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Old 12-04-2009, 05:36 PM   #1
dalen7
 
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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Otherwise Titled
"The illusion of time in Aikido" [or anything for that matter.]

You know, I have been pondering the use of time as a means to gauge skill in Aikido.

i.e.
You must train 'x' number of days before testing.
Someone throws out the years they have been in Aikido, etc.

Of course with no live competition in Aikido, I suppose one may draw the conclusion that time is the only tool in which someone's skill can be tested/verified.

While Im sure many would disagree that this is actually the case, in truth it pops up again and again, as its in human nature to want to identify with how long one has been acquainted with or done something. - as if time has anything to do with mastery.

Examination
As an example of this typical human aptitude in wanting to equate time with skill, etc., Ill bring up something that happened at my last testing in July when I received the rank of 3rd kyu.

Beside me sat one of the students of the dojo, and they said, halfway to themselves in musing, that had they taken the test the past couple of years as I had done, that they could have been ranked with me as well.

Yes, the brain tends to forget that time knowing something is not necessarily time doing something.

See this person happens to have shown up maybe once since July, and before then the frequency wasn't that much better.

Is this bad or good?

Of course not - each person trains to the extent they need.
But to move forward its not just a matter of dipping your toes in, you have to get wet.

This goes for the 10 year master who has only stepped into the dojo on a weekly basis where someone else trains 4 times a week.

Its all relative
It really is...

Do you train 4 times a week, plus train at home, etc?
Do you show up only to classes but dont train at home?

See, using time as a gauge for ranks and testing really isnt all that accurate... you have some people who may have trained 10 years 4 times a week and never really thought twice about testing frequency, or was passed up for whatever reason - or is part of a dojo not affiliated so their rank doesnt pass on to the new dojo, etc.

I want to say that I am for testing, and I am for rank.
They foremost represent the goals you set forward for yourself.
And of course this extends to the full dojo, and upward to the organization, so that in concept people can try to move along at the same rate, etc.

[This isnt a discussion about the validity of rank, etc. as much as it is of what is deemed more important when getting rank...]

At the end of the day you either have it, or dont...
- Do you have the flow? Yes?
- Well then if some resistance is added do you have technique? yes?
- Well if it goes live, even if it doesnt look like aikido anymore, are you able to apply the principles? Yes?
- Then on a spiritual side, have you personally noticed a change in how you handle conflict? i.e., you no longer are creating the situations in which conflicts would arise? Yes?

See, what is the time about?
A way to stretch out payments?
A way to control how many blackbelts, Shihan, etc. there are?

The same could be gauged for Shihan.
- How many students do you have [probably is a requirment, and Im not picking on Shihan, I do respect and realize these guys have dedicated their lives to the art... though maybe some slipped through the cracks... who knows.

How good is good enough? Or how long is long enough?
In highschool I weighed 145lbs and I took weight lifting as one of my classes all 4 years of school.

My senior year I bench pressed 250lbs [before hurting my shoulder with 275lbs on the decline... bit off a tad more than I could chew at the time.]

Anyway, how do you gauge success? Is it time?
I went up 5lbs in my benchpress each week from the time I hit 225 lbs.

That is relatively fast - albeit one of you might have a better technique to gaining more weight to your bench each week?

I had actually grown out of groups and into new groups.
It was all self-determination.

Everyone else lifted when I did, what was the secret?
[no steroids and no weights at home] It was shear will power to get to 300lbs by the end of my senior year. [I did figure out how to get my triceps worked out nicely though... should have paid more attention to the shoulders... more attention to the 'whole'.

Though of course this did not happen due to the accident, which was largely due to my inflated ego at the time which put me out of lifting for about 2 years after that.

In Conclusion:

The point of the whole weight-lifting scenario was just a personal experience that relates to what Im discussing here with Aikido, or anything really.

Consider the points in that story.

- shear will power and determination with education as far as which techniques to do, will get you where you want to go in a relatively short time.

- pride is at the door waiting [as was demonstrated, along with a nice fall]

- the fall is usually connected to a missing piece of the puzzle.
Or rather, not taking the holistic approach. [i.e., lack of shoulder training, and I will admit, I neglected even training with my legs.]

Aikido is no different, in that I have read an interview with Tohei where he mentioned that it should take no longer than 6 months to learn Aikido. That article, or statement stuck out to me and for a good reason... I believe it.

So why the long drawn out process?
The fact of the matter is simply that perhaps there is no real structure and goals set out. - or maybe the goal is to just take it loose and flow with whatever comes your way. [that is valid in and of itself.]

Anyway, these are just some thoughts I have been pondering as I have come to the realization that we put to much emphasis on time. After all, after enough time, we will be frail and weak and none of this training will matter... [aside from the spiritual aspect and unless science and tech jumps in to give us a hyper boost.]

You could actually turn this around on those who train for sport fight, and they will realize this quicker perhaps, as there are not many years for them to get to and stay in their prime, before its over. [reminds me of the Biblical story that says man goes after something that quickly fades and forgets that which is eternal. - well I say, mix the two.]

Peace

dAlen

p.s.

Apologies for late night post, 1:30am, so could make for interesting reading... or not.

Last edited by dalen7 : 12-04-2009 at 05:42 PM.

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:56 PM   #2
Keith Larman
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

On the Tohei quote of it only taking 6 months to learn aikido... I've heard people use that quote before to justify different things. Which means to me that it isn't exactly self-evident what Tohei meant. I.e., you can learn the rules to chess in a few minutes. That does not make you a good chess player. Or was he saying you *should* be able to be good at it in 6 months. That's something else entirely.

So which do you think it is?

As a suggestion to you -- print out your post. Stick it in a photo album and stick it on a shelf. And if you stick to Aikido take a look at it again in 10 years. And write a follow-up for yourself. Then do it again... You might find that to be an interesting project about "time".

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Old 12-04-2009, 05:58 PM   #3
dalen7
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

one more example this late night, early morning.

In my later years 145lbs was gone and I weighed approx 205/209lbs at my peak. Yes I was lifting weights, but the middle was still big - and I could not loose the weight.

After much research and study about foods, what is in the foods you buy in the stores, etc. I changed my diet completely, and in one month my pants that I couldnt really button were to loose for me. [People were quite amazed at the change] - my weight went to about 175, to even off at about 155.

Point is?
Proper education, knowledge applied to your goals and the will power. [Just like anything, these arent things you just try to do and it works... you have to want it.]

Same with spiritual change, etc.
There has to be some catalyst to make you give up that convenient way that your used to doing things which always says later. [for me it was my heart, I had a weird incident and it scared me enough that I found and made the changes necessary.]

Again, this applicable with Aikido as well and perhaps better answers my own question as why it takes so long. There is the interest, but perhaps not the dedication that a boxer, MMA fighter has. [perhaps they have more reason because of fame, money, etc. - each person has their own motivating factor, but it has to be big enough.]

I will say to another extent, as you collect experiences along your life, some things are just easier to pick up and add to that which you already know.

Well, this is enough... go get em tigers.

Peace

dAlen

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Old 12-04-2009, 06:00 PM   #4
dalen7
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
On the Tohei quote of it only taking 6 months to learn aikido....
So which do you think it is?
I think Tohei was the kind of guy that showed some of the characteristics I have been describing and who did master it himself in a short period of time.

At some point its all political, especially if you cant just go for it 'live' in a ring to prove it. [It would take a bunch of mature people who understand what it was he is doing to make a call... but even then it would be difficult unless he got in a ring. - and as I pointed out, thats only good for so many years.]

But yes, overall, I believe he got it...

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 12-04-2009 at 06:03 PM.

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Old 12-04-2009, 06:07 PM   #5
Abasan
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Interesting.

I think there are 2 aspects in training with regards to time.
Relative time via the hours you put in into training (assuming all training's good and constant, etc)
Real time as in the actual hours and days or years that goes by.

I believe both are important. Unlike Tohei whom I have the greatest respect for.

