Posted by: balladofyoko | September 27, 2006


For me, mental growth often comes when practicing with lower-ranked aikidoists. I learn to break down the components of a technique so that I can teach it to them part by part and as a whole, and in so doing, I refine my own technique. It’s all in the details.

Physical growth often comes when practicing with higher-ranked aikidoists. They keep me honest and show me where my technique needs improvement by not moving when I tense up when trying to move them, blending with me when I relax and flow.

Physical and mental growth are parts of a whole, and happen when I pay attention in practicing, regardless of my partner’s rank. I find that I notice one part over the other at times.



  1. I find that my skills need to be 3x as sharp when sparring with junior students. Because I have to limit my techniques to ones they’ve been taught to deal with. It’s like knowing your forms well enough to do them backwards or mirrored. A real test.


%d bloggers like this: