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Old 09-14-2006, 04:17 PM   #10
mriehle
 
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Dojo: New School Aikido
Location: Stockton, CA
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 320
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Re: Poll: Is regularly training at multiple aikido dojo beneficial to experienced aikido practitioners?

I replied "YES", but there is a caveat: define "regularly".

It's important, I think, to be consistent in our training. IOW, having a "home dojo" where most of our practice occurs is important. But in such an environment bad habits can creep in without anyone realizing it. Bad habits are, well, bad.

One of the biggest benefits in getting out of your home environment on a "regular" basis is having the bad habits pointed out to you in bold relief. That being said, it's important to remember that the place you're visiting will have its own set of bad habits and it won't always be easy to distinguish when a difference is your problem or theirs.

Still, I think most of the bad habits are in assumptions made during training and simply having to step away from the ones we usually deal with is enough.

Of course this doesn't even begin to address the value of different perspectives. I've learned no less than four distinct versions of, for example, kote gaeshi. Every one has been presented to me as The One True Kote Gaeshi. They all work, they all have times when they fail. Learning all of them gives me an insight into what, actually, makes the technique work.

As a teacher this kind of insight is invaluable in helping my students learn. As a student this kind of thing makes a huge difference in my own learning.

So, "regularly": monthly, every few months, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, bi-annually? I actually think monthly is too frequent. Bi-annually is not frequent enough. Beyond that, well, I expect it depends on who you are.

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