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Old 04-18-2006, 08:32 AM   #76
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Ron,

It's not that i do Aikido, and totally ignore the budo aspect of it. I would personally include all those teachings as well. What i'm saying is Aikido is not my life, i don't make decisions based on WWMUD?

If we can agree on that much, then there is no argument left.
If not, then we can agree on disagreeing.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:47 AM   #77
senshincenter
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Amelia,

You did not even answer half of my questions - can you please take a second attempt at them. Or, can you at least tell me why they are not worthy of addressing -- please/thanks.

Moreover, I was not referring to Paige's "robot" comment - which was her second such insult. Her first discourteous blip came with the human being vs. science book dichotomy. Again - where were you then? What does that do for your "you said it first" reasoning? Where is your consistency? Why should anyone (especially me) -- when your view is currently the minority view here -- take your summary of the events seriously?

You are wrong in how you understand my initial comments. When I am saying that deeper training goes beyond wanting or not wanting to train, I am not dismissing or denying the validity of her question. I am suggesting she use her initial question as a point of self-reflection - where the question itself becomes less the tool of our study and more the topic of our study. This in fact is a suggestion to take the question more seriously -- taking it less for granted. When you take the question more seriously, when you take it as your point of reflection, you see there is really no question there at all. (As I said earlier: "I train when I want to; I don't train when I don't want to; I'm not training now because I don't want to -- Why aren't I training now?" Answer: Because you don't want to.) However, you see that there is a whole lot of other stuff there to learn and grow from if you use the question as a point of reflection (vs. as a tool of reflection). Additionally, you not only see that it is a question that everyone asks, but that it is a question that everyone must reconcile in order to move on to where Paige was (at least initially) suggesting she wanted to go (i.e. away from the waxing and waning of training interest).

When I suggest that training needs to take place beyond desire, I am not at all suggesting that one force him/herself to train (as Paige misunderstood), nor am I suggesting that one train without feelings or emotions (as if such a thing were ever possible). On the contrary, by seeking to reconcile the waxing and waning of one's desires, one is going to have to address one's emotions and feelings in ways not even imaginable when one only seeks to train when one wants to. Suggesting that training happens outside of desire or beyond desire, is not at all suggesting that that we ignore our inner self. Rather, suggesting we reconcile our desire as it is related to our commitment to train is a technique we can use to explore our inner self. After all, how much self-reflection really needs to go into desire-based training? You train when you want, and you don't when you don't -- end of story.

On the other hand, seeking to reconcile desire in regards to our training is going to raise a whole lot of emotional issues for us (as this thread has already proven for some). As we make the mistake of bouncing back and forth between lusting for training and forcing ourselves to train, we will experience frustration, exhilaration, entertainment, boredom, joy, sorrow, intimacy, alienation, etc. Along the way, we will think we are alone with such issues, we will want to quit, we will think we have solved matters when we have not, etc. This is a path of self-reflection, and as such, the entirety of our humanity is going to have to be addressed -- emotions, feelings, identity, ideas, our subjective experience of our environment, etc. There is no such self-reflection needed in desire-based training. If anything, in most cases, desire-based training, like a desire-based life, is all about denying huge aspects of ourselves. We simply do what we want to do, when we want to do it, and don't when we don't. This is the non-self-reflective life. If anything is a call to do way with our feelings or our emotions it is to seek to settle such things by looking at them with no finer a tool than the measuring of our desires.

