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Old 08-24-2009, 08:19 PM   #226
DH
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Re: True Internal Strength

Well, I wasn't thinking of just me but more along the lines of Ron's idea that aikido cannot be measured. I think that's an interesting idea and probably might prove problematic between styles. I don't think it's accurate overall though. If it has proved to be a road block in the past, I proposed a solution. I've never needed to consider styles and waza in the past while playing with many different styles and I wanted to play with the concept in line with what I do sometimes. Aikido has many common elements. With my list I am sure many, many, more teachers and students alike who could use it as a measure of just where they are in physical skills-sans styles ro waza. By its nature it defy's waza and individual stylings and can be more pure to form. It's also fun. Anyway, it was more of a conversation piece on the concept than anything else.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 08-24-2009 at 08:33 PM.
 
Old 08-24-2009, 09:04 PM   #227
rob_liberti
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Re: True Internal Strength

I was thinking of my students in the not too distant future...

old mcdojo had a form, aiki aiki do...
 
Old 08-24-2009, 11:32 PM   #228
Keith Larman
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Re: True Internal Strength

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
... the Dunning-Kruger effect that too often accompanies the claims within the martial-arts domain.
It happens everywhere. A guy showed me a tanto he polished at the recent Token Kai. Horrible. I pointed out the rounded lines, the inconsistent shape, the deep scratches. Confident fella but he clearly had no idea what he was doing. After he kept looking at me with a puzzled look as I tried to explain things I finally pulled a blade off the table that had been polished by a top level togishi in Japan. I showed him the crisp transitions, the clean, vibrant surface, the subtle detail, and the consistency of shape. Side by side -- couldn't be more obvious.

He looked and looked but said "Yeah, but that's just a flashy style. Mine is more subtle. You're just looking for things to criticize."

The differences were like night and day... But sometimes that's too subtle a difference for those who never open their eyes.

 
Old 08-25-2009, 02:22 AM   #229
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Re: True Internal Strength

Quote:
Kreyna Abrams wrote: View Post
So, you are admitting that it IS possible for us to reach O-Sensei's skills level.<snip>
In other words, it's not something superhuman, it's something that is simply a matter of logistics and personal drive.
I never claimed it was something superhuman, so I don't have to 'admit' anything. Aiki is just a skill like there are so many others, but becoming one of the greats in a skill is no small endeavor.

Quote:
After reading posts by some AikiWeb subscribers who have been starting Internal Strength training, I would also say that it is doable in less than 20 years!
So you're estimating how much time it would take based on what some beginners write on an internet forum?! How would they know how much time it takes to attain a level they can barely dream of?
 
Old 08-25-2009, 06:59 AM   #230
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Re: True Internal Strength

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
It happens everywhere. A guy showed me a tanto he polished at the recent Token Kai. Horrible. I pointed out the rounded lines, the inconsistent shape, the deep scratches. Confident fella but he clearly had no idea what he was doing. After he kept looking at me with a puzzled look as I tried to explain things I finally pulled a blade off the table that had been polished by a top level togishi in Japan. I showed him the crisp transitions, the clean, vibrant surface, the subtle detail, and the consistency of shape. Side by side -- couldn't be more obvious.

He looked and looked but said "Yeah, but that's just a flashy style. Mine is more subtle. You're just looking for things to criticize."

The differences were like night and day... But sometimes that's too subtle a difference for those who never open their eyes.
He'll probably badmouth you from here to kingdom-come now, Keith, because you have this nasty attitude! But that's exactly what I was talking about.

Best.

Mike
 
Old 08-25-2009, 07:35 AM   #231
Marc Abrams
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Re: True Internal Strength

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
It happens everywhere. A guy showed me a tanto he polished at the recent Token Kai. Horrible. I pointed out the rounded lines, the inconsistent shape, the deep scratches. Confident fella but he clearly had no idea what he was doing. After he kept looking at me with a puzzled look as I tried to explain things I finally pulled a blade off the table that had been polished by a top level togishi in Japan. I showed him the crisp transitions, the clean, vibrant surface, the subtle detail, and the consistency of shape. Side by side -- couldn't be more obvious.

He looked and looked but said "Yeah, but that's just a flashy style. Mine is more subtle. You're just looking for things to criticize."

The differences were like night and day... But sometimes that's too subtle a difference for those who never open their eyes.
Keith:

The problem is that you were not willing to go along with "his reality." People seem to find it rude when other people point out that consensual reality does not line up with theirs. You have some nerve !

