regularly through the year?

CNYMike 09-21-2007 10:35 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
Quote:

Matthew Gano wrote: (Post 190284)
What do you think of the concept of continuous training? .... Any thoughts or examples of your own?
Take care folks,
Matt

The meat and potatoes of martial arts training is what you do on your own outside of class; practice is the only way to improve. The class becomes a clearing house where any errors you make are corrected.

For myself, every morning I do a battery of stretches; some pushups, situps, and leg lifts; and some jogging. Then I cycle through some material from Aikido, Karate, Serak, and Jun Fan, emphasizing a differnt one on a different day. (Kali, has fallen by the wayside, unfortunatley; I should add some stick work to my daily regime! :( :sorry: )Of course, if I want to get started quicker, I just do the stretching and condtioning; everyhting else takes time! But there you go.

Mark Uttech 09-22-2007 07:49 AM

Re: Constant training?
 
Training in mindfulness does the trick for me. It starts with being mindful of breathing.

In gassho,

Mark

mathewjgano 09-22-2007 10:01 AM

Re: Constant training?
 
Quote:

Roman Kremianski wrote: (Post 190295)
Continuous training as in training everyday, or simply training regularly through the year?

I mean not just every day, but possibly every moment? In part I was wondering what people thought about that idea...how continuous they think it is possible to train...both mentally (eg-Mark's reference of mindfulness) and/or physically.
One of the things that attracted me to Aikido in the first place was what I read about "constant" training, which resonated with my own views regarding a life of learning meaning always trying to learn, even in the most mundane experiences.

SeiserL 09-22-2007 03:41 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
IMHO, training wiser is more important than training constantly.

Roman Kremianski 09-22-2007 05:45 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
I guess people will consider different things to be training. Some might say cooking is "training". If I'm personally not on the mat, I'm not training. I need to lose that sense of time to really get into my practice. You know, the periods where you look up and notice 20 minutes has passed in what seemed like 4?

mathewjgano 09-23-2007 01:51 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
Quote:

Roman Kremianski wrote: (Post 190326)
I guess people will consider different things to be training. Some might say cooking is "training". If I'm personally not on the mat, I'm not training. I need to lose that sense of time to really get into my practice. You know, the periods where you look up and notice 20 minutes has passed in what seemed like 4?

Yeah I hear ya. I tend to equate training with learning, so from that standpoint, I'm always training. I guess the question might become: what am I training for or accomplishing?
I like what you said about losing sense of time. When you're so focused on what you're doing that time flies by...as they say, time flies when you're having fun!
Do you think other activities translate though? I know activities like soccer have helped me develop a sense of having a firm base, particularly when me and another person are about to kick the ball at the same time...one person often falls over and I learned how to do that less before I ever trained in Aikido.

John Matsushima 09-24-2007 11:51 AM

Re: Constant training?
 
I think the key is constant sincere training. Personally, I make it a rule to get my butt on the mat at least 3 times a week come rain, snow or shine. It is important for to keep a regular training schedule and not to take any breaks (except for sickness, wife's demands, etc) I think too often people take breaks just because they feel like it, or it becomes tiresome to them, or they just get lazy. I sometimes hear people say "after I don't come for a while and I come back I feel my technique has gotten better" Well, maybe that's just because their skill level has digressed to a level that has become comfortable. Then, it becomes one step forward, two steps back.
Secondly, no matter how much or how long one practices, progress will only come with sincerity. I think it is always important to train with your heart, mind and body. I often ask myself questions like, "Am I training hard enough? Is my technique sloppy? Is it effective? Am I too aggressive? Am I too passive? Like the saying goes, I know that if I do 1000 bokken cuts a day, it doesn't matter if I am doing them wrong.

Aikido training starts on the mat and continues in our lives.

mathewjgano 09-24-2007 12:35 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
Quote:

John Matsushima wrote: (Post 190409)
Aikido training starts on the mat and continues in our lives.

