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Old 02-20-2006, 04:54 PM   #20
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
United Kingdom
Re: How much training per week?

Mike Sigman wrote:
In his cryptic and near-religious way, Koichi Tohei says "extend Ki all the time". If you tend to view the Ki-Society bit as peripherally focused, it's easy to just put the "all the time" down as one of those sayings. However, most of the the very high-level practitioners of martial arts that use "internal strength" that I've ever seen tend to mention this "all the time" aspect of their training. You cannot really learn to move "from your center" with 3 practice sessions a week while doing "normal movement" the rest of the week. You have to practice all of the time in sourcing your power from the ground through the hara (or from the weight of the body) before the mind will ever take the clue that you intend to override the natural arm and shoulder inclinations we've developed since childhood.

O-Sensei had special heavy-weight garden tools made and reportedly did a number of other things which indicated that his practice extended outside of the dojo. I've listened to experts say that they even spent time stirring the soup with their middle, openning doors using the force from the ground, doing everything in fact, with the correct movement. So my 2 cents is that how many times someone goes to practice during a week doesn't quite cover the subject.


our politics may differ, but I agree with your post above.
My teacher stresses the need to apply all the principles learned in the dojo into daily life. He did spend about 10 years with Tohei Sensei, so that probably explains it.
I am usually in the dojo 3 times a week either as a student or teacher, so that may not put me in to the 'enough' catagory, but I agree with your last sentence that frequency does not quite cover the subject.
Quality of instruction must play a part. 1 session a week with a 'very good' sensei is probably worth many more with a lesser sensei.
I make no personal claims here, it's just an observation on the question in the thread.

I particularly Like Christopher Li's point
The more I go on, the less I think of becoming good as an important goal. That is, unless you are instructing others (and if you ask me, too many people in Aikido are interested in instructing others), than how good you are isn't really all that important. More important is whether or not your training informs and enriches your life, and that is just as likely to happen when going to two classes a week as it is going to seven. In these terms, less important than frequency, IMO, is consistency over the long term - and consistent training over a lifetime is probably harder to acheive than intense training over a period of a year or two.
This seems to me to be close to how many people (in my own limited experience) practice.
Aikido is an important part of any aikidoka's life, many would like to spend more time training but modern life, work, family, geography, only allows so much. If your aikido practice enriches your life, then surely that is 'enough'. If you want to compare yourself with others it may not be, but how useful is that?

Just my 2 penneth worth


Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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