George S. Ledyard
You are right of course, and that is pretty much what I have done. I have students who now run dojos and have more members than I do at mine.
These folks manage to work in their three times a week, so I am loathe to believe that others simply cannot do so. And that "magic" third class over the twice makes a huge difference. Sure, they'd be better if they trained more and harder. But they are doing pretty excellent Aikido overall.
Sensei Ledyard and what about if the owner of the dojo where our sensei is teaching is giving TKD classes and there is only 90 minutes time left for aikido 2 times a week?
I surely would go 3 times a week if there would be classes
George S. Ledyard
I think that people who don't actually care if they do better on some level damage the art. Even if you only train twice a week or even once a week, you should be trying hard within those parameters to be as good as you possibly can be. To train with no investment in getting better is a cop out and pretty much guarantees that neither good technical skill nor good spirituality will come from the practice. A teacher with that kind of student will lose his or her edge and will eventually stop demanding more of himself or the students. A student with great potential will be held back in his progress and will not be able to be excellent at a place where this type of student is prevalent.......
Maybe there should be two separate arts... Aikido and Aikido-lite. Then there wouldn't be so much confusion and no one would have his or her feelings hurt when someone says you have to train three times a week to do Aikido. You just trot down the street and find the Aikido-lite dojo. At the Aikido-lite dojo no one is allowed to train every day unless he or she limits the level of intensity and effort in the practice to make sure that excellence doesn't accidentally creep in. Anyone trying too hard will be asked to leave and go find an Aikido dojo.
This is really what happens now, but with much confusion. The Dan Certificates all say Aikido. Yet a Nidan at one place may have almost nothing in common with a Nidan at another. I have seen a very experienced martial artist driven out of an Aikido dojo because the folks training there were all so scared of the guy because he could actually punch and kick, not the nonsense everyone else was doing. They made it so unpleasant for him to be there that he left. He knew, and everyone else knew, that he could have hit any of them at will. That didn't fit in with the story they were telling themselves about how committed they all were to Aikido and their martial arts training.
What about the aikido drop out rate in the States treated in another threat, I was surprised reading about that, because in our dojo almost every month is coming someone new and they are all staying, last year we were 5 new shodan, every body is still training and this year we have only one but 3 or 4 for next year.. Our sensei is very commited to progress although it is very dificult and expensive for us to move from the island to go to seminars.
In our dojo almost all of us put all our effort to progress, we all care very much. So I don't think we damage the art just it is the contrary. But beside al the care we put in the training we enjoy ourselves and I think that is the point of the success in our dojo.
I train as much as I can but not think from myself to be a highlevel aikidoka and I sure don't care for the grades beside a nidan costs min 200€ and a sandan €300