This endlessly debated topic will continue to reverberate because some people will want to stay stuck in their own little worlds, rather than apply what they do in the context of a large reality (eg. work with Mike, Dan, ....).

Marc Abrams
 
Old 08-25-2009, 07:41 AM   #232
Keith Larman
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Re: True Internal Strength

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He'll probably badmouth you from here to kingdom-come now, Keith, because you have this nasty attitude! But that's exactly what I was talking about.

Best.

Mike
Oh, I already have an "anti-fan" club like that... Some come around eventually; others, well, they don't. It is one hazard in that people show me their work asking for critiques. The problem is the "they don't know what they don't know" syndrome as well. So I end up with the choice of ignoring them, saying something non committal, or going ahead and doing exactly what they ask. Hard to know sometimes what to say. If I do give them the critique they asked for, some are grateful, but there are those who truly felt they'd done wonderful things. For some of those people getting an honest critique either results in a sad but sincere thank you. For others, well, let's just say it doesn't go well. I realized one day that the real problem is that the work may have been very difficult for them to do and since it reflects their lack of knowledge as well as their misconceptions it in fact does represent exactly what they think it should be. Hence to them it is great work -- it realized what they see in their mind's eye. The problem is their "fantastic" work itself only shows how poor their understanding really is.

 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:11 AM   #233
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Re: True Internal Strength

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Do you think Usain Bolt will be able to sprint as well as Morihei Ueshiba did aikido in his old age?
I don't know. I think the nature of Ueshiba's training advantageously changed his body, and continuously improved it..allowing him to do what he did. I do not necessarily think that Usain Bolt's training has this same factor in play. For this reason I think physical deterioration over time will not allow Usain Bolt to do his thing as well as Ueshiba did his.

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Are you saying that you and I cannot attain a level of skill that could match that of a fragile looking 80-plus-year-old man?
I don't know here either. In general I think what you say is true; but what about an 80 year old zealous mathematician working his whole life? Do you think you can do what he does? Depends on a lot of things...as you and Joep wrote. Fragile or not; I think what we see and hear about O Sensei was the culmination of a lifetime's refinement of a difficult skill. I think it would be difficult in the extreme and a mistake by any stretch to think it a slam dunk. The challenge is real and the bar is set high. But within the realm of possibility, I think...yes. Without the aiki technique and internal strength, no way.
m2c (just some more white noise)
 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:15 AM   #234
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Re: True Internal Strength

Talking about the whole "Anti-Fan" club issue. I have been talking to alot of guys that are kinda on the forefront of thought of Military Combatives over the past couple of months. These guys have 20 or so years of experience in TMAs and training/teaching soldiers, institutions etc.

One thing is common among all of them is that they have their detractors. As I mature and hopefully start coming into my own as a "martial professional" I'd had of kinda hoped to avoid this whole issue by being good enough to make everyone see that I was the right way lol.

Looking now, I am starting to realize that eventually you kinda have to stand up for what you believe in, be honest about it, and accept that you can't make everyone happy.

I really like to try and say nothing at all if I don't particularly agree with someone on something vice being critical, but as Dan kinda pointed out to me the other day, you do owe it to the folks you are training with to be honest with them, even if it hurt their feelings a little. That is their problem if they can't get over it. Sure, it can be done tactfully.

I think back to the discussions I have had with Dan and Mike over the past few years on Aikiweb. I appreciate that they stuck to their guns and dealt with the difficult and critical comments. I also appreciate their honesty too even though it may not have been the popular thing to say.

I do think it is better than to maintain the "group think" and "PC" environment at the expense of good training.

I think if someone is truely honest about what they are working on, that they are strong enough to take the criticism and to drive on. It sucks being told you suck, I hate it, but deep down I try and take my licks and drive on, knowing that that person is actually trying to help me.

I think we waste alot of time with folks being nice and polite to each other to the point of dishonesty.

Screw em if they can't get over it! there are plenty of folks that can, and that is the people I want to hang out with and learn from.

 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:17 AM   #235
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Re: True Internal Strength

Quote:
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You should surpass him.
I want to be an optimist as well, but didn't Sagawa also say "It is almost impossible to understand aiki".

