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Old 07-28-2000, 09:26 AM   #4
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 432
Ki Symbol

Excellent topic Ron, I was thinking of bringing up the same subject myself and you beat me to it!

I think almost everybody struggles with this issue - some more some less. Akira Tohei Sensei used to always say to his students that one had to not only have balance in their aikido, but also in life outside the dojo. He said he could even tell when one of his students was "out of balance" in their personal lives by observing their practice in the dojo. As a husband and father of a nine month old, I find that I am almost constantly struggling to find that balance between spending time with my family and my desire to go to the dojo. Having an understanding partner is an enormous help. My fellow teachers and fellow students at the dojo are also very understanding when I'm not able to help out as much at the dojo due to my family (I just wish my boss was as understanding - another topic). I agree with all of the above posts. Another thing that I find helps me is to remind myself that this is another way to practice my aikido by trying to achieve that balance between these issues and being very flexible. That, and compromise and education. To my wife, aikido and the martial arts are very foreign, so it's been important for me to educate and reassure her what aikido is and what it means to me ("No honey, it's not a cult"). I don't think she fully understands (hell, I usually don't), but I think it helps. In fact, I'm leaving for week long summer camp tomorrow, and my wife and I came to an agreement that it was OK for me to attend most of the seminar as long as I come home for a couple of days in the middle of the week to spend time with her and my son - then I can go back and finish the rest of the week at camp. Luckily for me, I only live a forty minute drive from the seminar location. Anyway, that's my two cents worth.

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