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Old 01-16-2004, 08:10 PM   #1
Nathan Plant
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale CA
Location: Campbell, CA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3
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Peaks and Valleys

Alright, so as a student of many things, I ought to know the answer to this. I figure that everything has it's "plateau" and several peaks and valleys in performance. The idea is that tomorrow's valley is higher than today's peak, I suppose. And when I say that, I mean in anything at which you aspire to excel - in this case, showing up to class.

My problem is that I've been training at a dojo only since September, and beginning in December, I haven't had the inclination to go to a class, so I haven't gone. Besides feeling a little guilty that I'm somehow letting my sensei down (which I know is just in my mind), I feel like I'm letting myself down. I enjoy aikido, and the underlying philosophies that various people have exposed me to, but I feel like I'm not "getting it."

Anybody else gone through this? Anyone got some suggestions on ways to shake myself out of this funk and get back in there?

Any opinions would be appreciated.

-Nathan

Yet stones have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found
The honey of peace in old poems.
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:28 PM   #2
akiy
 
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Hi Nathan,

I'm sure that anyone who has put in some time in any endeavor goes through what you're talking about.

Have you read George Leonard's book, "Mastery"? The book is about the sort of things you're talking about. Very insightful book, I thought.

-- Jun

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Old 01-16-2004, 11:04 PM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
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Quote:
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
Have you read George Leonard's book, "Mastery"? The book is about the sort of things you're talking about. Very insightful book, I thought.-- Jun
I'll second that.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-16-2004, 11:52 PM   #4
Bronson
 
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Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
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Mastery is an excellent book.

The trick, for me, is to just keep going. I eventually work through whatever rut I'm in and start feeling like I know which foot is which again

The senior sempai in our dojo always tells us that it's when you're frustrated that you're learning new things. If it seems like everything is working really well you are doing things you've already learned. Right now I'm going through another one of those periods where nothing is working right. Stuff I've been doing for years isn't working as well as it used to. What's funny about it all is that it no longer upsets me. I've found I'm excited that I keep screwing stuff up because that means something is changing, my body is trying to adjust to some new way of doing things...I'm learning something new, YEAH!

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:39 AM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Quote:
Bronson Diffin (Bronson) wrote:
The trick, for me, is to just keep going.

The senior sempai in our dojo always tells us that it's when you're frustrated that you're learning new things.

I've found I'm excited that I keep screwing stuff up because that means something is changing, my body is trying to adjust to some new way of doing things...I'm learning something new, YEAH!

Bronson
Couldn't agree more about just training where you are in at a peak or in a valley. Treat them both the sam, just train.

I, also, used to get frustrated a learning new things, because my ego wanted me to alwasy look good. Now, if I can already do it then I already know it, then I am not progressing. Its learning the new things, the things I can't do. that really excites me now and keeps me coming back for more.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-18-2004, 12:59 PM   #6
Jeanne Shepard
 
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I find taking breaks is sometimes helpful, esp. if you give your permission todo it.

I find to, when I take a break, then find myself dreaming about the activity, its definitely time to go back.

I go through this with skating.

I would say, with skating, on a scale of 1-10, my actual talent could be rated about a negative 4, but persistance has helped me progress beyond anything I ever thought I could do.

Jeanne
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:47 PM   #7
Noel
Location: Rochester, NY
Join Date: Nov 2003
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You need to learn when your body needs a break and when you're just making excuses. I've had many nights when I've felt like blowing off class due to work, kid, life, etc. Typically, I find this feeling lasts until the first ukemi. Then I get this rush of energy that carries me through class and well into the next day, and makes me wonder why I ever considered blowing off class.

No one will come to your door and force you to go to class, but your skills won't develop as quickly while you're not going either.
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Old 01-20-2004, 06:53 PM   #8
Nathan Plant
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale CA
Location: Campbell, CA
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Thanks for the several recommendations for Mastery. I'll have to give it a look.

Also, thanks for everyone's input. I had come recently to the decision that I should just go and go and go - that somehow it'd get better. I think part of the frustration is that my schedule only allows me 2 or maybe 3 training days per week, and I'd rather be getting more.

Oh well, that's life. )

Yet stones have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found
The honey of peace in old poems.
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Old 01-20-2004, 08:58 PM   #9
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
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3 classes a week are all we get here too....grrr!

Oh well, everyone needs a life outside of the dojo as well. (or at least that is what I am told, I can't see it myself)

Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 01-22-2004, 02:44 PM   #10
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
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I've got this quotation framed and on the wall in my dojo:

""Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent."

Keep on keeping on!

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 01-23-2004, 10:10 AM   #11
jgrowney
Dojo: Rochester New York Aikido Club
Location: Rochester, NY
Join Date: Feb 2001
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If you are having trouble getting to the dojo or just getting off the couch or out of bed... Find a partner.

I don't mean someone already at the dojo. Find a friend that will take up a new hobby with you. So you learn together, and grow together.

If you don't show up for class, he or she will call you and ask why. You do the same.

Misery loves company, and it's great to share the pains of growing with someone.

It's hard to motivate yourself sometimes. But like working out in any other capacity (weight lifting, walking, running, dieting or whatever), it's alwqays a good strategy to have a partner.

For me it's just no fun doing it alone.

FYI, Mastery is one of the best books I've read.

Jim

Jim Growney
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Old 01-23-2004, 06:47 PM   #12
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
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Mr Hay....

That has to be one of the best quotes I have ever heard.......

Where is it from, may I ask?

Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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