“I am always surprised and somewhat saddened to see Aikido students stop coming to class to train at the dojo when they sustain any injury, only to return once that injury is healed. Incurring an injury simply means, to me, that I must train differently until I am able to return to the mat. I regret that some students miss out on the total experience of Aikido; that, in my opinion, they don’t quite understand or embrace the comprehensive value and benefit of Aikido. I regret that they perceive Aikido only as a physical art and not as a way of life.
In America, students expect to be “taught” Aikido (or any martial art), step-by-step-by-step, by a willing and generous instructor. What a luxury that is! In Japan, students never expect to be taught. Instead, they are expected to have to “steal” technique from their sensei by carefully watching them demonstrate Aikido techniques year after year. Observation is in many ways just as valuable as actually practicing the techniques. Perhaps in some ways, it is more valuable. We at Castle Rock AIKIDO are very fortunate to have instructors traditionally trained in Japan who give us the best of both cultures. They “teach,” but they also force us to “steal it” from them.”
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