Answering your questions in the hope that you answer my initial questions:

- Yes, I have quit Aikido for a month or more. It happened when I moved to Japan (about ten years ago). Initially, I was greatly discouraged by the general level of Aikido being practiced there. I was disillusioned because of my own self-held delusions concerning "the motherland." It got the better of me, and the frustration rose to a point where there became little difference between training and not training. I opted to replace my Aikido training by training with a very prestigious Kendo instructor in the Kansai area (i.e. the lure of quality training). Because I was pained by the results of my frustration, I analyzed my initial reasoning: Is there really no difference between training and no training? The obvious answer was "no" -- there is a difference between training and not training. There is always a difference. Why am I not training then? -- came the next question. Answer: Because there is nowhere to train hard? -- was my answer. Continuing the reflection -- Why does training "hard" require a place? Does not training "hard" involve a level of self-responsibility and self-reliance? Can you always train "hard" if you are at the mercy of others and of your surrounding? The answer became clear to me: I was wrong and I was deluded -- both concerning what training "hard" was and also what training in Japan was. As part of bringing more self-reliance to my training, I went right back to the Aikido mat, and when I did, I met some of the most dedicated practitioners I have ever met in my own experience of the Aikido world. I learned a lot from then when it came to becoming more self-reliant (a lesson not so easily learned in a place like California where quality Aikido can be considered in abundance). When they weren't there, I trained by myself doing suburi and other various exercises particular to my Nobuo Iseri.

- I did answer your question on commitment. If I did not reduce things down to mat hours, it is because I do not believe the numeric value of mat hours to be the main criteria for commitment. For example, as I have said many times, one can train seven days a week, three hours a day, and have such training be based upon convenience (which I see as the antithesis of commitment). Such a person might have no job, no spouse, no children, etc. -- having plenty of time for training. With the abundance of time, they never have to practice commitment because there is never anything in the way of training, never anything that requires sacrifice, planning, and/or integration. I have known several practitioners like this and have trained several students like this. What happens when they need to get a job, or when they get married, or when they have a child? They can no longer find time to train. Why? Because in all of the training they did, they never sought to move beyond finding time (the level of convenience) -- to the level of making /creating time (the level of commitment).

As another example, right now, my most committed student is not even on the mat -- no mat hours per week. She is suffering from an aggressive attack of MS and her whole life has been thrown upside down and inside out. She cannot walk, is losing her vision, and her body is in continuous muscle spasms. She is a single mother, with two children -- the youngest recently diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. She recently became a full-time student at the University of California, Santa Barbara (at 35). She has an aggressive ex-husband that bogs her down in court via his refusal to provide financial assistance for the children. Etc. Though not currently on the mat, Aikido is thoroughly integrated into the totality of her life. She is committed to the art, to the dojo, to her sensei/deshi relationship, and to her own practice. She is committed to these things because her life and her Aikido are in a process of integration. She is not a hobbyist. She would never call herself a hobbyist; and no one in our dojo would ever call her a hobbyist. She works hard to create a way for her to follow to the mat. She always has. She works harder than me to reach the mat. Sometimes (in the past -- before the MS) she is on it five days a week, sometimes six, sometimes three, right now -- she's not on it at all. Integration is the key to commitment, not necessarily the number of hours one trains.

- I have never trained in the martial arts at a level where integration was not my goal. Therefore, I would never say that I trained at a "lesser level of commitment."

- As for mat hours (which hardly completely the totality of my commitment to the practice), here is our schedule:

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/d.../schedule.html

I train at all of the classes but two (Tuesday Evening Body Art and Thursday 9 a.m. Body Art). I do all the classes -- I do not teach and watch. I demonstrate, instruct as we go, do nage 50% of the time, do uke 50% of the time.

Here is video of what our mat time looks like:

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/video.html

Again, please answer my questions above, because I'm really interested in how you reconcile Paige's lack of shoshin to Dennis' wise and kind effort to offer a point of reflection capable of generating that virtue, or how you let a teenager speak on the validity of academic discourse when she in all likelihood has not read one book that is today key to the Academy (e.g. any of the post-modernist, the post-marxists, or the post-structuralists, etc.).

