New Schedule and Location for 2016

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Gracie University and distance learning


There's a lot of folks that talk a lot of smack about Rener's Gracie University distance learning program, but it looks to me to be a good program, and this video is a good demonstration of that fact.  I enjoyed this narrated roll very much - especially watching how a distance student handled live rolling.  Rener was, admittedly, keeping it playful, but this guy is definitely speaking the language and able to flow and roll.  He's on the right track.  Kudos to this guy, and to Rener et al for designing a good distance learning program.






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____________________
Patrick Parker
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Can, should, and must

Here's a photo of our buddy Jules.  The photo comes from an article in which he discusses (among many other interesting things) instant gratification vs. slow, careful internalization of the art.

This is related to a lesson in martial arts that is perhaps the greatest lesson that I want my kids to get - that is, the difference between can, should, and must.  I think the world would be a better place if more people (especially world leaders) had a more visceral understanding of this concept.
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Just because you can do something does not mean you should do that thing.
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You may have a Right, but that does not mean you have to exercise that Right.  You might just have the Responsibility to hold that Right in reserve.
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Even if you think you should do a thing does not mean you must do that thing.

A lot of aikido practice is about waiting - almost procrastinating.  One of my instructors often preached to us, "Never solve a problem right now that can wait till later.  Solve right now's problems right now and leave the future for the future."  The problem with solving future problems is they are often imaginary - that is, they don't exist and may never exist and even if they do come to exist they may not have the impact you predict - so by proactively solving problems, you are necessarily creating a mess of unintended consequences that makes your future even more messy.
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So, in aikido, sure we are learning skills and actions that we can do (that is the jutsu), but we spend a lot of time in practice waiting to see what will be the consequences if we do not exert our wills upon the world.  We are trying to achieve a deep, abiding understanding of can, should, and must.
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Can (jutsu) is generally easy - we all have a lot of knowledge and power and skills and ability to do things.  What we are trying to achieve is the should/shouldn't and an understanding of when we absolutely must act and when we can wait for the picture to become more clear.


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____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

Circle walking

A common feature of many of our arts is many instructors use a foundational footwork/body management exercise.  In Tomiki Aikido we use "The Walk" known in various groups as Unsoku, Tandoku Undo, or Tegatana no Kata.  I'm always looking for interesting looking exercises, and this looks to be a good lesson on a fun footwork exercise.  Don't be surprised if you show up one day and find a circle chalked on my driveway.


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____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

Learn aikido in 20 hours!?

So, Malcolm Gladwell suggested in his Outliers book that it takes something like 10000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert at any field.  But then along comes this guy - Josh Kaufman and says that's too long - WAY too long!  Kaufman is not so much interested in becoming an expert, rather, he wants to be able to learn things to a pretty good level of proficiency - and he found that you can pretty much learn any skill pretty good if you follow these four steps...
  1. Deconstruct the skill - figure out what the central skill is that you want to be able to do and what are the sub-skills that make up that central skill - then practice the most important sub-skills first.
  2. Learn enough to self-correct - you don't have to learn everything about your domain of practice - just learn enough to be able to tell if you are on the right track (leading toward the central skill) or the wrong track.
  3. Remove practice barriers - like procrastination and scope growth and feeling like an idiot
  4. Practice for at least 20 hours
So, if we were to apply this to learning aikido...
  • What is the central skill in aikido that we should be working toward?
  • How much of which sub-skills would we need just to be self-correcting?


  

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____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

Tesla on human fragility and The Secrets

A couple of thoughts from a renaissance man - probably not a stretch to say this is applicable to aikido and judo...

“Everyone should consider his
body as a priceless gift from

one whom he loves above all, a

marvelous work of art, of
indescribable beauty, and
mystery beyond human conception,
and so delicate that
a word, a breath, a look, nay, a
thought may injure it.”






“If you want to find the secrets of the Universe,
think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration."




Want to discuss this blog post?
Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group

____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com