Re: Keep in mind that everybody is trying their best
I don't feel the majority of students train at "their best" level. I feel, many students simply 'tread water' and are content with going through the motions, as dictated by the specific instructor in each class. I would challenge students to really dial in their daily training. Focus on one small, simple, specific task per class (or week) and really drill that aspect home. I hope to always find teachers willing to look for, and identify, my deficiencies when I start to find a level of comfort and push me out of that zone and force me to better myself. I'm not suggesting most students are lazy, or lack proper attitude, just that many are not exposed to a level of training in which they are challenged at every level; emotional, spirit, technique, physical, et al....and pushed to recognize personal deficiencies and attempt to whittle these deficiencies away. A mentor of mine once told me he often learns a lot about an aikidoka he's never met by the way s/he sits in seiza....seiza being something we often practice and focus on. Anyway, I guess my point is I really appreciate a teacher who doesn't allow students to get complacent...whether bowing, doing tai sabaki/kihon dosa, or executing technique...all the while opening up new levels of each individual's concept of what "their best" is.