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Old 10-31-2010, 02:14 PM   #151
lbb
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote: View Post
Carina, let's put it this way: would you like to become 8th dan?

If you say, no, I don't have that much time... then that is what I mean. I don't mean that you don't care about aikido. I just mean that you probably don't care if you become 8th dan.
How about this: it means that I'm not delusional. Becoming 8th dan requires decades upon decades of training no matter how many days a week you train, plus being on the right side of all the politics. There are many people who come to aikido and who simply do not have four or five decades of life left.
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:16 PM   #152
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
I think it's incubment on an instructor to give any student a reality check if they discover that training is jeopardizing their family life or financial well-being. That's pretty much the definition of addiction. If someone ignored the advice and abandonded their family to practice Aikido, they would not be welcome in my dojo until the situation was rectified. If you wish to dedicate your life to the art, that's wonderful - but not at someone else's expense.
Sensei Ledyard is asking students to commit 3 hours a week. The average person spends 18 hours watching TV a week. I spend a good 3 hours a week at the coffee shop.
3 hours is gonna kill your family financially?
I train 3 hours on Monday alone.
I've know too many Uchi Deshi and Aikidoka that do train 12/18/24 hours a week. THEY AREN'T FREAKS without a family who ignore obligations. If you love something, you find a way to work it in. I am not a freak with no family and obligations financially, job-wise or what-not either. People find time for what is important to them. It is just an excuse in my opinion to say "well that person has it easy, I can't do that!" It is shooting yourself before you try. Take a closer look and you will see everyone's life is just as complicated as yours.

I think this thread with all the talk of committing 2 hours a week being enough, and 15 years to earn shodan; there isn't much respect being paid to Aikido as a Budo. What is enough for a Budo? A Budo has no summit. Talk of 15 years for a shodan, and standards for belting, isn't even in the same universe when you are talking about a resolution to a Budo.

MM
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:17 PM   #153
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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Ryan Szesny wrote: View Post
It is alright to be a family man. It is a GOOD thing to love your family, but it is possible to be a good parent and an aikidoka. I have known people that can pull it off, and I have met their wives and children who don't complain. Why do you think that you are so special that you have a busier life than all of the people who are now shihan?
Out of curiosity, how many shihan are parents? Or, let's be blunt, how many shihan are not men who have dumped their parental responsibilities onto their wives?

There are, and always have been, plenty of men who are deeply dedicated to their career or profession or whatever, and who are fathers only in the biological sense. That's very different from being a parent.
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:18 PM   #154
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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Pauliina Lievonen wrote: View Post
It comes down to choices for the teachers as well I think. If you want to train professionals - well you could try to set up some kind of program for that. It might bankrupt you, but you could try it. Or you can teach hobbyists, and be happy that they get something out of the experience, even though they never reach your level.

Pauliina
Hi Paulina,
You are right of course, and that is pretty much what I have done. I have students who now run dojos and have more members than I do at mine.

I am not exactly talking about training professionals... I am talking about training regular average folks to be excellent. My point is that it is doable for a person with a job and a family to do very good Aikido. Not perhaps what I think of as Shihan level, but certainly to be a fully adequate instructor and be someone who could actually do Aikido as a martial art. As I stated before, the majority of my students are family people with demanding jobs. Half my dojo works for Microsoft, most are married or have relationships and may of them have kids.

These folks manage to work in their three times a week, so I am loathe to believe that others simply cannot do so. And that "magic" third class over the twice makes a huge difference. Sure, they'd be better if they trained more and harder. But they are doing pretty excellent Aikido overall.

I think that people who don't actually care if they do better on some level damage the art. Even if you only train twice a week or even once a week, you should be trying hard within those parameters to be as good as you possibly can be. To train with no investment in getting better is a cop out and pretty much guarantees that neither good technical skill nor good spirituality will come from the practice. A teacher with that kind of student will lose his or her edge and will eventually stop demanding more of himself or the students. A student with great potential will be held back in his progress and will not be able to be excellent at a place where this type of student is prevalent.

You are right... most people either don't really care if they truly get better or they lie to themselves that they are, or even more commonly, they tell themselves that progress isn't necessary because it's the doing of it that counts. That is a story people tell themselves to justify less than they are capable of doing. True, ultimately it isn't "progress" that is the important element. It's the effort. But for most folks, when there is no thought of progress, there is less than committed effort. Effort without attachment is sort of a high level Zen thing... most folks who say that's what they are doing are simply indulging.

