This is the sixth of a series of blogs submitted by aikido students of Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin who are currently training in Las Vegas.
I have been thinking about something that Sensei has said several times now during training, that is we are undergoing a reprogramming. I believe this to be absolutely true since this kind of rewiring is critical to the brain’s development of new neural pathways. What I mean is that when we are doing something new for the first time such as Aikido or playing the guitar or any new activity, for that matter, we are clumsy or slow at first. This is because we have not had sufficient time doing the new activities that will allow our brain to create new neural pathways for faster execution of the particular activity. For those who are just starting aikido who feel like this will never happen for them, think about the last time you drove your car. Did you have to think about specific tasks before you performed them? Did you have to actually think about applying the turn signal before switching lanes? I am confident in saying that you most likely did not have to actually think about such things before performing them. Well the same thing will happen in your training if you give it time and vigorous practice.