Yes agreed Sensei.
I was at all three too. Changed me and my Aikido.
I often think of the bell-shaped distribution curve where the majority of whatever hovers around the center as average and where the extremely good and the extremely bad flow out from there getting fewer and fewer as it goes.
Not everyone has the interest, intent, or investment to put in the effort to find those extremes of possibilities in anything or everything they do. That is their not-so-comfort zone and their right.
And some of us are invested in our curiosity and want to see how far we can go.
Looking forward to the opportunity and experience of sharing space and time.
Curiosity really is something special... I'm doing my best to nurture it and follow where it leads me.
There really are a lot of great ideas, experiences, and stories here on AikiWeb to get people thinking. I've been enjoying the process of working through them because they really are making me think about myself and my training in ways that I would not be if this resource was not available. Its nice to have access to something that can create change in that way, and its even better to have it available with such a great community that obviously has so much to offer in terms of experience and wisdom.
I know that Dans focus of this posting was directed more towards Teachers, but reading it got me thinking a little bit about what this means for the student and community of a dojo.
Investment is an interesting theme for the student of Aikido to consider, and what their involvement in Aikido actually means to them. People are complicated creatures, and come into martial arts training for many different reasons. However I think you could argue that most beginning students work through a continuum of investment training in a martial art... starting with being invested in themselves, to being invested with their Teacher and training partners, to being invested in the community, and then to being invested in the art and what it means to them on a personal level. Either way I think reflecting on the idea of investment really helps a person think more about their practice, and what it means to them.
I remember a few months ago when George posted his open letter to his students. A well written piece from my perspective, that encouraged some good conversation about the future direction of Aikido, and the students role in that. I remember reading it and walking away with ideas of what it meant to be involved with an Aikido community, and how one could be a active contributor instead of a passive learner or participant. The take home message for me in that one was to take a look at oneself and figure out how you could be invested and contribute towards the dojo and your own learning. The measure of it not important, but the idea and the shift it creates in the student being the more valuable part. Almost like the formation of a positive learning culture carried inside of the student if they embraced the ideal.
Investment I think should be balanced with perspective though... because without it you could become incredibly invested in just one direction. As is being written about quite a lot here on AikiWeb the winds of change are blowing.
I guess this brings me to think that if a student invests in the idea of change as it relates to their Aikido training is that progressive... or does it walk them down a road where they have little opportunity to gain mastery.