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Old 09-01-2005, 07:07 AM   #14
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
Re: Aikido survivors (Voices of Experience)

Your words were in response to Hanna and part of which Amelia quoted:

People can find as many reasons to quit as they can find reasons to continue. This is the way with most anything. Why should training in Aikido be different? It's just human nature. Training takes dedication, and many simply don't have it, or must give up because other considerations in their lives take precedence, for better or worse. One thing is certain: Training half-heartedly is not training at all. This "going through the motions" is different, however, from taking the philosophies and spirit of Aikido into other parts of life, to be beneficial to oneself and to others. This is just training on another level from the physical, and it doesn't have to stop when one's days in the dojo are finished, regardless of the reason.
emphasis added

Nope, they were your words first. Amelia was responding to you, and you were replying to Hanna. Were you some how reading "going through the paces" in Rupert's post (the first post in the thread to which Hanna references) who referred to people "bumbling"? I didn't see "going through the paces in Hanna's posts. Since you said "she" and not "he" I can only infer you meant Hanna or Amelia and not Rupert, unless somehow Rupert has become a female name.

This is the entire context of Amelia's post:

I disagree. If you are showing up and going through the motions, you are participating. Your body continues to learn, or at least retain its conditioning, even if you're not getting the most out of it. Most people who train over a long period of time will go through periods of less intense training, but that's very different from not showing up for months on end.
I agree with her statement here. There are times where you so daggone exhausted or maybe in a bad mood, when just being there is all you need. I've had those days, but once class is over I was really happy I went to class. I held no expectations of what I should learn so I just let go what ever was bothering me and was able to enjoy myself for 90 minutes. I think that is what Amelia is talking about. I see nothing wrong with this.

What you are missing is that I am not talking about who is better or more able. I am talking about dedication, without which you should not train, regardless of whether you are able to get yourself to the dojo. Big deal.
No, I'm not missing your point. I'm questioning your notion of "dedication" and am refering to "just showing up" as an example of what might appear to be the least dedicated action, to an outside viewer, might actually be the most dedicated action, inside the mind of the particular individual. It is a big deal, just showing up can be a challenge in a person's life. Since you think it is not, then you have obviously not walked in that particular path.

I'm sorry but I'm not as cynical about people as you seem to be. Showing up is dedication. We have one man who shows up 6-7 times month and has to sit on the side of the mat a couple times a class because that is what his body allows. To an outside viewer he doesn't look dedicated, but he is. Would he be a waste of your time to train with? We have people who suffer depression and showing up is just such a challenge. Would they be a waste of your time to train with? We have some adults where the real-world life demands of being a single parent, of runnning their own business and of raising their own children but they do manage to show up once a month. Are they not worth your time to train with?

You owe it to yourself, your teacher, and your fellow students to not be on the mat without your best attitude, and purpose, any more than you should be behind the wheel without maximum sobriety. Not gonna walk the walk? Stay home.
Obviously this is the standard you have for yourself. And those are fine goals, for yourself. Why is it so important that everyone else train just like you? Others have different goals, and different challenges to face in their aikido training.

"Walk the walk?" Who's "talk" does that person must "walk"? Has this person been preaching to you that you must show up and give 110% every single class and then show up and only give 20%? Who is lecturing you then not following through with what they advocated? The phrase "walking the walk" refers to people who do a lot of preaching of doing the right thing but never actually do it. I really hope you "walk your walk," though.

I hardly agree that showing up a little tired, in a bad mood (not with a person's best attitude) is as bad as someone driving drunk. I've seen accidents and injuries happen in the dojo. They seem to be a result of someone either just taking a mistep, pushing themselves too hard, or by being a "stoic 'dedicated' martial artist" not listening to their body when they need to rest because they are injured. As a result, they have to take several months off of training instead of a week or two off to heal. However, I have seen people come in tired, or in a bad mood and leave energized and feeling better. I've been one of those people. Admist all your hyperbole is that what you are really talking about? People who say that "they don't want to be there" because they're sick(not contagious), injured (but can train), tired, or in a bad mood, but show up anyhow. Usually, they say that before class starts, and usually after class they say, "man, I'm sure glad I came to class today...that sure was a great class." Should they not come because they were moody or tired because you think they are not worth your time to train with? I don't think so. Actually, that really is when a person should come. I learn quit a bit when tired or moody.

"Going through the motions" does not cut it, and I hope your Sensei is wise enough to see it this way. If he does not expect more than that from you, it is regrettable.
Actually, my sensei has high standards of what he expects from me but he is wise enough to understand that some people have bad days. He is wise enough to understand that every person is not capable of giving their 110% every single time they show up to class and is wise enough to understand that just by being there the student will benefit to some extent. He doesn't pass judgment on why a person is there. He just teaches them aikido.

Anne Marie Giri
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