The training is the purpose of the art

That quote comes from an aikido blog post that I just came across. It encapsulates a lot of what aikido training means to me; in fact, I’ll go farther than that – it says a lot about how I try to approach everything these days. I guess on the surface it sounds kind of like “the journey is the destination”, but I don’t think it is. While the latter phrase is much better known, it strikes me as rather nebulous and New Age-y; the former is an expression of perspective and intention. I train, not because I want to be a black belt, or even necessarily because I want to be able to defend myself – I train because I want to be training, I want to be an aikidoka. If I train well, hard and consistently, the other things will come naturally over time as a result of that, but they are by-products of my training rather than goals.

The same holds true for other areas of my life – I blog because I want to write, and blogging seems to be the most consistent way of ensuring that I do; I worship the Gods because I want to maintain that relationship, and worship is the best way I know to do that. I find that it’s a much nicer way to approach life than constantly reaching for the brass ring and missing the fact that I’m riding on a carousel. (Now if I could only find a way to apply this to my job… :) )


4 thoughts on “The training is the purpose of the art

  1. Ketzirah Carly

    I treat my job as training ground for pastoral counseling and positive magick. Even if they don’t know that my “real” job is corporate priestess, the effects are evident. I do my best to model the type of leadership and way of life that I wish to be and live. Best part is, it seems to work and I feel like it’s helping me find the road that will take me to earning my living as a priestess.

    Of course, I also forget that some days and wonder why I’m still working in marketing…

  2. executivepagan Post author

    !שלום עליכם, קצירה

    It sounds like you have a pretty good plan going. My problem is that I still don’t see a connection between what I do (corporate IT) and much of anything that’s meaningful to me personally other than supporting my family. Not that this is a small thing!

  3. Feral Boy

    Well, every office needs a Coyote! ;)

    I find the best application of that saying in my music. I played harp at many SCA events and feasts, and was disappointed that folk did not have the courtesy to listen to most of the entertainers. So I changed my focus on performances to being practice sessions that I get paid for. When I play the music for it’s own sake, I am then pleasantly surprised when my audience shows their appreciation, and I am not concerned if they don’t.

    My inspiration for my music is all of the musicians that perform the most amazing pieces — and MAKE IT LOOK EASY! A prime example of that is a friend of my wife’s, Solly Burton, who plays the mandolin. He’s going on 17, and has ALREADY won a national competition for mandolin players of ALL ages. And when he’s playing, he’s so relaxed that he looks like he’s fishing — and the music just POURS out. There are a few pieces that I do where I’m approaching that level of competence — I can tell, because I’m smiling while I play them!

    Feral Boy

    P.S. By the way, Solly has just finished recording a CD with some other great musicians in Nashville. You can find out about it here:

    And his web site is here:

    There are a couple of audio samples there, but they only
    play on MSIE.

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