In addition -- please answer these two questions: Why do you think that integration is not the core of commitment? Why do you think the core of commitment is the number of mat hours? (such that you would say that I did not answer your question on commitment because I did not speak of mat hours)

thanks in advance,
dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:54 AM   #78
aikigirl10
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Again, please answer my questions above, because I'm really interested in how you reconcile Paige's lack of shoshin to Dennis' wise and kind effort to offer a point of reflection capable of generating that virtue, or how you let a teenager speak on the validity of academic discourse when she in all likelihood has not read one book that is today key to the Academy (e.g. any of the post-modernist, the post-marxists, or the post-structuralists, etc.).
wow... talk about insults.

There are a million and one things i could say to you david but none of them would do me or you any good.

All i ask, is in the future, please be less judgemental about people you don't even know.

I have said this before and i will say it again

"Wisdom is knowing what to do next, Skill is knowing how to do it, and Virtue is doing it."

Just think about that.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:56 AM   #79
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Re: Am i missing something??

Anne,

You are not quoting me - you even said you changed the word. Your example on my usage of the word "supeficiality" only justifies Mark's position - not yours.

I cannot reply to you any better than I already have - for me, your position is without merit and speaks only of a some sort of personal issue you've allowed yourself to adopt. I certainly cannot reply to you any better than Ron Tisdale already has:

"Well, it's obvious to me that the context for "superficiality" is the practice of aikido as a hobby.

It's also obvious to me that just because one practices aikido as a hobby, and perhaps is superficial in that regard, they could just as well practice something else (many other things) and not be superficial in another way. It might not even be a 'practice' as such...there are many types of commitment to many different things that can bring about growth.

I don't see comments like this as someone trying to raise himself or bring others down because I am willing to look at the words on the page and not change them to suit my own ego. It has been admitted here that words in a quote were changed...but somehow that is ok because of the 'assumed' context...double speak."

Last edited by senshincenter : 04-18-2006 at 09:05 AM.

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Old 04-18-2006, 09:04 AM   #80
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
wow... talk about insults.

There are a million and one things i could say to you david but none of them would do me or you any good.

All i ask, is in the future, please be less judgemental about people you don't even know.

I have said this before and i will say it again

"Wisdom is knowing what to do next, Skill is knowing how to do it, and Virtue is doing it."

Just think about that.

Paige,

it is not an insult to point out that you were dismissive to Dennis' insight and assistance. nor is it insulting to suggest that a person that has not yet finished high school has probably not been partial to the latest academic discourse being practiced at the university level. we are dealing here with a matter of likely exposure - not a matter of personal intelligence. if anything, you'd not want the exposure level you have at the high school level to be the apex of your experience. i'm giving you the benefit of that doubt by expecting you to be exposed to a great deal more as you progress in your education.

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:06 AM   #81
giriasis
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Re: Am i missing something??

Oh, Great David, I bow down know and kiss your feet for thou has shown me the error of my ways. You are so moral and just you can not possibly judge others. You are such a great and awesome Aikido Sensei that I must come to your school and train.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:10 AM   #82
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Re: Am i missing something??

All right, I'll start from the bottom:
Quote:
Why do you think that integration is not the core of commitment? Why do you think the core of commitment is the number of mat hours?
I was curious as to what this commitment looks like to you, how this commitment and integration expresses itself in your life. Mat hours are important. That's when we really practice, when we can test and experiment with the physical expression of aikido principles. I find it a useful gauge of commitment. I neither said nor implied anything about integration. I do not know what the core of commitment is. I don't know how serious or superficial anyone else's training is, but when I train with a person I learn something about their aikido, and I believe that good aikido springs from a commitment to training. In other words, I am more interested in the effects of commitment than in its supposed core.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:11 AM   #83
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Am i missing something??

In all of this, David has not been so dismissive.

What a shame.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:19 AM   #84
giriasis
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
In all of this, David has not been so dismissive.

What a shame.

