Re: Deepening Our Training
I think that our own personal practice is very important for the "first time, many times" experience. We have to be consiously trying to improve our technique by determining what works and what doesnt in our own set of ideosyncracies. By constantly examining our techniques we begin to see subtle variations and differences in our own and others techniques. I think that this is what makes the techniques seem new. I have heard many Shihan and Ive heard people quote O Sensei saying that every technique is different. If we are conciously trying to better our technique then we wont simply be "going through the motions" and these repitions won't "get old for us". If we only perform a certain technique because our sensei told us to then we areno longer training. The idea of training indicates that we are trying to better ourselves or our technique. This critical evaluation and re-evaluation of our movements is what gives a beginner the "beginners mind" Once people get comfortable with the guestures and footwork they sometimes get stuck there because they feel "Hey, I know this technique," rather than "Hey, what can I do to improve this technique"
Ive noticed that I have to continually experiment with different movements for each technique. Some variations work well at improving my technique while others dont, and I throw those away. Guidance from our sensei helps too as long as we use it benificially and not let it go through one ear and out the other.
My advice is to actually train during your training. Whether you are focused on movement, maai, timing, ect. O sensei said that only 25% of aikido is learned from your sensei. The rest is from your own practice.