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Old 01-18-2011, 07:15 PM   #41
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,232
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Re: The Essence of Training

Hello Mr Suter,

Do you have an aikido teacher, or do you run your dojo by yourself? If so, have you had any conversations about the 'essence of training'?

One of the problems with forums such as Aikiweb is that aikido teachers seem to post comparatively rarely. For example, absolutely none of my own teachers ever posts here (but some of them have their own websites and even have accounts on Facebook).

Many of my teachers were/are quite approachable and I was able to discuss such an issue as this. (I use the present and past tense because some of them have passed away.) All of them had/have families, but not all are professional aikido teachers. So balancing training and family is also an issue for them--and they coped with it in different ways and, I might add, with varying degrees of success.

One way of seeing whether training has an essence is to look at other activities that need it, such as painting, calligraphy, or playing a musical instrument. There are several Japanese words for training, but the central term is shugyo (修業 / 修行) and the term has a very long history. Renshu 練習 is also used. Both denote many, many repetitions of prescribed activities. The end ot goal, of course, depends on the activity.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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