John Boswell wrote:
Does that make me a part-time and slacker student ???
I wouldn't equate part-time student with slacker. But I think it's kind of feeling that makes people react angrily to a position like Ledyard sensei's.
I think it's about how you present yourself to yourself, and to the world. It would be ridiculous for me to start acting like I was a seriously dangerous fighter for example. Or a doctor, or a ballet dancer, or anything else that I'm not.
It's painful to think that other people might be better than me. But in the end, if someone trains 5-6-7 days a week, several hours a day - isn't that a sacrifice that deserves recognition? I'm not prepared to put quite that much time into aikido training - why should I pretend to be an equally serious student of the art? It doesn't make me a slacker - it makes me an amateur, which is what I am. I'm not training to become a professional aikidoka, I already have a job!
Still, sometimes there's the little voice in my head that says that I really would like to be that serious, train that much, be able to take that many breakfalls etc etc. and that I'd really like to be treated as if I was
...but in the end, fact is that I'm not prepared to put more time into it than I already do. It's my choice, and I can't demand a different outcome than what I've chosen for.
Now during the time in the dojo, I try to train as seriously as I can, I try to really be there, not half somewhere else. I think about what I do, I read about it. It's a more serious hobby than anything else that I do in my free time, but it's still not the only thing, or the main thing, that I do in my life. If I would pretend that it was, I'd be kidding myself. Which is what the column was talking about, I think.
I'd say I'm possibly a branch...sometimes a twig.
You get to say for yourself what your place is in the big picture.