Tomorrow I will make the long journey to Tokyo once again. I am fortunate to have been there many times before, and I hope to get to go there many times again.
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In the old days, it was harder. If a person wanted to learn from an instructor, they had to prove themselves worthy first. There are many stories of students having to wait for months before being accepted into a dojo, or having been rejected outright many times, before their persistence proved that they had the staying power and determination required to be capable of the rigorous training regime. And once accepted, the students still often did not get to join the real training, but maybe got some very basic instruction and then spent the rest of their time at the dojo looking on as others trained, or even just cleaning up in the dojo. Again, a test to determine their worthiness.
As an instructor, I often complain about the number of classes per week that my students attend, and I am forever urging them to practise more at home in between classes. It is important to me that they put in some practice, in order to consolidate what we do in class.