I agree, and it's along these lines that I brought this question up...it's a matter of sincerity and I think that brings with it consistency.
I know it's an abstract thing; not exactly tangible, but I think perhaps the core principle of Aikido lies in sincerity/intention. I've heard some folks describe Aikido as "beyond" self-defense and I imagine this is what they're getting at: how do we focus our intent and operate sincerely, both in the self-defense aspect and the other ways in which we enrich ourselves.
Nice posts, everyone, thank you all for responding to my question.

gdandscompserv 09-24-2007 12:46 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
I call it constant training...my wife calls it obsession.:D

mathewjgano 09-24-2007 01:00 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
Quote:

Ricky Wood wrote: (Post 190422)
I call it constant training...my wife calls it obsession.:D

Heheheh...I feel yer pain! Just because I bow and say "onegaishimasu" every time I hug my wife she thinks I'm a little nutty.:crazy:

lbb 09-24-2007 07:39 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
Quote:

Matthew Gano wrote: (Post 190315)
I mean not just every day, but possibly every moment? In part I was wondering what people thought about that idea...how continuous they think it is possible to train...both mentally (eg-Mark's reference of mindfulness) and/or physically.

Well...there's also the consideration of whether it's desirable to train continuously. Consider: if you're "training aikido" while you're doing something else (walking the dog, riding your bike, cooking an omelet), then you're not being present in what it is you are doing. I don't regard that as a good thing. Everything you do is itself; it's not a metaphor for some other thing, it has its own existence and its own meaning. If you want more aikido training, then I'd say do what you need to do to spend more time on the mat. Become an uchideshi, whatever. But I bet you'll find that uchideshi, when they get a break to eat or sleep or do laundry, don't make that time into aikido training time. That's when they live the rest of their lives, which are circumscribed enough.

mathewjgano 09-24-2007 08:06 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
Quote:

Mary Malmros wrote: (Post 190465)
Well...there's also the consideration of whether it's desirable to train continuously. Consider: if you're "training aikido" while you're doing something else (walking the dog, riding your bike, cooking an omelet), then you're not being present in what it is you are doing. I don't regard that as a good thing. Everything you do is itself; it's not a metaphor for some other thing, it has its own existence and its own meaning. If you want more aikido training, then I'd say do what you need to do to spend more time on the mat. Become an uchideshi, whatever. But I bet you'll find that uchideshi, when they get a break to eat or sleep or do laundry, don't make that time into aikido training time. That's when they live the rest of their lives, which are circumscribed enough.

Good point! I agree that being distracted from the moment, regardless of what you're being distracted by, can be bad. I know I tended to think a little too much about applying aikido to everything and it annoyed some of my buddies, for example. In a sense though, I wouldn't describe that as really training. At this point in my training, being mindfull/present is a prerequisit to it. So, walking the dog, so long as you're focused on that activity, might itself be a moment of training...especially if it's an English Mastiff who weighs as much as you do:eek: .
My weekly running sessions have become moments where I focus on how I'm moving my structure for example. I'm not thinking as much as feeling my way through the movements. I suppose what I'm describing really is simply "mindfullness" in other activities and how it might apply to what most people think of as "training."
Have you ever done something off the mat and found it helped you to better understand what you're doing on the mat?

nemier 09-24-2007 10:02 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
I try to employ Aikido in everything I do. And when I do that, I find the most success. I'll cook a better omlette or enjoy walking the dog more when aikido is at the back of my mind. I'm a beginner though, and I'm expecting this to change once the "excitement" wears off.

Basia Halliop 09-25-2007 06:43 AM

Re: Constant training?
 
This sounds very undesireable to me. I think one of the most useful things many people can learn (I started finally getting this in university) is to do one thing at a time and do it well. When you're working think only about working, when you're playing think only about playing, when you're relaxing, think only about relaxing things.

I try really hard NOT to let my mind wander to whatever I'm doing in Aikido or to the great book I was reading or to whatever I was reading in the paper when I'm supposed to be reading a chapter of a textbook or working out some math problem, for example. I don't always succeed 100% of the time (especially as regards the newspaper... :lol) but it's a goal.

