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Old 01-06-2014, 01:21 PM   #4
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,052
Re: Training Every Day, or Everyday Training?

I go back and forth on this one. What Peter says about good movement and posture makes complete sense to me. At the same time, is cultivating good movement and posture outside the dojo really "budo training"? Maybe, if you use the budo definition of what "good movement and posture" is. I'm sure that ballet, or gymnastics, or bricklaying all have their own definitions, and while there's doubtless some overlap (limited number of ways the human body can move), "good" has to be functional, and when we're talking about different functions, the definitions of "good" will not be exactly the same. Are your budo "good movement and posture" functional outside the dojo, then, or are you forcing the definition?

There are people on this forum who know a lot more than I do about sports training methodologies and the like. I've observed, though, that the word "training" always has a connotation of improvement. In exercise we speak of the "training effect" that is gained by working at an intensity that produces an improvement in your capabilities. Using the word in that sense, for "aikido training" to be possible outside the dojo, I think you need prior understanding and present observation. Using a simple and direct example -- when enthusiastic aikido newcomers ask how they can train more outside the dojo, people frequently suggest tai sabaki or suburi. But for these solo practices to be "aikido training", you need to first know what the correct movements/techniques are (prior understanding), and then have the skill to observe and correct yourself (present observation) -- otherwise you're just some eccentric waving a stick around and walking funny.

"We are always training" is perhaps an ideal (and perhaps not as desirable as we think...back to sports training, there is the concept of rest, which is essential for improvement...but I digress). But we don't achieve this ideal merely by declaring our 24/7 dedication to aikido. We gain some understanding in the dojo, and in the dojo we can also learn the skill of self-observing and self-correcting (if, that is, it wasn't already learned elsewhere, through some other practice) -- and then, maybe, gradually, we can do "everyday training".
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