It’s close to the end of the year and I am thinking about what has been accomplished at the dojo this year. It’s been great with some fantastic new students. We have allot of depth in the club now and I have been able to do allot of advanced training. The beginners are blessed with many experienced practitioners who are very generous with their time and knowledge. This has enabled our newcomers to develop fast.
In the last six months I have focused my instruction on technical excellence. There are many pitfalls for the long term student to fall into and resting on ones achievements is at the top of the list. Incorrect technique can become a great hindrance to one’s practice. This is made worse when a student can achieve results with bad technique so in their mind it becomes good technique. This is proven to them by the fact that they can get away with it in practice. This is erroneous thinking. Two of the things that separate Aikido from other martial arts are the use of the “path of least resistance” and “constant improvement”, both of these require good technical ability.
Excellence in basic technique is evidenced in self defense when an Aikido-ka is injured and technical ability sees them through, their defense remains solid. It is also evident in their ability to change strategy in an encounter, to also adapt and make the necessary adjustments in a difficult situation.
In those circumstances when one faces someone larger stronger and faster technique is vital. On the mat everyday training should be a learning experience and constantly striving to better ones technical ability and mindset. This is a cornerstone of our practice. Part of Aikido is aesthetic and good technique is beautiful to behold and the same time is effective. Good technique is nothing less than the most economical method of using ones movement and energy and is the epitome of effectiveness.
The annual awards look at the qualities we admire and reward those that typify this spirit.
Thanks too all our students for making it such a great year.