Tohei somehow comes across as arrogant when he talks about being good in Aikido taking 6 months what others takes 3 years. In a way he has proven that he is correct. Yet I believe something is missing in the equation. Technically he has achieved proficiency in a smaller amount of time because of how he trains and because he has good understanding. In historical CMA, good students are not trained, they are born. A master will study his prospective students body like it is a vessel. Some are born with a big and strong vessel that can absorb more and stronger ki, some are not and therefore 'limited'. Also, his mind and intelligence is rated. Some people understand faster, some take longer. The timeline given is an indication for normal human beings. Like certain techniques require 10 years to master, and the next level requires 30 years, the next level requires 100 years. If you look at it from that point of view, there's no human being that can actually learn all those levels!

So that's the standard gauge and then you have people who are beyond standard. So 10 years to them might mean 6 months. 30 years might mean 2 years, 100 years might mean 10. Something like that.

A good part of circumventing that time is finding the right guide. A teacher who has taken the hard road, will find easier paths and shorter distances cutting some of that time down and the passing that savings to his student. Although the distance remain the same from bottom to peak, the path shortens and time quickens.

Now technical skill and all, another aspect that is usually overlooked is your heart and maturity.

A person may have intuitively understood this particular skill in less time than someone else. Say he took 6 months to master it and the other guy 5 years. Although at first glance the skill looks the same, the likelihood is the guy with 5 years would have more elegance about it. An elegance that comes with maturity of the body and of the mind. Of 5 years training hard to perfect something, of his perseverance and patience. Of his failures. Something someone with 6 months may not truly appreciate. Know what I mean?

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Old 12-04-2009, 06:21 PM   #6
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

I agree that time spent training in Aikido is in no way a valid measure of someones skill. It only takes a few minutes trading techniques with them to really know though. I recently attended a seminar of mixed organizations and was shocked at the level of technique from quite a few of the black belts in attendance. For the most part my feelings were that a 2nd kyu in our organization was on par with their Shodan's and Nidans. I'm not saying that to boast or anything, it was just a reality I experienced and one that reinforced the notion that time and belts do not equate skill and all Aikido is not created equal.

also, the comment from Tohei sensei has to be taken with a grain of salt. Since his split with the Aikikai he has downplayed what he got out of Aikido as much as the Aikikai has downplayed his impact on Aikido around the world. I do agree with it in this sense though. After six months of solid, focused training (2-4 times per week) I think people should be able to defend themselves against a basic, off the street attacker.
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:42 AM   #7
dalen7
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
A master will study his prospective students body like it is a vessel. Some are born with a big and strong vessel that can absorb more and stronger ki, some are not and therefore 'limited'. Also, his mind and intelligence is rated. Some people understand faster, some take longer. The timeline given is an indication for normal human beings.

A good part of circumventing that time is finding the right guide. A teacher who has taken the hard road, will find easier paths and shorter distances cutting some of that time down and the passing that savings to his student. Although the distance remain the same from bottom to peak, the path shortens and time quickens.

Now technical skill and all, another aspect that is usually overlooked is your heart and maturity.

A person may have intuitively understood this particular skill in less time than someone else. Say he took 6 months to master it and the other guy 5 years. Although at first glance the skill looks the same, the likelihood is the guy with 5 years would have more elegance about it. An elegance that comes with maturity of the body and of the mind. Of 5 years training hard to perfect something, of his perseverance and patience. Of his failures. Something someone with 6 months may not truly appreciate. Know what I mean?
Nicely said, you made some valid points which I agree with.

Especially the bit about heart maturity... something Im still working on.

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
I agree that time spent training in Aikido is in no way a valid measure of someones skill. It only takes a few minutes trading techniques with them to really know though. I recently attended a seminar of mixed organizations and was shocked at the level of technique from quite a few of the black belts in attendance. For the most part my feelings were that a 2nd kyu in our organization was on par with their Shodan's and Nidans. I'm not saying that to boast or anything, it was just a reality I experienced and one that reinforced the notion that time and belts do not equate skill and all Aikido is not created equal.

