Mark Uttech wrote:
I am of the opinion that the spirit of repitition is valuable. True practice is to do things over and over. Keeping the "beginner's mind" is also valuable. I don't think people can "make" their practice deep; they can make it continuous.They can have periods of time where they stumble about in darkness.Newness is always nearby though, it is also said that enlightenment is there already.
Going back to an earlier comment...
I agree that repetition is valuable, but it also depends if one is fully aware of the purpose of repetition.
I attended the classes of a high-ranking Sensei who seemed to prolong the duration of each move - i.e. other Sensei would change the waza after about 10 minutes, but this particular Sensei would extend the duration of moves to 15+ minutes. Everyone I trained with (and probably myself) would get bored after a while and either blank out or start doing variations... Looking back, I guess my understanding wasn't deep enough so as to enable me to focus on the finer points of the move (which would have required the 15+ minutes).
On the other hand, I had another Sensei who made us do relatively simple nage waza for the entire training session. It was repetitive too, but he made it clear it was a test of stamina and also a means to tire ourselves out so that we would rely less on strength and try to harmonize with our uke. In this case, we had a purpose in mind from the beginning, so it wasn't boring at all.
Also, "beginner's mind" has more than one meaning. If we always pretended we were seeing the move for this first time, then we would always be struggling with the move - i.e. we would never develop smoothness in our technique. On the other hand, if we paid the same amount of attention as we did when we first learned the move, then there is some value, because we would be bound to pick up something we did not notice before - like the photographs of moves in books - it just amazes me that I've had some books for over 5 years, but there was always some minor detail in the photos that I missed, and would catch later on...