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Old 08-22-2008, 11:28 PM   #1
Takahama
Dojo: Osaka Aikikai Hombu
Location: Osaka
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 44
Japan
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Training goals

With regard to the Olympics, I was discussing with one of my senseis about the fact that athletes engage in daily practice with a very tangible goal in mind - winning a gold medal.

In the case of Budo, specifically aikido yuudansha and our daily practice, how important is it to set personal goals or targets? The conclusion in our discussion was that it's a matter of individual preference, different people have different approaches to goal-setting. My sensei noted that goals can be non-technical.

I'm interested to hear about people's approach to goal-setting in Budo, are they specific or general and how are they measured? Without them, is there a danger that we get into a kind of 'cruise-mode' on the Way?

When I was a white belt, my personal goal was clear in front of me: to become shodan. Things are not so tangible from the middle dans perspective. I'm not convinced that continued test-passing is a useful goal and I try to keep in mind the meaning of Budo.

The general purpose of my Budo training is to improve my character and try my best to apply aikido principles in daily life - to blend with and extend kindness to family, friends, colleagues etc. However, these are hardly training goals, and improvement in them is difficult to measure. I can only conclude that my training has no goals at the present time.

I'd be very interested to hear others' thoughts on this.
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Old 08-23-2008, 05:56 AM   #2
JamesC
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 54
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Re: Training goals

I have more than one goal at the moment.
-Not to occasionally hit my head when I roll
-Keep my unbendable arm
-Extend!
-Intent!
-Figure out what the hell is going on when Sensei calls out a technique in Japanese
-Keep Learnin'

I'm also a beginner so i'm not really sure this applies to me as much as it does to those of you who have been doing it for so long.

Then again...maybe it does?
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:07 AM   #3
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Dojo: Enighet Malmo Sweden
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No goal, no limit

Goals are dangerous things. When you set up a goal, you can only learn what you already somewhat knew at the outset, or you would not have been able to make it a goal. You eliminate the element of surprise, of learning something that you had no idea of to begin with.

The way is the goal. It should be allowed to surprise you and transform you.

If you feel the need of formulating goals, make them ridiculously far-fetched. That way, they will take you somewhere marvellous, instead of just back to your starting point.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 08-23-2008, 12:04 PM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
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Re: Training goals

George Leonard Sensei wrote a book on Mastery several years ago, that book comes to mind as being relevant to this issue. Mastery is a larger concept than simple goals. It is a complex process.

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Old 08-23-2008, 01:36 PM   #5
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Training goals

Onegaishimasu. The zen master Taisen Deshimaru Roshi did a book on "Zen and the Martial Arts". He talked about the importance of being "Mushotoku", having no goal. I guess that meant that you had to show up at the dojo and practice. And do it over and over. And see what type of experience you had.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:04 PM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: Training goals

I don't have any goals but I do always have a couple of problems/puzzles I'm working on...I don't actually "resolve" them but reach a certain level of understaning or plateau and by then several other things will have shown up...

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:11 PM   #7
jennifer paige smith
 
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Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
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Re: Training goals

Training is the goal.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:00 PM   #8
Norton
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Re: Training goals

My goal is to be stronger and better .Very simple and honest, I think.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:29 PM   #9
Thirza Schraa
Dojo: Itten Dojo
Location: Dalfsen
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Netherlands
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Re: Training goals

Hai,

I have a lot of training goals:
- getting fitter and ‘better organised' in my body after an accident 11 years ago
- feeling a beginner for 2-3 times a week, so to keep my feet on the ground. Since I'm a solo working trainer/coach there is a lack of personal feedback in my work.
- getting sweaty, and all the good things that come from that
- feeling alive at the moment my body ‘automatically' is taking Ukemi or is responding to a movement.
- Some vague dream about teaching Aikido

Thirza Schraa
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:54 PM   #10
mathewjgano
 
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Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
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Re: Training goals

Quote:
Michael Lewis wrote: View Post
I'm interested to hear about people's approach to goal-setting in Budo, are they specific or general and how are they measured? Without them, is there a danger that we get into a kind of 'cruise-mode' on the Way?

When I was a white belt, my personal goal was clear in front of me: to become shodan. Things are not so tangible from the middle dans perspective. I'm not convinced that continued test-passing is a useful goal and I try to keep in mind the meaning of Budo.

The general purpose of my Budo training is to improve my character and try my best to apply aikido principles in daily life - to blend with and extend kindness to family, friends, colleagues etc. However, these are hardly training goals, and improvement in them is difficult to measure. I can only conclude that my training has no goals at the present time.

I'd be very interested to hear others' thoughts on this.
My main goal these days is to get to train, but working two jobs and having a wife who plans everything months ahead of time makes that often difficult.
That aside, my overarching goal in Aikido is to better myself that I may better the world around me, whether it be in physical defense, developing a hard-working character, etc. My goal in life has long been to help in as broad a manner as I can muster and I feel Ueshiba Aikido reflects this same goal. After that it's great exercise and a fun way to spend a couple hours of a day. It keeps my body in shape, my coordination sharp, and my mind relaxed...can't ask for much more in something. These are some of the things that I plan on working on in my future training of Aikido so i guess they could be called goals.
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:26 PM   #11
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: Training goals

My only goal is to keep training.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:06 AM   #12
SeiserL
 
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Re: Training goals

IMHO, goals can be useful as indicators of a direction. Like mile markers are the freeway, you drive towards them, pass them, and keep going.

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 08-26-2008, 05:43 PM   #13
Norton
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 20
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Re: Training goals

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, goals can be useful as indicators of a direction. Like mile markers are the freeway, you drive towards them, pass them, and keep going.
I agree. They encourage you to go further, they let you know that your hardwork's started paying off.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:48 PM   #14
Cynrod
Location: Las Vegas
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Re: Training goals

I think no matter what you do in life you have to have a goal.

Training=Polishing and Polished=Goal.

"For The Secret That The Warrior Seeks: You Must Know That The Basic Principles Lie In The Study Of The Spirit." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:36 AM   #15
PhilMyKi
Dojo: Seibukan, Milton Keynes
Location: At Work unless I am at the DOJO!
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 107
United Kingdom
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Re: Training goals

To be the best I can be at that given moment, then move onto the next. Will never quite achieve it, but the goal evolves with me . I use this in nearly everything I do.

Vorsprung durch Aikido!
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:23 PM   #16
Amadeus
Dojo: Arendal Aikido
Location: Arendal
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Norway
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Re: Training goals

My goals is quite simple:
- learn stuff
- meet people
- have fun

Some wiseguy said something about it's not the destination that's most important, but the journey. So I guess goals is a good way to get the direction. What you accomplish can be something totally different, but still kool gear.

Love me, hate me, tolerate me or ignore me. I care!
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