I think you’re wrong about your Aikido
Despite your best attempts to sabotage your Aikido, you are getting better.
The opportunity to teach brings with it some valuable insights and observations. Watching someone go through the transformation of relative beginner to valuable student is a blessing. I have been that student and I’m sure my teacher have had that warm fuzzy feeling when they see someone do a flawless movement.
I think most people (me included) do not seem to naturally pick things up and need to go through the process of trial and error in order to get better. People always quote the story of Edison creating the light bulb and process by which they achieved this result was an arduous process of getting things wrong. And so it is with great misfortune that I explain that we also must go through this process.
“A black belt is a white belt is someone who doesn’t know when to quit!”
However, there are moments when I see people make some great radical changes in a technique with relative ease. With a massive accumulation of data, they can now draw on a range of experience and make a distinctive change to their technique. This is such a glorious moment in training. I have experienced this a number of times, but I learn to appreciate it more seeing others do it.
Many students who join the ranks of martial arts have a quite self-deprecating personality and will regularly express themselves in quite negative fashion when it comes to their own performance. If they could only see with the teacher’s eye how much improvement there is. The self-development potential is infinite. And despite the mental (self) sabotage they are unavoidably getting better and more confident.
Ah, I so enjoy when we begin to see that cheeky nature take over. A pot shot here and there and desire to reverse a technique means that a student is gaining confidence and not being disrespectful. The concept of the father son relationship comes to mind and at some point the need for nurture must be replaced with the need for one’s own identity. But that is a whole other topic.
I believe there comes a point in every Aikidoka’s time when training just becomes enjoyable. For me, that took about 10 years of solid training. I don’t think this had much to do with ability rather than emotional intelligence. If one can gain the knowledge of pure enjoyment, then performance becomes irrelevant and inevitably better.
“5th Dan is someone who has no social life”
And so,…if you’re going to your next practice session, go with the goal of getting everything wrong, it is the natural process, so the more you can get it wrong, the more you have a point of reference to see what is right. And more importantly achieve your goals (laughs).
A side note (and another discussion): A student must be allowed to some degree self-expression and self-learning. Teachers need to understand when to offer advice and when to just allow things to naturally unfold and NEVER us the word “NO” or “WRONG”. We are after all just children seeking the attention of our parents.
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