Patience-Kanji You want to get good at Aikido?  Sensei said, "Just be patient and practice ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo and yonkyo everyday."

Awhile back, we had this really gifted student, who was a teenager, study at our school.  He was so athletic and caught on very fast.  One of the other students told me he was studying a few other martial arts at the same time and hoped to be a professional fighter someday.  The other day he asked me, "When do we get to learn kotegaeshi?"  I said that we were currently working on other techniques such as nikyo and that we would switch later on.  Soon after, he quit.  It was sad because he had so much potential, but I don't think the monotony of the basics was what he was looking for.  Too bad, but this same scenario plays out several times a year.  This is common and part of our instant gratification society where everything is available just a click away.

At our dojo, we stress the basics and we would rather that the students know a few things well than a whole bunch of things a little.  In this case, less is more.  The more I teach, the more I realize that Sensei is right.  I wish it could be flashier.  I wish it could be something fun.  It it could be something more entertaining.  But, it is not about what I want.  It is about making you better.  Supposedly there is something hidden in each of those techniques that holds a secret to the mastery of Aikido.  If you can master ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo and yonkyo, then you will have no problem doing any other technique in Aikido.  It is as simple as that.

Every day, day in and day out just practice the basics and be patient - this alone will make you good.