After six months of solid, focused training (2-4 times per week) I think people should be able to defend themselves against a basic, off the street attacker.

Yes, even within organizations it can really vary... suppose at the end of the day thats why it comes down to ones own personal goals and objectives.

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 12-05-2009 at 04:44 AM.

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:27 AM   #8
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

dAlen,

Have you read Outliers by chance? If not, I recommend getting the book Outliers by Malcom Gladwelll. I have some issues with the book in a few places, but over all a good book, and the one for conveying the concept of Mastery from a different perspective than maybe we have seen it in the past.

He talks about the concept of 10,000 hours. Tried to discuss this in another thread, but not much interest in doing so apparently. No big deal though.

Not sure I really agreed with this concept until I read the case the Gladwell laid out.

I think overall it does take about 10,000 hours in general to master something. So if you take the average person doing 3 hours per week of aikido, that comes out to what...about 150 hours per year?
you could factor in some visualization time, personal practice time etc, so lets bump that estimate up to 200 hours per year, that would equate to 50 Years to get 10,000 hours in! 50 years!

No wonder we have problems mastering stuff if you accept this model!

If you look at the "masters", well they all start young while you have no responsibilities, they did arts like Judo. They would put like 6 to 8 hours on the mat as Ushideshi etc...so if they do that and start at say....8 years old, then go into Aikido at say 18 or so...well they have 3000 hours a year! so they are hitting their 10,000 hours in like what 5 years! so they have well over that before they even begin aikido! THEN they get with a really good teacher and put ANOTHER 10,000 into aikido in the next 5 years. So they come out in their mid 20's or early 30's with the amount of "Stick time" with what most of us "normal" people won't get in a lifetime!

I got to thinking about this and it all seems to make alot more sense to me when you calculate things in this manner.

Interested in your thoughts along these lines.

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Old 12-05-2009, 10:37 AM   #9
dalen7
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
If you look at the "masters", well they all start young while you have no responsibilities, they did arts like Judo. They would put like 6 to 8 hours on the mat as Ushideshi etc...so if they do that and start at say....8 years old, then go into Aikido at say 18 or so...well they have 3000 hours a year! so they are hitting their 10,000 hours in like what 5 years! so they have well over that before they even begin aikido! THEN they get with a really good teacher and put ANOTHER 10,000 into aikido in the next 5 years. So they come out in their mid 20's or early 30's with the amount of "Stick time" with what most of us "normal" people won't get in a lifetime!
The above paragraph really does put this whole thing into a clearer perspective.

Your absolutely right, these guys were training, not only when they were younger, but 6-8 hrs a day.
[Kind of like the big guns of body-building where all they do is sleep, eat, and workout to maintain their size for competition.]

The other factor is that of youth which you brought up... children are like sponges when it comes to learning - languages is one good example. [I just have to look at the differences in my family of how fast my kids picked up Hungarian compared to my long drawn out battle with the language.]

Also, as you pointed out, they had a foundation already for their Aikido practice. [Judo, etc.] So they were not starting from scratch, and as mentioned, things go smoother when you already have a solid foundation in one area which you can use to build up another related [or even not so related] area.

I suppose in one sense I may be wanting to much to fast.

I've never really trained in the martial arts until now, [my brief kickboxing time I will not count], and the idea of being substantially older by the time I master a martial art doesnt bring much comfort - when one area I would like to be good in is the realm of competition.
[I realize that Aikido doenst have competition, but as pointed out I would like to use principles from Aikido with MMA/Thaiboxing, etc.]

When considering all the points above, its true that perhaps my expectations are a bit too high for what I want. [or I should say that it would be better to re-evaluate my expectations based upon realistic goals of what I actually want to put into this.]

In light of the 50 year principle... there are always people in the world of science, like Aubrey deGrey, who are working on things like life extension. [perhaps in time, the issue of time wont be of such an issue.]

Peace

dAlen

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:45 AM   #10
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Kevin that's exactly the direction I was thinking in when I wrote my last column. Being a musician it's something that's been pretty obvious to me from the start, and it kinda amazes me sometimes when it isn't to other people. Plus I also read Outliers some time ago. A lot in the book matched my experience.