What factors / obstacles are in the way?
-body must be conditioned to understand aiki (in the body)
-the technique is difficult (bodily and intellectually)
-the sheer amount of body conditioning is almost prohibitive
-finding a teacher is hard
-training is arduous
-ability to find the time
-need advantageous mix of insight + luck
-must remain free from injury when pressure testing

Am I even in the ball park?
Cheers,
Josh
 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:23 AM   #236
Keith Larman
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Re: True Internal Strength

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Looking now, I am starting to realize that eventually you kinda have to stand up for what you believe in, be honest about it, and accept that you can't make everyone happy.
Yup... Absolutely. There are those you just can't reach even after slapping them silly.

But... That said just because some don't get what you're doing doesn't mean someone else might actually get it and have a valid observation. In other words the Dunning-Kruger effect doesn't discriminate, even among those of us who clearly know everything.

 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:26 AM   #237
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Re: True Internal Strength

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Oh, I already have an "anti-fan" club like that... Some come around eventually; others, well, they don't. It is one hazard in that people show me their work asking for critiques. The problem is the "they don't know what they don't know" syndrome as well. So I end up with the choice of ignoring them, saying something non committal, or going ahead and doing exactly what they ask. Hard to know sometimes what to say. If I do give them the critique they asked for, some are grateful, but there are those who truly felt they'd done wonderful things. For some of those people getting an honest critique either results in a sad but sincere thank you. For others, well, let's just say it doesn't go well. I realized one day that the real problem is that the work may have been very difficult for them to do and since it reflects their lack of knowledge as well as their misconceptions it in fact does represent exactly what they think it should be. Hence to them it is great work -- it realized what they see in their mind's eye. The problem is their "fantastic" work itself only shows how poor their understanding really is.
Well, as this whole issue of "internal skillz" takes off, watch for even more D-K effect to raise its head. The guy who knows a little bit will think he knows a lot (ready to open a dojo! ready to teach others! ) and there will be all sorts of soap-operatic situations. And the guy who can't see where he really is (or has invested too much in being The Expert to continue studying) will self-limit himself. In short, things will be just as they always are and always have been. Should be fun to watch.

Best.

Mike
 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:32 AM   #238
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Re: True Internal Strength

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..I share your love of the mysteriousness of the spiritual world and appreciate what you have said about it.
Hi Kreyna,
Thanks for your response. I was thinking about it.... Actually the mysteriousness is somewhat frustrating to me...it's not so much a love of that (anymore). It is a love of the hunt to find the truth. Moreso; actually a love of the truth itself. The mystery is the thing hanging over it. It is the clearing of the mystery that I love..

Quote:
I used to think that it was part of Aikido, and for O-Sensei I'm sure it was. For me, though, it is becoming more and more a tangible process and thing
I agree and think the same way. It is strange though in that Aikido was created as a body practice by O Sensei as a manifestation of him trying to harmonize Heaven and Earth realms. Do I understand that correctly (anybody?).
If a thing means what it means (re: Aikido), are we kidding ourselves and trying to "Make Aikido what ever I want it to mean; especially what I am doing"?
Or is the body practice separate from the spiritual world? I think some would say that this is essentially 'destroying' aikido...or denying the True Internal Strength that comes from practicing Aikido. I am not really talking about challenging yourself and seeing what you are made of (fortitude-wise)..but something else. ..Some people hold that these 'movements' in aikido are divine.
I do not believe that a Movement can be divine. But then again I do not believe a Sound can be divine either.

Quote:
Again, I see this disciple as a one of concrete knowledge and learned skills, of which I evidently am lacking a critical component. That rocks my world. Not in a "mysterious" way, but in a "What am I missing and how do I get it" way.
cool.
All the Best,
Josh
 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:35 AM   #239
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Re: True Internal Strength

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.. the Dunning-Kruger effect ..
Isn't the cure for that humility and a true spirit of learning and seeking to be better?

What *causes* it?
 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:35 AM   #240
Keith Larman
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Re: True Internal Strength

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I really like to try and say nothing at all if I don't particularly agree with someone on something vice being critical, but as Dan kinda pointed out to me the other day, you do owe it to the folks you are training with to be honest with them, even if it hurt their feelings a little. That is their problem if they can't get over it. Sure, it can be done tactfully.
On that point there is no question or debate in my mind. If you are a teacher you *need* to give the honest feedback to your students. That's part of the job. The difficult part can be doing it such that the student is able to improve without tearing them down too much in the process. But at some point the teacher's responsibility does include telling someone they're doing it all wrong.