I suppose some people have such a wide definition of 'aikido' that just about anything qualifies, but I don't, and don't see any positive in that.

mathewjgano 09-25-2007 03:02 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
Quote:

Basia Halliop wrote: (Post 190493)
I suppose some people have such a wide definition of 'aikido' that just about anything qualifies, but I don't, and don't see any positive in that.

How would you define it? I tend to include things like rei as "Aikido." It's pretty much a fancy way of saying "ettiquette," but to me Aikido provides a good reminder for other behaviors aside from physical waza. Even if it's just a psychological trick to get me thinking about how to utilize what I'm presented with in life, it's been fairly useful for me.
You say you don't see any positive, is that to imply you see a negative to having such an all-inclusive definition of aikido?

Basia Halliop 09-25-2007 03:30 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
Quote:

You say you don't see any positive, is that to imply you see a negative to having such an all-inclusive definition of aikido?
I suppose if a word can mean everything it's like it stops meaning anything, if that makes sense? If I can call everything 'apple' from my toe to an airplane, than there's not much point in having the word 'apple' at all, is there? and we'll also need a whole new word to describe those red/green crunchy fruit things.

I would define Aikido more or less as what I do on the mat with my own body and my partner's body. Getting off the line of attack, getting to a safe position, taking uke's balance, joint-locks, throwing, falling safely, that kind of thing. You know, like ikkyo, shihonage, koshinage, etc. I don't count general good qualities like 'being mindful' or 'respect' as 'Aikido' because while those may be useful/vital in Aikido, they're no less useful in almost anything you do, so I don't feel like Aikido has some kind of particular claim to them more than any other human activity.

If what you actually meant by 'training continuously' was what I'd call taking general principles/skills you happened to have found Aikido useful to help you learn (like concentration or body awareness or whatever) and continuing to practice them in other appropriate spheres where they are also beneficial -- then yes, in that case I can totally see how that could be beneficial. (I just personally wouldn't call it training or aikido, but maybe that's just language?)

mathewjgano 09-25-2007 03:41 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
Quote:

Basia Halliop wrote: (Post 190540)
(I just personally wouldn't call it training or aikido, but maybe that's just language?)

Yeah, largely semantics, although I think of the potential universal nature of aikido like I think of the possibility of universal field theory (which has thus far been unproven).

nemier 09-26-2007 06:38 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
If what you actually meant by 'training continuously' was what I'd call taking general principles/skills you happened to have found Aikido useful to help you learn (like concentration or body awareness or whatever) and continuing to practice them in other appropriate spheres where they are also beneficial -- then yes, in that case I can totally see how that could be beneficial.

This is precisely what I was referring to.
I like to use Aikido 'principles' in everything I do. It makes me happy and I get things done effectively & efficiently the first time.

Gernot Hassenpflug 09-26-2007 10:05 PM

Re: Constant training?
 
There is a Japanese saying that Bujutsu is a lonely road that one walks alone. I think it is because the self-discovery of how the body works is something that takes so much time and effort after the concepts and tools for the job have been learned. Thus, for me, mentally, the investigative process never stops---whether I am sitting writing email, walking, or other physical activity. Then, the issue of solo training cannot be ignored: without it, there is no real progress. Finally, the test in class against others of a like mindset (hopefully) and those that are more advanced than oneself. I cannot think of any escape from training under such circumstances, although refusing to spend as much time on solo exercises as one should is quite easy to accomplish LOL

mathewjgano 09-27-2007 08:21 AM

Re: Constant training?
 
Quote:

Gernot Hassenpflug wrote: (Post 190681)
There is a Japanese saying that Bujutsu is a lonely road that one walks alone. I think it is because the self-discovery of how the body works is something that takes so much time and effort after the concepts and tools for the job have been learned. Thus, for me, mentally, the investigative process never stops---whether I am sitting writing email, walking, or other physical activity. Then, the issue of solo training cannot be ignored: without it, there is no real progress. Finally, the test in class against others of a like mindset (hopefully) and those that are more advanced than oneself. I cannot think of any escape from training under such circumstances, although refusing to spend as much time on solo exercises as one should is quite easy to accomplish LOL

This is along the lines of what i was thinking about...but much better stated. Thanks!
Take care.


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