Today at the Consumer Electric Show (CES) they have unveiled some really cool gadgets. One company came out with a pacifier that tracks not only the temperature of your baby but also acts as a GPS tracker. There was also a sock manufacture that created a sock that monitors how you run. Unfortunately, there hasn't been any gadgets to help you learn Aikido faster or better. In 2005, Sensei was invited to be on the show Fight Science for the National Geographic channel. We were supposed to go down and they would explain how Aikido worked using modern technology. We demonstrated so that they could figure out how to analyze us. After Sensei was done, the producers and the director just went silent and someone said,"How do we measure that?" The director said, "We can't use you because what you do is not quantifiable." So we just demonstrated and they were going to use the footage for something else or for in-between segments. It never aired. Sensei was told that they were, "going in a different direction."
Aikido, like all martial arts, is experiential - to get it you have to do it. The teaching and learning of the art, like the art itself, has been evolving for hundreds of years and so far there is only one tried and true way to learn it - by doing it. This concept of doing it isn't something new or provocative. The famed swordsman Miyamoto Musashi himself said, "It takes 1000 days to forge the spirit and 10,000 days to polish it." Modern minds are staring to understand this as well. A few years ago in Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers he came to the assertion that it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to become an expert.
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts or gadgets to learn Aikido. You just have employ a little "elbow grease" as they used to say and just get on the mat and do it.