Best,
Ron
Shame me all you want Ron. I just can't take David seriously anymore because he reminds of my first sensei from Juko Kai -- charismatic, arrogant and full of it. I call him out on his condescending comments and all of a sudden he backs down from them as if he never made them, and people ignore them. He then uses his superiority card to act as if he is better. Just because he's "an academic" gives him no right to treat others like this. There is no use in engaging him in anything serious because he MUST be right. What he doesn't realize is that some of us here are as educated as he is and we don't speak to others like this.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:22 AM   #85
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Amelia Smith wrote:
All right, I'll start from the bottom:
I was curious as to what this commitment looks like to you, how this commitment and integration expresses itself in your life. Mat hours are important. That's when we really practice, when we can test and experiment with the physical expression of aikido principles. I find it a useful gauge of commitment. I neither said nor implied anything about integration. I do not know what the core of commitment is. I don't know how serious or superficial anyone else's training is, but when I train with a person I learn something about their aikido, and I believe that good aikido springs from a commitment to training. In other words, I am more interested in the effects of commitment than in its supposed core.

But why ask twice then? I said what commitment is to me the first time. You felt I did not answer your question and you then prompted a discussion on mat hours. You didn't do that because you felt mat hours to be more important than integration? If not, why did you do it then? Why wasn't my first answer of integration an answer for you?

So commitment for you is a kind of "you know it when you see it"? Not knowing the core of it, how do you aim your practice in a committed fashion? Just show up as much as you can - accumulate as many mat hours as you can? If so, how does that sit in with my example pertaining the practice of convenience that can have someone training every day several times a day?

In all of this, I'm assuming you will lead us to some point you are trying to make - deducing something from the defining of my terms. So, please feel free to continue to ask questions of your own toward me. I'll answer them as fully as I can.

thanks,
dmv

Last edited by senshincenter : 04-18-2006 at 09:24 AM.

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:27 AM   #86
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote:
Oh, Great David, I bow down know and kiss your feet for thou has shown me the error of my ways. You are so moral and just you can not possibly judge others. You are such a great and awesome Aikido Sensei that I must come to your school and train.

Wow Anne - real nice. You could have just stuck your tongue out and meant as much. Perhaps we should not push this conversation any further. I will note that you found my tone insulting. I will be mindful of that in the future. Let us both move forward with this topic and/or to some other future discussion.

On this side, the slate is blank as far as your actions - peace between us and the possibility of more meaningful discussions. I will do my best to not add to your own slate of my actions.

take care,
dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:31 AM   #87
giriasis
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Wow Anne - real nice. You could have just stuck your tongue out and meant as much. Perhaps we should not push this conversation any further. I will note that you found my tone insulting. I will be mindful of that in the future. Let us both move forward with this topic and/or to some other future discussion.

On this side, the slate is blank as far as your actions - peace between us and the possibility of more meaningful discussions. I will do my best to not add to your own slate of my actions.

take care,
dmv
Thank you David, I will take an apology when I get it. And I'll leave the slate clean as far as your actions are concerned. Until the next time...

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:32 AM   #88
Ian Upstone
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Re: Am i missing something??

A paragraph from my dictionary:

"Superficial suggests too much concern with the surface or obvious aspects of something, and it is considered a derogatory term because it connotes a personality that is not genuine or sincere."

I think that says it all.

In hindsight (given the direction this thread has moved in) I think David chose the wrong word in his post (technically correct, but perhaps diplomatically a poor choice given the subject has a personal, rather than an abstract direction).

This is a shame - folks are busy being offended by perceived motive in the use of that one word rather than actually considering the valid comment contained in the post around it.

In an attempt to get back on topic, David's initial posts really made a lot of sense to me and has made me rethink my attitude and concept of myself that I have to admit If I am being honest: My concerns really are "surface level" in my training, despite how serious it is to me.

The next step for me personally, is "How do I attempt to change that?", or again, being more honest, "Do I really want to change that?" But that's another thread I guess...
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:36 AM   #89
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
What he doesn't realize is that some of us here are as educated as he is and we don't speak to others like this.
You just did.
Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:39 AM   #90
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Re: Am i missing something??