To be really good at something you have to do that something a lot...and you can only make that time shorter by so much by practicing more intelligently, in the end you still have to practice a heck of a lot to become good.

I think maybe for a person in a job where the skills aren't as obvious as in sports or music the connection between time spent and skill isn't so obvious. I think it's still true though, a school teacher who's taught 10000 classes is quite likely more skilled than one fresh from college with just the first 100 or so...

As for minimum time requirements between exams - I'd think any somewhat sensible teacher would take into account the amount of time a student actually is at the dojo, not just how long ago the last exam was, that's just absurd. My teacher actually dropped the time requirements because some people expected to grade when they had the time in regardless of whether or not they knew the test requirements. So nowadays at our dojo you test if sensei says you're ready, and that works fine.

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Old 12-05-2009, 10:50 AM   #11
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Dalen you posted while I was typing... yeah I think the idea of ten thousand hours is a useful one in that it gives you a way of calculating how badly you actually want to master whatever it is you're doing. At least it gives you an idea.

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Old 12-05-2009, 10:54 AM   #12
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Quote:
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Dalen you posted while I was typing... yeah I think the idea of ten thousand hours is a useful one in that it gives you a way of calculating how badly you actually want to master whatever it is you're doing. At least it gives you an idea.

kvaak
Pauliina
yeah, I need to look into cryogenics so they can unfreeze me in the future in order to resume training.

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:55 PM   #13
dalen7
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Quote:
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I got to thinking about this and it all seems to make alot more sense to me when you calculate things in this manner.

Interested in your thoughts along these lines.
Another aspect that many fail to consider, [seriously], is genetics. [genetic memory, etc.] This is an area of study that is of interest to me as it goes a lot deeper than what we initially consider.

My wife is a good example of someone who just was born a master in the arts. [I might sound biased, but she is a natural, and actually quite humble about it.]

When I met her I could not understand why she went to university when she was already more talented than the instructors!

For her its natural, for people like me...who struggle and are happy to come up with one creative thought, well...
[Thats why Im a video producer, I recognize talent, though I cant quite create it myself... at least not without some major revisons! And I have been doing this for over 16 years...]

So again, sometimes there are things time cant remedy... at least quickly.

This is a great topic, as there are so many aspects you can ponder and philosophize about... which I enjoy.

Peace

dAlen

p.s.

Wanted to add, her parents are not artist... [my mother-in-law for sure is not one by any stretch of the imagination.]
However, its interesting to note that her fathers surname means 'potter' or one who works with crafting. In the old days, people were named after their skill set. So, who knows, maybe there is some genetic memory there?

Last edited by dalen7 : 12-05-2009 at 04:00 PM.

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:26 PM   #14
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Another aspect that many fail to consider, [seriously], is genetics. [genetic memory, etc.] This is an area of study that is of interest to me as it goes a lot deeper than what we initially consider.

My wife is a good example of someone who just was born a master in the arts. [I might sound biased, but she is a natural, and actually quite humble about it.]

When I met her I could not understand why she went to university when she was already more talented than the instructors!

For her its natural, for people like me...who struggle and are happy to come up with one creative thought, well...
[Thats why Im a video producer, I recognize talent, though I cant quite create it myself... at least not without some major revisons! And I have been doing this for over 16 years...]