I can think of people I know where some teachers have given up on them. We all know students like that. They figure they've got it all figured out, they seem to ignore corrections, and pretty soon you notice sensei is no longer bothering correcting them. Some of those students tend to get very confident as they take the lack of correction as a sort of implicit approval of their form. It is nothing of the sort. So in a weird way I find it most encouraging when one of my sensei comes over and fixes something on me. At least I'm still in their radar as a student...

But that's an in-person, one-on-one kinda deal. And I think part of my discomfort with some threads here is that people are talking about what others are doing that they have never met let alone trained with. And that gets difficult at best.

Shrug...

 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:38 AM   #241
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Re: True Internal Strength

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Isn't the cure for that humility and a true spirit of learning and seeking to be better?

What *causes* it?
Being human.

 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:41 AM   #242
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Re: True Internal Strength

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Well, as this whole issue of "internal skillz" takes off, watch for even more D-K effect to raise its head. The guy who knows a little bit will think he knows a lot (ready to open a dojo! ready to teach others! ) and there will be all sorts of soap-operatic situations. And the guy who can't see where he really is (or has invested too much in being The Expert to continue studying) will self-limit himself. In short, things will be just as they always are and always have been. Should be fun to watch.

Best.

Mike
Yup, give people some shiny new toys and for some it will be irresistible to show them off... And once they start to get marginally better at them some will become excruciatingly difficult to be around... And on that note of self-realization as I typed that last sentence I'm going to go do some exercises with a pool noodle.

 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:47 AM   #243
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Re: True Internal Strength

I tend to like simple tests to give an indication of where someone's ability in "internal skillz" are. Tohei's "ki tests" are good static tests and you can use them to feel how 'pure' someone's ability to transmit the ground are, how stable, etc. It doesn't take a mind-numbing series of courageous derring-do tests to tell what sort of ability someone has. Usually, someone with experience can tell at a touch or a handshake (hence the dead-fish handshakes that you encounter among a lot of Asian martial artists) what someone's general level is.

Then too, a small, not-too-strong person can be working diligently on very pure and refined ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills and they won't be as strong as a large, strong person with only rudimentary skills that contain a lot of muscle-jin combination (not very pure, regardless of how strong). So setting powerful derring-do tests for that sort of evolving student would do no good.

Personally, I prefer a slight extension of a static test in order to get a feel for where someone is. I usually ask people to push me (I don't particularly try to resist or thwart their push); that gives me a quick idea of how well they use basic principles in a dynamic example. During that push I can tell how 'pure' that person can let the ground through their bodies, whether they actually use their hara/dantien correctly, and how well integrated their body is, in a simple demonstration. If there are errors in a simple, dynamic movement, then it is pointless to have to look at more complex demonstrations.

In terms of the Dunning-Kruger effect ("SPD" or "Self Perception Disorder" is pretty much the same thing), I've seen people push me horribly at the beginning of a workshop, but later with a lot of exercises and corrections, they do much better (not perfect; just "better"). And some of these people walk out convinced that they had been doing all of this stuff before they ever came and that they didn't learn anything really new. And naturally, the next time I see them they won't be any better than before, either; most of the people who were "already doing that" actually revert to where they were when I first saw them. It's pointless to have any feelings about their progress: these people are their own worst enemies.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
 
Old 08-25-2009, 08:55 AM   #244
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Re: True Internal Strength

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I think back to the discussions I have had with Dan and Mike over the past few years on Aikiweb. I appreciate that they stuck to their guns and dealt with the difficult and critical comments. I also appreciate their honesty too even though it may not have been the popular thing to say.
Me too. I likewise very much appreciate it. Going over the archives you can see it has been a monumental effort. Almost unbelievable, in fact...

Quote:
I do think it is better than to maintain the "group think" and "PC" environment at the expense of good training.
Talk like that will either get you fired or promoted. There is no in between. I like it. I hate the PC handcuffing all around; and am so encouraged to read the people around here, on these pages.

Quote:
I think if someone is truly honest about what they are working on, that they are strong enough to take the criticism and to drive on. It sucks being told you suck, I hate it, but deep down I try and take my licks and drive on, knowing that that person is actually trying to help me.

I think we waste a lot of time with folks being nice and polite to each other to the point of dishonesty.