For the record, I referred to an apex of exposure, not an apex of sophistication. Meaning: there are many styles of academic discourse - mine being one of them (very much in line with the post-structuralists, etc.). Not Meaning: There are many levels of academic discourse, mine being the most sophisticated or advanced.

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:40 AM   #91
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Again - where were you then? What does that do for your "you said it first" reasoning? Where is your consistency? Why should anyone (especially me) -- when your view is currently the minority view here -- take your summary of the events seriously?
I was browsing along, seeing what people have to say, until your comments started to really bother me. They bothered me because I found them insulting. I don't see a need to define myself as a hobbyist or as a serious aikidoka. I just practice. Every now and again, I get obsessive about aikido and waste half my day on bullieten boards like this. I believe I have been consistent. I found Paige's question interesting and honest. I did not find the same level of self-reflection in your posts. Instead, I found a vague perscription, and condemnation based on ideas which seemed more abstract than practical.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
where Paige was (at least initially) suggesting she wanted to go (i.e. away from the waxing and waning of training interest).
I did not see that suggestion in her initial post. That is your agenda. Many people here obviously agree with you, but their agreement does not render my interpretation invalid.

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
When I suggest that training needs to take place beyond desire, I am not at all suggesting that one force him/herself to train
What are you suggesting, then?

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
- Yes, I have quit Aikido for a month or more. ... As part of bringing more self-reliance to my training, I went right back to the Aikido mat, and when I did, I met some of the most dedicated practitioners I have ever met in my own experience of the Aikido world. I learned a lot from then when it came to becoming more self-reliant...
Now, that section was interesting. I see that your not-training time led you to increased self-reliance, which I also found to be the main benefit of my time away from aikido. However, I live in a place where there is only one, small aikido dojo. If I had access to a more active dojo, with more advanced practitioners, I would certainly train there. I wonder why you choose to run your own dojo, rather than training at one of the pre-existing high quality aikido dojos in your area. (I don't know how long your dojo has been around, but if you went to Japan 10 years ago, it can't be older than that, at least under your leadership).

With regards to mat time, I do not see "finding time" and "making time" as fundamentally different, and of course people have different abilities to make it onto the mat, and finding the proper balance in one's life is important.

I'm sorry, but I can't watch the video of your class, as I have a very slow modem connection here. I will look at it at a later date, perhaps.

--Amelia
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:41 AM   #92
Mark Freeman
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Re: Am i missing something??

two people practice aikido, one goes twice a week as regular as clockwork, it's her 'hobby' an she loves the benefit it gives her and how it enhances the rest of her life. The other person practices aikido 5-6 days a week and is very serious about their practice. Although on the surface it would seem that the latter student is more 'committed' to aikido, this can only be borne out as true many years from now. What if the 'hobbyist' continues training for their whole life well into old age, they still only manage twice a week but they just keep on going. No one could doubt their committment, could they?
What if the 5-6 day a week student stays for a few years then decides to expand his 'martial' skills by practicing a different art. Where is his committment to aikido?

At the end of the day 'who cares' how much training you do? Aikido practice is for everyone, for their own ends, for their own benefit.
Some may want hard long training, fine, go ahead, but don't think your aikido is any more valid than those who chose to train differently. Conversely, for those who train sporadically, don't put yourself in the same league as those that train long and hard.
If a student of a mediocre teacher practices for many hours, will they ever compare to a student of a great teacher who practices less?

Just a few thoughts to stir up an already cloudy debate

regards,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:46 AM   #93
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
So commitment for you is a kind of "you know it when you see it"?
No. I can see or feel skill and attitude. I cannot see or measure commitment, much less "integration." I do not find your definition of commitment as integration meaningful in the context of my practice. Obviously, it has meaning to you, though.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:48 AM   #94
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Re: Am i missing something??

