Every year at this time, Yumi-sensei or I try to offer some remarks on training for the coming year.
This year, I would like to talk about consistency. Regular training is the absolute foundation of progress in Aikido. Coming without fail on the days you have scheduled for training is extremely important.
I once complimented one of my senior students, who had become a teacher in his own right, on his regular attendance. He was a little nonplussed. He said that for him, going to class was like brushing his teeth… no further thought was required, and skipping was unthinkable.
Everyone has to make trade-offs with their family and their work to arrive at a practical training schedule. Sometimes you can’t adhere to that schedule… People take holidays with their families, life unavoidably gets in the way or you get a nagging injury or become ill with a cold or the flu. If you get thrown off the horse by some misadventure, get back on as soon as you can.
Even if you can’t train for some reason, try to come to the dojo and watch class at your scheduled time. For that reason, we count “watching” practice the same as attending the class.
I have often said that the most difficult technique in Aikido is walking into the dojo. If you can do that, all the rest will follow.