You see, my association with mediocrity is paying a lot of money to go train with a great teacher and watch as he has to dumb down what he started trying to show because the majority of folks on the mat won't do the work to show up each year better than the year before. My association with mediocrity is seeing some folks open dojos and start teaching and then get not one iota better for decades. They become the limiting factor in the progress of their own students. All this mediocrity is endemic in Aikido because there's no competition where people have to really step up, people have been allowed to progress who shouldn't have, have been encouraged to teach when they weren't good enough, etc. All this, just to grow the number of folks training. Numbers, not quality became the end in itself.

Maybe there should be two separate arts... Aikido and Aikido-lite. Then there wouldn't be so much confusion and no one would have his or her feelings hurt when someone says you have to train three times a week to do Aikido. You just trot down the street and find the Aikido-lite dojo. At the Aikido-lite dojo no one is allowed to train every day unless he or she limits the level of intensity and effort in the practice to make sure that excellence doesn't accidentally creep in. Anyone trying too hard will be asked to leave and go find an Aikido dojo.

This is really what happens now, but with much confusion. The Dan Certificates all say Aikido. Yet a Nidan at one place may have almost nothing in common with a Nidan at another. I have seen a very experienced martial artist driven out of an Aikido dojo because the folks training there were all so scared of the guy because he could actually punch and kick, not the nonsense everyone else was doing. They made it so unpleasant for him to be there that he left. He knew, and everyone else knew, that he could have hit any of them at will. That didn't fit in with the story they were telling themselves about how committed they all were to Aikido and their martial arts training.

So, perhaps we should simply overtly acknowledge that for some its about real training and for others its the story they tell themselves about real training. Separate the teachers, the dojos, the students, the certificates, the associations... everyone has to declare... Aikido or Aikido-lite. Then everyone gets to feel good about what they are doing and its really a reflection of reality.

The only problem here is that I suspect not very many people would actually sign up for Aikido-lite. Everyone tells himself that he wants to do Aikido, the real thing, the art that O-Sensei founded and the Uchi Deshi spread around the world. Then they proceed to make that art into what fits them, not fit themselves to the requirements of the art. So Aikido will continue to have real quality problems until people decide to get straight about what they are doing. Maybe the guy who started "Real Aikido" had a point. Give what you are doing another name so that people know up front that it isn't what most other folks seem to be doing.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:36 PM   #155
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Out of curiosity, how many shihan are parents? Or, let's be blunt, how many shihan are not men who have dumped their parental responsibilities onto their wives?
Hold up! I'm sorry, you're wrong. Just, black and white, dead wrong on this one. :/

You're USAF right?
Your Shihan:

Yamada Sensei (beautiful daughters! are you gonna accuse Sensei of not taking care of his children)
Peter Bernath Sensei (Never bad mouth the Bernath's, devoted husband and father. Penny is his beautiful 6th dan wife, wonderful children and family)
Kennedy Sensei (at Atlanta)
Sugano Seiichi (Was a sweet man. Never badmouth his devotion to his loved ones.)
Harvey Konigsberg Sensei
Clyde Takeguchi Sensei
Linda Lee Vecchio Sensei (oh SNAP a WOMAN...there are many Shihan women, mother's and wives btw.)
Kanai Sensei (you go tell his widow that he was an absentee father and husband! She is your nieghbor and instructor of New England Aikikai.)

You got my point...the list goes on and on and on. I could be here all day.
Your statement is misplaced. I"m sorry. These Shihan are devoted parents, loving spouses, some one's children and siblings. They deserve more respect than this accusation. Have you ever met, or talked to your Shihan? If so, how could you think anything as horrible as what you just said?
It is offensive to their students as well, whom are devoted and love them.
I'm sorry, but you accuse other's of being judgmental, but you are judging people who frankly are out of your rank here.

Peter Bernath Sensei once said people think Aikido is all magic with the hands.
It isn't just magic with the hands, it is obtainable, even high level Aikido by the devoted practitioner. Family, school jobs and all. Penny Bernath Sensei has been a glowing example of how some one can achieve high level, 6th dan ranked Aikido after being divorced, a mother, worrying about money, full-time worker, and a full-time student...all at once for years at a time.
It isn't just magic, it is obtainable. No excuses, for people who try their hardest.

Last edited by RED : 10-31-2010 at 02:48 PM.