Hi folks,

Can I step in here for a moment and ask people to move away, please, from discussing personalities and writing styles and, rather, to discussing the topic at hand?

Thank you.

-- Jun

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Old 04-18-2006, 10:04 AM   #95
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
The next step for me personally, is "How do I attempt to change that?", or again, being more honest, "Do I really want to change that?" But that's another thread I guess...
No Ian, that is the crux of this thread (as it has morphed somewhat). Let me take this a bit further to address some of my own personal challenges to going deeper in my training.

My challenges to my commitment are partly physical, partly something else. I am trying to address the physical by training outside of aikido to improve my overall physical ability to stay on the mat injury free. When I first had problems with my left knee, I stopped training on the mat for about 6 months. I consistantly did the therapy my doctor recommended. In the same time period, I switched to a dojo that I felt (and still feel) offered me the best way forward in my training. When my right knee got injured, I did not do the therapy, and it has delayed the recovery for quite some time. Now that I have been doing yoga outside of the dojo, the knee is already showing serious improvement. But I have a ways to go...part of which is commiting to being at the dojo for a set number of times per week.

Another problem is my smoking. It has to stop. It amazes me that I can do some many different things, and yet this stupid weed is still messing with my head.

These are just some of the things I have let stand between myself and commitment to another level of my training. I am slowly addressing them...but it does take hard work.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:21 AM   #96
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Another problem is my smoking. It has to stop. It amazes me that I can do some many different things, and yet this stupid weed is still messing with my head.
It's been nearly 48 since my last smoke, and the cheeky little monkey on my back is just starting to have some fun.
one day at a time, one day at a time.....

It's alot easier not to give up

regards
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:46 AM   #97
Derek Gaudet
 
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Location: Lake Utopia, New Brunswick
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Re: Am i missing something??

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
two people practice aikido, one goes twice a week as regular as clockwork, it's her 'hobby' an she loves the benefit it gives her and how it enhances the rest of her life. The other person practices aikido 5-6 days a week and is very serious about their practice. Although on the surface it would seem that the latter student is more 'committed' to aikido, this can only be borne out as true many years from now. What if the 'hobbyist' continues training for their whole life well into old age, they still only manage twice a week but they just keep on going. No one could doubt their commitment, could they?
What if the 5-6 day a week student stays for a few years then decides to expand his 'martial' skills by practicing a different art. Where is his commitment to aikido?

At the end of the day 'who cares' how much training you do? Aikido practice is for everyone, for their own ends, for their own benefit.
Some may want hard long training, fine, go ahead, but don't think your aikido is any more valid than those who chose to train differently. Conversely, for those who train sporadically, don't put yourself in the same league as those that train long and hard.
If a student of a mediocre teacher practices for many hours, will they ever compare to a student of a great teacher who practices less?

Just a few thoughts to stir up an already cloudy debate

regards,
Mark
I like that analogy. I would say if the hobbyist stays, they move beyond "Hobby-ism". And if the Committed student leaves...then it was "untrue commitment". At least regarding their place in Aikido. I guess just because we think of ourselves as a hobbyists, it doesn't make it true, especially considering your example showed it benefited their everyday life. Kind of an identity confusion, where we have to figure out just who we are. And that usually takes a long time. In some psychological theories it is a key issue during the teenage years. It is probably difficult to draw a line where a hobby-ism stops and commitment begins. But I'm sure that someone who starts as a hobbyist can surely develop into a committed student. Just my thoughts...

Kind Regards,
Derek Gaudet
Goshin Aikido
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:52 AM   #98
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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Re: Am i missing something??

