Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Want to Quit?

Ever feel like quitting? At the Aikido Journal, there is a good article about the doubts we all encounter in our training. I've excerpted a portion of the article below. If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to the full article.

“Doubts about continuing training?” by Bruce Baker

Do you ever have doubts about continuing training? Maybe you show up at work one day with a spain, or a limp, or some injury due to training and your boss tells you to choose between your job and your hobby? It happens. What do you do when it does?

Everyone has a choice to make. What is best for your future, for your present, and what compromise can you make to get what you want verses what others around you want. It is the continuing struggle to please everyone around you and yourself too. Most people compromise, or they choose their job, and maybe that is why I have seen so many people come and go during my time with Aikido.

I can only talk about my situation, and maybe that will be of some help, but then again maybe not.

HAVE NO DOUBT … there will come a day when most everyone will not conform to normal training regimens if they live to become old enough.

Realizing that you only have a limited window of opportunity to train might be one of those motivating factors to train as long as possible for the other circumstances in you life that sometimes over-ride your wants.

I, myself, have contributing physical illnesses besides financial factors that contribute to my own doubts about continuing formal training within the structure of a formal class. And yet, four or five times a year I still find myself watching a class and thinking to myself how some of the student need to work on their form, improve their understanding of the basics as they seem to be in too much of a hurry to look good by being fast, instead of being good by having mastered the basics. Well, I probably shouldn’t talk out of turn … I have learned many things from other types of studies other than aikido, but it all applies by going back to the basics of Aikido just the same. Every time I show someone in Aikido something I have learned somewhere else it is applicable to advanced training in aikido, and every time I show someone something I have learned in aikido it is applicable to advanced training in their style too, go figure.

Do you have doubts about Aikido?

Then take some time to realize where your aikido training fits into your life, your goals for training, and how it will probably be a lynchpin for you in your later years when youth fades away! Yep … those days will come, and when they do … I guarantee you …. everything you have learned in aikido will be means to improve your quality of life as well as maintain a connection to all the skills you might learn in any of your pursuits during your youth. It might have to be adapted to your old man/old woman type of martial arts but such is life.

Put away your doubts. Do what you can. Steal whatever knowledge you can from people who are willing to give knowledge away. Realize it is not just for themselves they pass this knowledge on to you, but to improve the quality of life for those around them because in doing this they improve the quality of their own life.

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