MM
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:17 PM   #156
Janet Rosen
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I think that people who don't actually care if they do better on some level damage the art. Even if you only train twice a week or even once a week, you should be trying hard within those parameters to be as good as you possibly can be. To train with no investment in getting better is a cop out and pretty much guarantees that neither good technical skill nor good spirituality will come from the practice.
Total agreement here. The person of any rank who shows up on cruise control is first of all pretty obvious and second of all a lousy training partner who does everybody a disservice.

Whether I"m training 2 or 3 times a wk in the dojo, I'm always working on weapons kata and some "piece of the puzzle" on my off-the-mat days and pushing myself both on and off the mat to exceed my current limits.

I suspect that this is something all of us participating in the thread have in common or we would not be posting so passionately.

From a purely practical standpoint: it is physically hard for me to train 3 nights in a row week after week. I did better when training in dojos that also had weekend classes so the training could be on alternating days. So the off the mat stuff I do now becomes all the more important to my continued growth.

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:23 PM   #157
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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I suspect that this is something all of us participating in the thread have in common or we would not be posting so passionately.
I just had the same suspicion a couple of minutes ago....
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:02 PM   #158
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Sensei Ledyard is asking students to commit 3 hours a week. The average person spends 18 hours watching TV a week. I spend a good 3 hours a week at the coffee shop.
Unless you happen to live next to your dojo, this comparison is invalid. It takes me a minimum of 45 minutes to get to the dojo, and that's if absolutely everything goes right. My one hour of training (which is all that is available some days) actually takes a minimum of two and a half hours out of my day.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:07 PM   #159
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Hold up! I'm sorry, you're wrong. Just, black and white, dead wrong on this one. :/
Ya know what...I give up. You tell yourself whatever you want to believe. I'm done bashing my head against this wall.

Last edited by lbb : 10-31-2010 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:15 PM   #160
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Unless you happen to live next to your dojo, this comparison is invalid. It takes me a minimum of 45 minutes to get to the dojo, and that's if absolutely everything goes right. My one hour of training (which is all that is available some days) actually takes a minimum of two and a half hours out of my day.
That's an excuse. I live an hour from school..Never late, there 5 days a week. I don't just not show up for work because it takes 45 minutes to get there.
If you had a desire to train more, consider asking your Sensei for sunrise classes. Get up at 5am, train then go to work. Or ask for night classes alternatively. People make requests when they wanna train more all the time.

We have three students, one of which 62, all of them have children, one is a law enforcement agent, all have full time jobs and wives. All drive OVER an hour to get to class. Two of them come from another state, all for their one hour a day.

My point, if you have a desire to train more, then you will make it happen. If you have no desire to train more and your hour is enough that's okay, just don't make an excuse for why you don't train more.

Last edited by RED : 10-31-2010 at 06:21 PM.

MM
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:17 PM   #161
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Ya know what...I give up. You tell yourself whatever you want to believe. I'm done bashing my head against this wall.
You've said something very insulting. Especially towards people I've met. Some people I'm in communication with, and know.

I mean man, you insulted your own Shihan. Stop bashing your head. Just be more respectful to seniors.

I'm not trying to be mean...what you said was just wrong, and these men and women's character shouldn't be in question.

Last edited by RED : 10-31-2010 at 06:23 PM.

MM
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:45 PM   #162
oisin bourke
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Hi Carsten,
This touches on something really important... I would say that O-Sensei never thought of or intended Aikido to be a "hobby". It is a Budo a Michi.......
That whole post was great. I agree completely. Does that make me a "Lefty?"
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:53 PM   #163
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Remarkable.... ....Absolutely, remarkable....

Last edited by mickeygelum : 10-31-2010 at 06:54 PM. Reason: No edit....just more uncontrollable laughter!
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:09 PM   #164
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Why the drama I train twice a week minimun sometimes 3 or 4 just depends how tweaked or sore I am it,s all good

one of the "corn fed boys"
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:24 PM   #165
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Out of curiosity, how many shihan are parents? Or, let's be blunt, how many shihan are not men who have dumped their parental responsibilities onto their wives?
Hi Mary,
In my sex's defense, I stayed at home with the kids. My ex and I had eight kids between us (hers, mine and ours). I may not have been a stellar Dad in some ways but all my kids, step kids too, knew I loved them and I never put all the work onto my wives. I cook, am an ace with dirty diapers, can treat colic with homeopathics, can put any baby born to sleep on my shoulder in ten minutes, have dealt with eating disorders, ADHD, runaways, hoodlum friends, you name it. And I trained just about every day.

