“Two Principles,” by Serpentstaff

“In traditional training (if all goes well) we find that the rituals and discipline, the exercises that sometimes seem far removed from practical application, combine to condition mind and body to move and react in the most economical and effective way. This is a foundational goal of training—one that is broader and deeper than learning an arsenal of practical techniques; and the practitioner who achieves it will perform better at that arsenal than the one who tosses ritual and discipline aside.”

Click here to read entire article.


  1. …my personal experience is that it seems i had to learn a whole new way of moving. if i had simply tried to learn techniques superficially, it is unlikely that i would have moved differently in the way that they fundamentally require. form is more than simply doing techniques. to begin with it starts on entering the dojo and bowing. later it expands through daily life. transformation.

  2. Don’t think you lost a student here. You never had him to begin with. We all see guys and to a lesser extent girls like him. Disrupting class as it is not what they would do. Reality is they can’t hack the training but won’t admit it. Ah the EGO.
    I like the fading away ploy they use until you meet outside the dojo and they seem embarrassed to meet you and tell you ” I’ll be back next week” and give a load of reasons why they did not go to class. Of course they never do and if you live in a small city like I do you meet them over and over and each time it’s the same until they avoid you like the plague. Not everyone has the potential to grow and leave things behind so it’s no great loss when they go. Don’t think they know what the cup is but irony is that when they meet new people they tell them all about studying martial arts and how great it is. There must be millions of suits in closets all over the world from people who did a few weeks/months with no cup!!
    But the joy when you find one who is willing and abel to empty the cup and train with a beginners mind makes up for all the time wasters.

  3. Thank you, Aikido Journal, for linking to my blog. The direct link to the “Two Principles” post quoted above is here:


    But please feel free to read and comment on any post, of course!

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