Re: significance to testing/belt rank?
Good comments. I think the thing I discover the higher I go is how much there really is below the surface that I'm pecking away at. Just as I get comfortable with one thing I get jolted out of my comfort zone. I have ended up feeling like a beginner so many times that I should probably just adopt that feeling as a permanent identity. Training with no mind and no expectations or preconceptions as well as always stepping on the mat with the expectation that I'm going to learn something is what I try to do. I have found that that mindset has never let me down. Even if it is just a subtlety, distintinction or mental note-I always learn something new every time I step on the mat. This is how I define my training-even when teaching.
Toughing it out is about pursuing that CANI (constant and neverending improvement) concept. To do so though, one needs the tools. It is a rare individual indeed that can develop the tools without guidance-not just through random seminar participation-but the guidance one gets by training under a mentor. Hopefully, one that has had to work things out over the years as well. I have found mine and I hope others have that chance as well. Most of the shihans who studied with O'Sensei have commented at various times that they spent their lifetime trying to figure out what he was doing, i.e., they too are students of a sort.
Last edited by aikidoc : 11-20-2007 at 07:13 PM.