Now on the money front, well that's another matter... pretty low score on that report card. Spent what should have been my kid's college money on Aikido. They've all been aware for many years that they'll have to work it out as best they can. I can help but I sure don't have much to contribute. My Dad would say that I didn't fulfill my responsibilities there... and I suspect some here would agree. I wouldn't argue with them.... it's just what I chose and we all have to live with it. Some kids get an alcoholic Dad, some get a Dad who is abusive, some have Dads they never see because they work so hard. My kids got a Dad who blew all his money training in this weird art with an interesting Japanese teacher and now spends most of his time teaching that weird art to other folks who march to that different drummer we've all heard about.

- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:24 PM   #166
RED
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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Tim Evans wrote: View Post
Why the drama I train twice a week minimun sometimes 3 or 4 just depends how tweaked or sore I am it,s all good
<3

lol

MM
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:41 PM   #167
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Hold up! I'm sorry, you're wrong. Just, black and white, dead wrong on this one. :/

You're USAF right?
Your Shihan:

Yamada Sensei (beautiful daughters! are you gonna accuse Sensei of not taking care of his children)
Peter Bernath Sensei (Never bad mouth the Bernath's, devoted husband and father. Penny is his beautiful 6th dan wife, wonderful children and family)
Kennedy Sensei (at Atlanta)
Sugano Seiichi (Was a sweet man. Never badmouth his devotion to his loved ones.)
Harvey Konigsberg Sensei
Clyde Takeguchi Sensei
Linda Lee Vecchio Sensei (oh SNAP a WOMAN...there are many Shihan women, mother's and wives btw.)
Kanai Sensei (you go tell his widow that he was an absentee father and husband! She is your nieghbor and instructor of New England Aikikai.)

You got my point...the list goes on and on and on. I could be here all day.
Your statement is misplaced. I"m sorry. These Shihan are devoted parents, loving spouses, some one's children and siblings. They deserve more respect than this accusation. Have you ever met, or talked to your Shihan? If so, how could you think anything as horrible as what you just said?
It is offensive to their students as well, whom are devoted and love them.
I'm sorry, but you accuse other's of being judgmental, but you are judging people who frankly are out of your rank here.

Peter Bernath Sensei once said people think Aikido is all magic with the hands.
It isn't just magic with the hands, it is obtainable, even high level Aikido by the devoted practitioner. Family, school jobs and all. Penny Bernath Sensei has been a glowing example of how some one can achieve high level, 6th dan ranked Aikido after being divorced, a mother, worrying about money, full-time worker, and a full-time student...all at once for years at a time.
It isn't just magic, it is obtainable. No excuses, for people who try their hardest.
Hi Maggie,
Although I did pipe in on this and described my own case, I will say that it has been my experience that real partnership in this area is rare. Almost always, when you find a major Sensei, you find a spouse who supported him or her. The more senior the teacher, the more likely that there's a big extended family of the dojo or even the organization that needs to be supported. More often than not, the accounts of being the son or daughter of someone "great" isn't all that positive.

I think the kind of relationship which Penny Bernath and Peter have is very rare. For both to take their training up to that level and raise a family at the same time is an amazing accomplishment. Usually, one person is far junior and acts in a support role. They might be mutually supportive, but a real partnership in training while raising a family is quite rare. My friends Eugene and Kamenna Lee have managed to do it. They both train at the DC dojo where I started and have two of the best loved, wonderful children you could ever find. One watches the kids while the other trains, then they switch off. Sometimes when I visit I will watch the kids so that they can actually train together, which they don't get to do as often as they'd like. I have never seen a couple achieve such an equal balance of family responsibility and training. It's all the more amazing for its rarity. Usually, someone is doing more of one than the other. Mary is right that some of the really senior folks did not really do the work of raising their families. I think that most were there for them but I doubt most cases the domestic work load was very equal.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 10-31-2010 at 08:52 PM.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:51 PM   #168
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Just an aside...
Current understanding of how the brain "learns" is that it is far more effective to do something for a relatively short period every day than it is to do it for a longer period all at once. So, it would be better for your actually progress to train one hour each day than to do the same number of hours compressed into two days.

Since it seems that getting to the dojo is the big hurdle for most folks, rather than how long they are there once they get there, one can see why folks would find that the twice a week option is the easiest to do. But if they made three or more trips to the dojo, even if they didn't train as long on the nights they went, they would progress faster going more frequently but training a bit left each time.

