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Old 06-26-2013, 09:36 AM   #12
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,202
Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Well, there's more than one kind of planning. If we're sticking with the "path" metaphor, hiking will teach you the difference. When you head up the trail, you can't plan what will happen - that's beyond your control. You can plan to maximize the possibility of certain outcomes, and you can prepare for various eventualities, and that's about it. You can't plan for a mosquito-free hike, but you can wear insect repellent rather than perfume. You can't plan for no rain, but you can pack rain gear. You can't plan for a hike that's uninterrupted by washed-out bridges, but you can carry a map and compass and work around it. Most importantly, you can't plan on your hike being a glorious, soul-expanding, peak-experience romp in the woods (or wherever it is you do your hiking) - or even an ordinary good time. Not every hike is a good one.

Metaphor wearing out yet? Maybe not. We can control the physical climate inside the dojo, but there's a lot we don't control: students' preparation, their readiness to learn, etc. One idea I heard recently was to have an invitation-only class, where one restriction would be that students are expected to show up for every class: you miss two, you'll need a good reason to remain in that class. If you knew you had the same people going to show up reliably for a particular class, on a long-term basis, how would that change things? What could you plan then?
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