Re: Article: Clarity and Self-Delusion in One's Training by George S. Ledyard
Just wanted to share my thoughts on your article. I appreciate when someone tells me that I made them think and possibly changed something in their life, and it seems that this is what you were trying to get across.
Sounds like I'm part of the trunk. I've been training twice a week for the past year, and three times/week for 3 years prior to that. I've quit and turned down jobs so that I can continue to train in those 2 afternoon classes. So I'm pretty much a regular. Needless to say, aikido training is pretty important to me. However, I'm not a root (as you define it) nor do I desire to be. At least not now, though things change throughout life. Obtaining shodan would be a good goal for me, but am not too concerned with rank. I may be able to attend more when my son (now 2) hopefully gets into aikido. Right now I'm happy to be training and still getting corrected and improving techniques from sensei.
My dedication is more toward Tai Chi. I've been practicing a form for about 8 years, but gotten more serious (doing Tui Shou and a more regular class) the past year. This forced me to give up one aikido class each week. There are two main reasons. I'm able to, and it is extremely important for development, to practice on my own. I've found this is more difficult in aikido (except weapons). Since I can practice at home, this means less time away from family. The bigger reason is that for me its easier to relax, because this is the primary focus. It's also better for me to reach my goal of Agatsu. I'm not saying any way is better than another, in general, but only for each individual.
Someone told me on my recent aikido test that I looked very rooted and relaxed/sunken chest. I believe that my aikido is getting deeper through my Tai Chi, but I don't have the delusion that aikido is my main ... training.
Aikido has been very good to me, and I would hope to be able to give back in some way. I might have a chance to do that as my Tuesday sensei has asked me and another noon regular to teach if she's gone once or twice a year.
One nice thing is that one of the head Sensei whose class I attend once a week, has some Tai Chi and has a very calm and relaxed teaching method. I still enjoy the more vigorous teaching of my other instructor.
Anyway, thanks to you and other instructors for not rejecting students like me who are not roots for the art. You are not wasting your time.