“If you miss a week, the teacher notices. If you miss a month, the other students notice. If you miss several months, you’ll eventually notice, and by then you’ve lost a lot.” – Mark Ehrlich
Gosh, this really is the truth. Training is something that we sometimes think is a singular pursuit. Whether we show up or don’t is completely our business and we think nobody notices. In a dojo as small as ours it is hard not to notice when someone hasn’t been around for a while or if their level drops.
The aphorism, “You don’t really know what you have until it is gone” is so true. Students sometimes think that their level of accomplishment in Aikido is tangible and will never deteriorate. The truth is that what one gains through training is primarily ephemeral in that when we stop training our bodies begin to forget. We don’t lose it totally, but we do lose a step or two or sometimes even more.
Furuya Sensei used to say, “We should pick up our swords everyday so that our bodies remember.” This is so true. If we don’t use it, we lose it.
Training is a habit like brushing one’s teeth. Nobody, except maybe your spouse, will notice until that one fateful day when you go to the dentist and she tells you how many cavities you have. Please make your training regular.