So again, sometimes there are things time cant remedy... at least quickly.
Hi dAlen,
nice topic!
I'm not sure about the role of genetics (what little I recall seems to oppose the idea of genetic memory), but it definately seems that some people are more naturally adept at certain things than other people. My theory is that it has more to do with pre-existing sympathetic skill-sets or desire. The surest way to get a student to learn something is to relate it to prior knowledge or to get them personally interested in the subject and it's amazing to me how much a person can learn when they're passionate about something. I think of the geniuses I know of in history and almost every one of them was passionate about their field of work...in many cases even fanatical about it and so I attribute passion as being a keystone to great learning.
Another factor which may have been mentioned but which I may have missed is the fact that the earlier generations typically worked a lot harder than our more modern generations. I'm not sure how you grew up, but even as active as I was (lots of sports and activities) I was still less active than, say, my Saskatchewan farmboy grampa who now at 76 can still almost outwork me in manual labor (I've caught up to him in the last handful of years). I look at the relative lack of activity the newer generations typically experience and I wonder how their ability at learning physical coordination might be affected.
...My two bits.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 12-06-2009, 02:42 PM   #15
dalen7
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I think of the geniuses I know of in history and almost every one of them was passionate about their field of work...in many cases even fanatical about it and so I attribute passion as being a keystone to great learning.

I was still less active than, say, my Saskatchewan farmboy grampa who now at 76 can still almost outwork me in manual labor (I've caught up to him in the last handful of years).
Thats totally it, if there is no passion it doesnt matter what your genetic predisposition may or may not be.

It will for sure show you what truly is priority in your life as that is where your energy will flow. Sometimes getting good at something is more of a nice dream/idea vs. a true passion which is needed to really take it to the level of the dream.

Often we dont want to put the energy into getting what it is we say we want... much like your point about younger and older generations. - suppose sometimes we just have to have that catalyst to get us to take the steps to really step up and move to the next level.

I suppose Im getting more of a vision of what it is I can expect from Aikido, etc, and the picture is becoming clearer what steps I need to take to get to certain milestones as it were... as of now I can say Im glad I know what I know, and that things finally seem to be fitting together to form some kind of picture. Whether or not Ill be the next Bruce Lee is another question. [As has been pointed it really depends on the level of passion you have - though I think it may help to have some extra predisposition for whatever it is your going after.]

Oh, about the genetics bit, there is an interesting film I believe called "Ghost in your Genes", which brought up some interesting thoughts... if Im not mistaken it was a BBC documentary. [could be wrong.] Again, I wont really argue one point over another despite having an inkling to what I believe to be true, as Eckhart once pointed out that scientist [or anyone] can basically prove anything right or wrong. [there is some interesting implications to this concept to be sure]

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 12-06-2009 at 02:47 PM.

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Old 12-06-2009, 03:17 PM   #16
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Matthew Gano wrote:

Quote:
Another factor which may have been mentioned but which I may have missed is the fact that the earlier generations typically worked a lot harder than our more modern generations. I'm not sure how you grew up, but even as active as I was (lots of sports and activities) I was still less active than, say, my Saskatchewan farmboy grampa who now at 76 can still almost outwork me in manual labor (I've caught up to him in the last handful of years). I look at the relative lack of activity the newer generations typically experience and I wonder how their ability at learning physical coordination might be affected.
Gladwell actually addresses this issue as well, however, I believe it was more from a cultural/sociological standpoint than a Genetic one. He compared Eastern "Rice Paddy Culture" to Western "Hunter/Gatherer" Culture. Not sure I totally agree with his analysis or thesis on the issue as he is not an anthropologist and I think it is probably debatable...but I think it is a wonderful hypothesis and worth exploring/discussing so from this standpoint, I think it is intriguing to consider.

Most certainly, I think industrialism/institutionalism of the last 150 years has hurt us in this area for sure.

Today most of us are classified or "valued" based on how well we do in schools or institutions. I think that sends a message that if we simply cram hard enough, memorize, or think hard enough, that we can master just about anything we want to...AND, like Henry Ford...we can then turn around and mass produce this very quickly by applying the correct/distilled formula for success.

What I like about Gladwell's book is that he does a good job of breaking this paradigm down and showing why he believes that it does not work and is roughly a "fable".

For example, he disspells the myth that the Beatles were an overnight success. In reality, you find that they put in their 10,000 hours.

Same with Henry Ford and everyone else.

Anyway, back to what Mathew brings up....I think culture and upbringing have alot to do with mastery. I think in the our current society worldwide, we discount alot of what we do as being realitively simple and that we begin to believe that it does not take us 10,000 hours to systemically master something.

