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Old 07-13-2006, 11:21 AM   #8
cguzik
Location: Tulsa, OK
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 166
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Re: Brown Belt Syndrome

This is something I've been thinking about quite a bit recently: I have been second kyu for about a year now, getting close to nine years in aikido. My perception has been that as my experience grows, so do the durations of the plateaus in my training. However, the gradients between plateaus also are getting steeper. When I go from one plateau to the next these days, it feels like a much larger jump in understanding than I was experiencing four years ago. This makes for a frustrating situation because as the sense of learning going from one plateau to another accelerates, but the time between such changes increases, it tries the patience much more. While on the plateau, I find myself wondering if I am stagnating. What I have to remind myself is that the changes occur to a large extent as a result of my observational abilities -- and those can be improved and cultivated during those long plateaus.

Also, there is a change that occurs in motivation as one becomes a more senior student. I must admit that there are more and more days when I go to the dojo more out a sense of obligation to the group than I do because I want to for the sheer enjoyment of it. During those long plateaus, when one does not have the same sense of learning some new revelation everyday, it's just not as much fun. I sometimes go only because we have a whole bunch of beginners and I feel obligated as a more senior student to be there to help. Sometimes, that sense of obligation feels a little heavy. It makes me empathize for my teachers in a way I never thought of until recently. And it makes me respect their love of the art and training in ways that I could never appreciate. I try to think about that when the sense of obligation gets a bit heavy and I just don't feel motivated. It's something that insipres me today that I could not have comprehended four years ago.

Last edited by cguzik : 07-13-2006 at 11:26 AM.
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