You know we have one man in our dojo who trains twice a week every other week. He is there consistently, and he has done this consistently for more than 6 years (longer than I've been at my dojo). You can count on him like clockwork. When you train with him, you have no doubt of his seriousness towards aikido. I'm more like Amelia, I don't really take the time to think is this a hobby or not. I seek to strive to improve my self and being everyday, and I use aikido as a tool to do this. There are ways outside of the aikido dojo. If I'm not focused on my work in my job, I'm focused on aikido, improving my health, and spending time with my family. Aikido is not my life but it plays a vital part of my life. I'm about fully living my life. It's just when we go into comparisons with others when we start to have problems. It's a lot like comparing your rank/ skill against someone else. Does it really matter to a particular person's training if someone is more or less committed than you are? No, my good friend who trains on occasion does not take away from the committment I've made to my own training, but that still doesn't mean aikido is not important to her. I see newbies come into the dojo and train 5 days a week. One of our 3rd kyus trains once a month. But when each of these people are on the mat, most of there the great majority of time are fully there and present in the moment. Once they are there, they are there, and that is what matters. Because when I train with our 3rd kyu who comes once a month he is serious and focused as with our 5 day-a-week newbies.

End the end all this "I'm a serious student and you're not" is just talk, and what really matters is what happens on the mat.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 04-18-2006, 11:14 AM   #99
cck
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Re: Am i missing something??

Terms, terms, definition of terms, perception of terms…
I started aikido because I wanted to be the Avenging Angel in the Night (I was 21 years old and so very young). I started practicing and learned how to roll and thought wow, this is cool stuff! I nevertheless stopped, moved on, lived in China for a while, did some taijiquan, came back, got married, finished school and moved again.
Found myself another dojo and again thought that this was indeed "my sport". Unfortunately, I ended up having to make the very difficult decision to leave because I had lost all respect for my sensei -- a pompous ass with a clear and demonstrated inability to practice what he preached. He did not match my expectations of someone I could learn from.
So I left again… Had a child, moved some more, and one day passed a dojo on my way to work. Took a class and have been there for two years now. I've had a couple of months where I only went four times, but I go.
Desire, pain, fear and commitment, then:
Desire for what I get out of aikido keeps me going -- it does something to me that makes me what I consider to be a better person. It makes me so ridiculously happy sometimes that people stop me and ask me what I am so happy about. But is that a warning sign?
Pain and fear belong in the realm of watching my father die and never appears in aikido -- at least it never reaches the same level. It can be uncomfortable, absolutely, to see some of your blind spots reflected in a very tangible, physical and undeniable way through practice. It can be really, really, frustrating -- but then desire kicks in, the desire to work through it and come out on the other side and focus on something else. If there is something there, by all means, let's have a look at it. Practice affects how I relate to my work and how I am with my family. But is that "self-transformation"?
Commitment -- well, I've been arguing about that one before as well. I understand David better now, I think; I would still say that once you've made a choice, what David calls "integration" follows -- at whatever level you practice. I don't make that choice every day, I only had to do it once. I understand myself as a committed individual, and perhaps feel that if my commitment in one area is being questioned, then all of it is -- hence a conflict with a very deep rooted sense of "me", something close to the core -- it still gets me every time. Now, however, I am asking myself why? Didn't even really know I had a "core". Interesting… What else lurks there?
That, to me, is the main benefit of David's (in Erick's term) a-gressio posts -- the question "why does this affect me so?" He can be heavy to dance with, absolutely, but give it some time and real thought. I've reacted to him too and likely will again, but in retrospect, when the emotions fade, there are valuable afterthoughts. Honestly, I think my problem has been that I wanted (his) approval, or to win the discussion; in the end, though, it is me I am trying to convince.
Right?
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Old 04-18-2006, 11:20 AM   #100
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Am i missing something??

Completely agree. I don't think David was saying that "I'm a serious student and you're not". The example of the woman in his dojo who has MS is a good example of just that. Some people really can only make it twice a week, or twice a month, or whatever, and they supplement the dojo time with other methods of practice. I've seen people who are much better than I am breeze through a 3rd dan test inspite of school, work, relationships. Me, lately...I have a hard time being consistent. Working on it...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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