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One … training in a GARAGE with Stanley Pranin ..

Two … Doing things the way the teacher is teaching, especially when visiting dojos.

The rest seemed unimportant.

I am a fan of training anywhere and any-place possible, but I also recognize that it is a sign of the times as some of us are not doing so well economically. What a shame more of us couldn’t build a training hall and not have to rent commercial space with commercial insurance, and all the exteraneaous bills that go with renting a space. I think many teachers miss out training some really exceptional people that could make a big difference in the world, or at least in the community they live in.

I am not talking about those people being exceptionally skilled in Aikido, but people who make a big difference in the world around them because they have gained a positive attitude about life and their community and they make a difference in the lives of people they meet or encounter every day.

Sure, it would be a better world if we could pick and choose our students .. ignoring the yoke of financial responsibility, but that ain’t happening in most places, is it … just a thought.

And yeah, Item number two, I have been in violation of not doing things the way a teacher is teaching because my training takes over and I am in trouble trying to get back to the original technique the teacher is teaching. Mentally, I am slapping my brain around as I start to mumble, ” … this ain’t what I supposed to be doing.. ” as I apologize to my practice partner and try to get back on track with whatever the teacher has instructed us to practice.

I have gotten many a strange looks from different instructors as I struggle to get back on track and imitate their instruction, especially at seminars. IT HAPPENS .. and it happens a lot!

I don’t mind practicing differently … if .. and that is a big if .. if it leads to something new and important, but when it goes nowhere and is almost impossible to transition from … I wonder .. what the hell are these people doing!

Martial integrity .. that is .. each technique must have the integrity to be more until you can find it’s ultimate and final goal and yet it must be able to have an open-endedness so transition is possible also. It must also have a finality of leading to injury or death if the ultimate goal of the technique is ever reached or realized. (Hey, we practice safely, but there is much more than meets the eye to what we practice)

Most times .. your new practice at some strange dojo is to teach you to transition and learn something new, to give you an open mind that is familiar with another situation thereby providing mind, and body, with more options.

The realization that you are struggling to learn to adapt to a different environment, a different situation may be a struggle at first, but once you get past the rigid mindset that all your previous training has a solution to what you will encounter, it becomes easier to take in the new system and new problems .. thereby emptying your cup of the rigid thought, not giving up what you have learned but ADAPTING IT to what you are learning.

That is the key to all this talk about some magical mystical method of adapting to a new system of martial arts practice. The mind must not be so rigid that it locks up the body with a stiffness, or bad communication of mind and body that leads to breaks in transition.

For me, it becomes a matter of letting the unconscious mind and the conscience mind communicating, neither one taking control but both learning from each other. Until you realize how the mind thinks on more then one level, and you realize that you are dependent upon that duality of thinking working in harmony to achieve the highest practice you are capable of. It then becomes a matter of coming to grips emotionally that this is what you can do. You have reached your highest level you can do.

You will never be able to free yourself of the rigidity of thinking that restricts your training, keeps you from realizing the highest technical practice you can possibly achieve … until you do.

Why else would we treasure different teachers who have extraordinary skills in their particular disciplines? Not everyone can have a variety of skills, their minds are not capable of the transitions to the many different styles of martial practices. It just is .. what it is.

It is that working together with differnt types of thought that ‘FIlls One with ki” and so many other things that seem weird and ridiculous. When I write, ” .. you are hypnotizing yourself to do a particular technique.” I am referring to this harmony of dual thinking that goes on in your brain. I, myself, can’t be hypnotize, but I perceive that if I could be .. it would lead to this explanation these word and clarify, in my mind, how I could do this. (which I have done on occasion, but then I lose the harmony of thought battle and it goes away)

The lights are on but nobody is home … might take on some real meaning when you grasp the reality that … your brain really is running more than one program … especially when things click in practice or that brilliant idea comes to you from out of the blue.

In the last few years my lights have come on. I realize that the strange and mystical… is just the human brain grasping the science of the universe, the world around us as best it can, and the words are that individual person’s attempt to describe what they think or have discovered. But, it is history or science, or simply an interpretation of the world around us, not some mystical words that have some universal meaning.

Improving the muscles and capacity of the human body will give you an advantage over most opponents, or sending signals to your practice partner or opponent that negate their best efforts, be they overt or subliminal, will give you and advantage. There may be a type of imagined magic, but there is no magic when you break down the science. If you change the conditions enough .. you can overcome just about anything. Question is .. do you know the parameters of what you have gotten yourself into and can you change those conditions enough to have a positive outcome for yourself?

That is a piece of what you are learning for Aikido, to use what is front of you, change the conditions in your favor, and to have a positive outcome, isn’t it? It should be.



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