George S. Ledyard
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Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:19 PM   #169
Walter Martindale
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Just an aside...
Current understanding of how the brain "learns" is that it is far more effective to do something for a relatively short period every day than it is to do it for a longer period all at once. So, it would be better for your actually progress to train one hour each day than to do the same number of hours compressed into two days.

Since it seems that getting to the dojo is the big hurdle for most folks, rather than how long they are there once they get there, one can see why folks would find that the twice a week option is the easiest to do. But if they made three or more trips to the dojo, even if they didn't train as long on the nights they went, they would progress faster going more frequently but training a bit left each time.
Yes, and if on the days they didn't go to the dojo, they either practiced "shadow aikido" or visualisation of their movements, they would also increase their learning - review of the stuff they practiced the day before...
Problem with going frequently is the fuel spent getting to the dojo, the time spent getting to the dojo, and the availability of training times...
Now, if I had a job, this wouldn't be as big a problem, but, because I coach, it would be, as most dojo train during my coaching time.
W
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:29 PM   #170
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Hi Maggie,
Although I did pipe in on this and described my own case, I will say that it has been my experience that real partnership in this area is rare. Almost always, when you find a major Sensei, you find a spouse who supported him or her. The more senior the teacher, the more likely that there's a big extended family of the dojo or even the organization that needs to be supported. More often than not, the accounts of being the son or daughter of someone "great" isn't all that positive.

I think the kind of relationship which Penny Bernath and Peter have is very rare. For both to take their training up to that level and raise a family at the same time is an amazing accomplishment. Usually, one person is far junior and acts in a support role. They might be mutually supportive, but a real partnership in training while raising a family is quite rare. My friends Eugene and Kamenna Lee have managed to do it. They both train at the DC dojo where I started and have two of the best loved, wonderful children you could ever find. One watches the kids while the other trains, then they switch off. Sometimes when I visit I will watch the kids so that they can actually train together, which they don't get to do as often as they'd like. I have never seen a couple achieve such an equal balance of family responsibility and training. It's all the more amazing for its rarity. Usually, someone is doing more of one than the other. Mary is right that some of the really senior folks did not really do the work of raising their families. I think that most were there for them but I doubt most cases the domestic work load was very equal.
I just consider the argument "High level Aikidoka are good because they ignore the obligations to their families" as another excuse for why one has given up on the idea of quality Aikido as accessible for themselves. It is easy to say "It is impossible, see I have a family, See me NOT devoting more time to practice actually makes me a GOOD person *validation!!!*". It's not a valid excuse to me. People look for reasons why something is impossible for themselves. I find the entire "but Shihans have no life and children that hate them" to be a way to make ourselves feel better about underachievement. We get to still pretend to be good Aikidoka, with as little effort as possible. As a side note: I think the generalization,and over all disbelief she had that good family men-shihan didn't exist(or are too far in between) might be highly offensive to some teachers. Again, a devotion to a training schedule does not make you a social reject, or a person with no obligations IMO.

Shidoin, Shihan, etc, known too many people I consider to be both doing the art at a high level and also have a strong family life. I know of some account where children are left behind, and I don't buy those stories are a reason to not aspire to excel to learn and train in high level Aikido. And I think it expresses an over emphasis on how much people might value rank or title. I've not once talked about rank as a mark of commitment. I have talked about hours and intensity of training however. I some times feel like no one remembers what high level Aikido looks like, because they've spent so long making up reasons why themselves, their dojos and what not can't do it.

My dojo has a lot of coloring books and candy on the side lines. I train 50% of the time with tiny eyes watching me. People make it work, while striving for quality, and chasing high level Aikido as their example.

Last edited by RED : 10-31-2010 at 09:34 PM.

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Old 10-31-2010, 10:31 PM   #171
kironin
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Just an aside...
Current understanding of how the brain "learns" is that it is far more effective to do something for a relatively short period every day than it is to do it for a longer period all at once. So, it would be better for your actually progress to train one hour each day than to do the same number of hours compressed into two days.

Since it seems that getting to the dojo is the big hurdle for most folks, rather than how long they are there once they get there, one can see why folks would find that the twice a week option is the easiest to do. But if they made three or more trips to the dojo, even if they didn't train as long on the nights they went, they would progress faster going more frequently but training a bit left each time.
I think twice a week is fine if one has something to work on at home a little each day. Hitori waza, breathing exercises, weapons forms, all things that one could take 30-40 min to work on a day. I have a mat to roll out at home to work on. When time/distance is an issue, you find what you must.