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Old 12-06-2009, 03:36 PM   #17
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

dAlen,

I think there is some good news in all this for you in particular though especially in light of your current situation.

10,000 hours in a way is 10,000 hours.

For along time when I did not have instruction due to my remote location in Germany I simply thought it best not to train since I could not train at the same level I thought was what I was accustomed to.

I grew to realize though that getting your "stick time", to use an aviator term, is important regardless of the quality of that time spent....training time is training time regardless of how it is spent.

That said, an hour with a master certainly may be of a better quality than an hour with two rote beginners studying out of a manual....but it still counts towards that 10,000 hours.

so, maybe the 1 hour between two beginners is a 1:3 ratio. So for every 3 hours you spend with a beginner equates to 1 hour in a normal class? It is still time credited toward your path!

Today, I literally try and spend as much time on the mat as I can. I try to get the best quality available given my time.

Sometimes it is watching videos or reading books. Sometimes it is solo practice...sometimes it is yoga, bjj, or something else.

If Muay Thai is what you have available at this time, well it should still count toward your 10,000 hours of mastery, albeit is may only say account for like .25 hours in aikido terms maybe?

Then again, you have to look at what you are trying to master is it AIkido...or is AIkido a means to the end?

For me aikido is a means and not the end...so once I realized that, it really liberated me from my self imposed constraints and torment I felt from lack of having an instructor.

From that point on, I took a more holistic view of my budo practice and it opened up many more learning opportunities and ways to get my 10,000 hours in! Man they are all around you!

for example check this guy out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDN9h...eature=related

In my book, this is high quality budo training that is available to anyone!

Of course it is not the same as a paired practice with another person and that matters ALOT of course, however, I think our paths in the arts guide us in many different ways.

Looking back on the time I spend "alone" was the most liberating and best thing for me. I would have NEVER had the experiences I had and may quite possibly be doing the same old Aikido practice I was doing 10 years ago which while good, I think I may not be as far as along as I am today with out the "break" I had.

Aikiweb was a big part of the process for me too. It allowed me to stay connected to the community and to stay mentally focused on Aikido, which is very important I believe as how you think and how your brain is wired is a big part of the 10,000 hours!

So, IMO, this is the good news in the 10,000 hours....we can use it as a measure to calculate how much time we need to put in practice in order to get good. It also shows us that putting in ANY time at all counts and that we should take credit for it and be happy that we are getting closer to our goal simply by doing SOMETHING!

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Old 12-07-2009, 10:21 AM   #18
dalen7
 
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Re: "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I grew to realize though that getting your "stick time", to use an aviator term, is important regardless of the quality of that time spent....training time is training time regardless of how it is spent.

If Muay Thai is what you have available at this time, well it should still count toward your 10,000 hours of mastery, albeit is may only say account for like .25 hours in aikido terms maybe?

Then again, you have to look at what you are trying to master is it AIkido...or is AIkido a means to the end?

Looking back on the time I spend "alone" was the most liberating and best thing for me. I would have NEVER had the experiences I had and may quite possibly be doing the same old Aikido practice I was doing 10 years ago which while good, I think I may not be as far as along as I am today with out the "break" I had.
Valid points...

I agree that I might not have gone the same distance as well if it werent for some of the difficulties... in this case I spent quite a lot of time trying to analyze and ponder about the hows and why aikido does or doesnt work... examining myself, etc. [so more time actually getting to the core of the art, I suppose you could say.]

As for Thai Boxing and what I want to get out of it and Aikido -
Technically speaking I would like to have a more live Aikido practice, which with some MMA gloves is feasible. [even if every move turns into Kote-Gaeshi Ura or Rokkyo - the point would be to see what Aikido moves work under which circumstances while sparring.]

The other objectives are primarily to get in good cardio shape and stay that way, as well as continue down my philosophical/spiritual path, integrating principles that appear during my training, etc.

Now, if I ever get involved in a sport competition... wouldnt mind to try and win one fight, but I dont have a desire to make competition a career - especially Thai Boxing... my body needs more care in this day and age.

Peace

dAlen

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