Screw em if they can't get over it! there are plenty of folks that can, and that is the people I want to hang out with and learn from.
ha. what you wrote is what makes us better, I think. It ain't pretty, and in fact can be ugly and humbling to the extreme. but the refinement process is destructive. Something better comes out.

i remember reading a nice quote, which i am sure to butcher:
"One definition of Mastery means having made every mistake that is possible in a field of study"
 
Old 08-25-2009, 09:14 AM   #245
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Re: True Internal Strength

Quote:
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Isn't the cure for that humility and a true spirit of learning and seeking to be better?

What *causes* it?
Not necessarily, because you can also begin to believe that you are more humble than others, which begets the same problem if you ask me.

Also I think we tend to have a phenomea in aikido where folks develop a sense of humility that borders on piety, which causes us to sacrifice real learning and knowledge transferrence as humility becomes a more important quality than the actual transferrence of knowledge!

Sigh!

 
Old 08-25-2009, 09:19 AM   #246
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Re: True Internal Strength

Mike Sigman wrote:

Quote:
Personally, I prefer a slight extension of a static test in order to get a feel for where someone is. I usually ask people to push me (I don't particularly try to resist or thwart their push); that gives me a quick idea of how well they use basic principles in a dynamic example. During that push I can tell how 'pure' that person can let the ground through their bodies, whether they actually use their hara/dantien correctly, and how well integrated their body is, in a simple demonstration. If there are errors in a simple, dynamic movement, then it is pointless to have to look at more complex demonstrations.
Yes, I remember doing this with you probably more than anything else and the fact that you kept saying "nope" that's not it!

 
Old 08-25-2009, 09:22 AM   #247
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Re: True Internal Strength

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Not necessarily, because you can also begin to believe that you are more humble than others, which begets the same problem if you ask me.

Also I think we tend to have a phenomea in aikido where folks develop a sense of humility that borders on piety, which causes us to sacrifice real learning and knowledge transferrence as humility becomes a more important quality than the actual transferrence of knowledge!

Sigh!
Hah! that is * h i l a r i o u s. *
and all too true! Then' what's the solution to D-K, Kevin? That's my best answer...

p.s. re Most Humble: Yes; you are right; We should probably have humility contests to see who is the best. We can quantize it and define an arbitrary measurement unit. I hereby nominate the 'quatloo' as the name of the standard unit of humility. I'm sure this'll clear everything up..

Last edited by thisisnotreal : 08-25-2009 at 09:28 AM.
 
Old 08-25-2009, 09:24 AM   #248
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Re: True Internal Strength

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Mike Sigman wrote:

Yes, I remember doing this with you probably more than anything else and the fact that you kept saying "nope" that's not it!
Heh. And do you really understand what I was looking for and why? Are you better at a simple push now?

Mike
 
Old 08-25-2009, 09:30 AM   #249
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I don't know Mike...sometimes, at the very minimum I think I know what it isn't. I think I know how it should feel. I can feel when I am using the wrong muscles and I believe I am now able to evaluate exercises and practices that both encourage and discourage development. So, I think that is a start.

Tim Anderson is most helpful in this process, but I can only seem to get together with Tim every now and then cause we run opposite schedules!

 
Old 08-25-2009, 09:35 AM   #250
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Hah! that is * h i l a r i o u s. *
and all too true! Then' what's the solution to D-K, Kevin? That's my best answer...

p.s. re Most Humble: Yes; you are right; We should probably have humility contests to see who is the best. We can quantize it and define an arbitrary measurement unit. I hereby nominate the 'quatloo' as the name of the standard unit of humility. I'm sure this'll clear everything up..
Solution? Aware that these things affect your judgement and that your sense of reality is constantly being distorted. Try and surround yourself with people that seem to be able to do the things you want to do, and try and develop criteria as objectively as possible for you to test yourself against.

I try and constantly re-evaluate myself and look at different perspectives. If I feel comfortable all the time in my practice, well then I am probably not growing. I think we should constantly feel a slight amount of frustration, dissonance, and what not when we train.

I try and get with as many folks as I can that I do not train with on a daily basis. It is why I approach aikido through BJJ. BJJ through Aikido and Aikido through Judo etc.

I love working with the Military Combatives program as I constantly get beginners that have no clue and they want to fight me. I lose sometimes cause you get in patterns of habit in arts, we all assume certain things. A guy on the street doesn't understand your "rules". So, it is fun to work with folks with no training at all too get an honest perspective of force, pressure.

Things like that I think seem to work for me.

 

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