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Old 10-31-2010, 10:36 PM   #172
mriehle
 
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

So, no, I didn't read every message in this thread in detail. At some point it became repetitive and redundant.

Still, I get the gist of the ideas presented here. A gestalt, if you will. And I have some opinions of my own:

Ledyard Sensei: In one of your early posts in the thread you made the point about all major Aikidoka having at some point in their training gone through a period of super-intense (my description) training. I think this is key. That bit of above-average - even for themselves - training affects the way they train ever after. Even more casual training they do later is intensified by that period.

Several people have made the point that some training can be done outside the dojo. I agree. But only if you are actually prepared to do that training. That preparation doesn't happen by magic. See my above comments regarding Ledyard Sensei's point.

From my own personal experience: I had to stop going to the dojo for several years. I fell prey to the Silicon Valley Work Ethic. Consider all the criticisms Ledyard Sensei has about the American obsession with work and amplify it a few times, that covers it. But when I went back to Aikido I found I had somehow improved considerably over those years. Huh?

1) This improvement was in no way comparable to what would have happened had I been able to continue training over those years.

2) Early in my training there was a very intense, five-days-a-week stretch that lasted for two and half years.

3) I continued to perform a lot of the exercises I had learned and studied on my own as much as I could.

Then I went and did another three years of five-days-a-week training. And guess what...

...I improved even faster. Now I'm back to having other time commitments and I'm sure I'm not improving the way I'd like to.

The point here, I think, is that you can make some progress in individual training. I think, in fact, it's a requirement. Part of the commitment. But there is some training that requires a teacher and training partners. It's certainly possible to overtrain, but short periods of very intense training will make you better.

The biggest concern with individual training is the person who goes through the motions and doesn't really understand what he or she is working at. You can't train yourself without the training to know how to train and the commitment to actually do it.

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Old 10-31-2010, 11:07 PM   #173
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Quote:
Maggie wrote:
I just consider the argument "High level Aikidoka are good because they ignore the obligations to their families" as another excuse for why one has given up on the idea of quality Aikido as accessible for themselves. It is easy to say "It is impossible, see I have a family,
I don't think that's exactly what she was saying, but I agree with the point you're making. Speaking as a person who probably has less training in than anyone posting here, I can attest to the ease of excuses. More than that though, i can attest to the speed by which time flies where suddenly you may realize 10 years have gone by without any "real" training, despite almost daily practice of some variety or another to make you (me) feel like you're (I'm) doing something. On the other hand, I've been busy doing a lot of other things too. Some of that has had more validity with regards to training than others, but the validity is for no one other than myself to judge. And besides, the path I've taken has led me to an awesome place, so who can honestly say what the "better" choices whould have been? The question to my mind is "how happy are your choices making you?" and "how can you learn from the experience of life to make your future choices better?"
Is two days a week enough? I think that will change over time based on a person's values, which will also naturally change somewhat over time. Life is full of compromise. As long as we're practicing that great slogan "masakatsu agatsu" I think we're doing fine...more or less.

Also would like to reinforce the idea that it helps a lot having some period of intense training if one is doing Aikido for something more than a healthy hobby.

...and on a side note I'm finally going to train on the mat again: about once a week is what I have dedicated myself to for the time being.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-31-2010 at 11:13 PM.

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Old 10-31-2010, 11:56 PM   #174
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

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Richard Stevens wrote: View Post
However, I cannot accept that a focused and dedicated person attending classes twice a week would not be able to attain the same skill level as they would if training three or even four times a week. It would simply take them more "years" to put in the same hours to get there.
If they're so focused and dedicated, how come they're only in class twice a week?

It's a physical art. I don't think you'll find any teacher or coach in any physical art, from recorder playing (Hi Pauliina!) to baseball, who will agree that twice a week is enough.

In my own experience, I plateau at two classes a week. I make steady progress at three. I make faster progress at four, but can't sustain that for long before other parts of my life suffer more than I'm willing to allow. Other kinds of off-mat physical training help me maintain my conditioning, but they don't help my aikido much.

Katherine

Full disclosure: I am one of Ledyard Sensei's students, and followed one of his emails to this thread. But I agreed with his perspective on this before I'd ever met him.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:17 AM   #175
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Re: Is two Days a week enough?

Question,
Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
If they're so focused and dedicated, how come they're only in class twice a week? .
Answer,
Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
...... other parts of my life suffer more than I'm willing to allow.
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