I am a newbie to aikido and i have been told to set a real high goal i should aim for. The question is how high should i set it?
Shihan? Shidoin? im not sure how high is to high :)
Shodan is the one that i feel i should set my goal at but i dont know if that is high enough.
I think the goal you should set yourself is not a belt, rank or teaching level. You should set yourself the goal of being able to do any and every technique perfectly, from any attack.
Just a start anyways;)
And, more goals than Sweden on Sunday:D
The goal I would set is to keep an open mind and always look for something new (within the realm of aiki practice), and to keep training as long as I enjoy it.:)
Re: Goal setting?
For example, I run - if I set my goal at 200 miles a week it's likely that I'd get frustrated and quit because it's an unrealistic goal. OTOH, if I set the goal at 1 mile a week it's likely that I'll get bored and not continue because the regime is too light for me.
So I set a goal that I can achieve with difficulty, but makes me work, and one that is not so hard that I won't be able to achieve it if I work hard.
A hint, once you set a goal try to never back down from that goal. Back down once and it just gets easier to back down the next time. That's why choosing a goal of an appropriate level is important.
I often set myself a goal of studying a particular thing - for example, a certain kind of footwork, for a period of time. 6 months, a year, whatever's appropriate.
Im not really interested in rank right now anyway. I just want to consume as much knowledge as i can about aikido. Rank will come when the time is right.
My goal could be to never miss class ;)
But then again i wouldnt miss it to begin with.
I do feel that some type of goal should be set but confusion sets in when i try and set it. batemanb what you say seems like the best thing, i will go with that.
thanks for the replys
The other day, I mentally set a time for reaching shodan, that is, I'd like to reach shodan by a certain age. Does anyone think this is shifting to a goal mentality, focusing on the destination too much instead of on the road? I mean I don't think shodan equals mastery or anything like that, but I still think it's a turning point, especially if one starts teaching then.
In light of what I see in class, my advice for a goal would be to improve your forward rolls such that you aren't letting your rolling arm collapse.
There is an old story about a student approaching a sword master. He asked how long it would take him to master the technique. The master said 5 years. And if he trained everyday, 7 years. And if he trained all day everyday, 10 years. The master explained that to keep you eye only on the future goal leaves little to pay attention to the training and lesson of the day.
Sport psychology stresses the best results from setting a goal that will give you a direction, but to get process (training) oriented so you enjoy the training and keep training. Example is to pay attention to the ball not the scoreboard.
In recover we talk about "one day at a time."
IMHO (and expereince) enjoying the training has kept me in the martial arts for over 30 years and brings me rank whether I want it ot not.
Relax, breathe, and enjoy yourself.
Nidan Tenshinkai Aikido
Lucaylucay Kali JKD
Re: Goal setting?
Why don't you just set the goal of completely mastering Aikido? Of course mastery would depend on your view of yourself. Wearing any black belt doesn't mean you've achieved a mastery of Aikido. It reflects others views of you, not your view of yourself.
Many times people achieve shodan rank and quit because they feel they have mastered a martial art. Actually shodan means you've achieved a certain understanding of the basics, you know where the hands and feet are suppose to go. After shodan, you can begin to actually learn Aikido! :cool:
If you want to teach, Teach! Volunteer to warm-up the class or substitute for someone else. Start looking at your instructors as teachers. How do they make conscious the unconscious motions of aikido? Do they verbalize, demonstrate? Do they use humor or drama to impress their students? In any given technique are there common mistakes that they recognize? Do your instructors have a class plan? What are the differences between teachers and the way they instruct? How can you use mistakes to encourage students?
Just like you don't need a black belt to achieve mastery in Aikido, you also don't need it to instruct. ;)
I've said it before but setting goals is one of the main benefits of the kyu/dan system. As you progress, external goals become far less important, and what do you know the time between gradings become less. In other words going for rank, at least initially, is not so terrible.
Setting goals like making x number of classes a week is also a very good way to go.
Short term, achievable goals is everything. The long term goals will eventually fall into place.
When I started aikido (after a little while to decide that I thought it was worth learning), I set myself the goal of achieving shodan. When training was difficult, when I felt tired, sore or grumpy, I set myself the goal of turning up and training to the best of my ability. Now, as I near my shodan grading, I feel a huge sense of achievement...but passing the grading isn't my goal anymore.
My goal has morphed into wanting to continue training, to keep improving, to enjoy myself and to help my fellow classmates to do the same.
But at least I won't have to buy any new belts for a while ;)
If you set a long term goal such as Shodan, or "complete mastery", whatever that means, you should try to set short term goals that will lead to that larger, distant goal. And these should be directly related to individual skills. By continuing to set these interim goals, one by one, you will accomplish several things:
1. You'll be taking responsibility for your own progress.
2. You'll feel as though you have more direction (something you're working toward).
3. You'll probably find other, more intrinsic rewards to your training than advancement in rank.
4. Your focus will be less on rank and more on how YOU are progressing in skill attainment.
Be sure not compare yourself too much with others in the class. You are beginning with the experience and abilities and lack thereof that are unique to you. You will also reach plateaus in your training, so certain skills may come easily and quickly and others will elude you. Don't get discouraged. Stay focused on the process and not on the end goal. Good luck to you!
Well, life intervened in the form of things like being a slow learner, losing 18 months due to injury, etc. Now I joke that I'll be able to pay for my shodan testing fees with my first social security check!
But along the way I've picked up some different goals:
learning to be present, sincere and connected with my partner
moving with good relaxed body mechanics every moment
keeping some of these things when I walk out the dojo door
Anyhow, I don't think there is anything "wrong" with having a goal like yours in the back of your head as a long-term focus, so long as the desire is not for the belt but for the abilities and growth that it symbolizes.
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