originally published as part of a post on December 27, 2002
IAIDO – OVER OVER OVER AGAIN: Last Evening’s Talk In Iaido Class: More and more, I feel that it is necessary to give you more time for individual training. From my observations, you need more time to practice and less instruction, actually, you have heard over and over all the instruction that you need – you just haven’t had time to swallow and digest what you have. It is like eating and keeping all the food in your mouth!
When you do have this opportunity for individual practice, take one basic and practice it over and over – who cares if you are doing the same thing for an hour – you need it. Each class, a little of this and a little of that will no longer do you any good. You are only doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Work with something such as your suburi or chiburi or noto, until you really begin to feel comfortable with it, until you become one with it. If you practice suburi over and over, you will begin to feel some kind of transformation through deeper understanding.
Becoming bored and distracted, only means that your mind is not focused and balanced. Like watching television, the bored mind needs all kinds of different stimuli to keep it occupied. This is like baby-sitting – trying to keep a little child distracted so he won’t get into trouble – this is not the learning process at all. Please do not make this mistake!
As you repeat the same exercise over and over, you will also develop a stronger sense of focus and concentration so essential to good Iaido. When you are finally beginning to gain a deeper understanding of what you SHOULD know, then we can go on to the next level. . . . .
Just do not baby-sit yourself, you must awaken to the fact that this is not a learning process. Learning is much more profound and deeper. . . . . something much different than what we are doing most of the time. Please keep up your training.