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Old 08-15-2012, 03:42 PM   #78
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: ki testing...emphasis on both uke and nage getting stronger

Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
Going back to the earlier discussion of 'testing to the point of failure', I guess I don't understand the value or purpose of never having something 'fail'? How can you know where the point you 'fail' even is unless you play around the edges and occasionally go there so you can clearly see the difference between what action of yours leads to success vs what action leads to failure?

I get the motive behind practicing success much more often than failure, because practice makes permanent and you want to build the habit and muscle memory of doing it right. So, yeah, you want loads and loads of successful practice if you can.

But without ever seeing what _doesn't_ work, how can you really understand what does? They exist in contrast to each other... to me it seems too much like trying to read print but the print and the page are the same colour -- how do you know the shape of the print and what information it contains if you have nothing to contrast it with?

To give the word 'failure' so much emotional baggage seems to me sad and potentially damaging... it's just information and need not have any 'bad' feeling attached to it unless you choose to put it there. If you shut yourself off from information then IMO that's no good...
Test to the point of success. Validate success. This causes growth. That doesn't equal never having someone fail. It's not even in the same ball park.

It's a matter of understanding what success is.

Test to limits, yes. Improve on those limits, yes. Continue succeeding yes. Build.

During practice of anything a person fails many times, that's why it's called practice.

You don't need to test to it then do you? It's already built in and acknowledged by the understanding of what practice is.

That's why I think 'testing to the point of failure' is a nonsense. Negativity wants you to fail. Why promote it?

There are those who encourage others and flow from the view of "you can" then there are those who are out to prove "you can't" and enjoy failure.

I've met many who were tested to failure and gave up. Bad teaching.