Breath vs. Depth in Training and in Life

3 feet wide and 10 feet deep or 10 feet wide and 3 feet deep?

I’ve realized this question has followed me all my life – as is to most of you as well. But only recently has this question come to “center stage” with my training in Aikido and in my teaching program.

Quality or Quantity?

Plaguing me since the coke incident, my life at the moment has become a race against time in some respects, a perpetual journey of whether to go down the path of quality or the path of quantity.

As of now I’m come to the conclusion that somehow I will have to find a way to get both. Simply limiting my own choices in life would be like shooting myself in the foot.

On the other hand, simply trying anything and everything under the sun takes a lot of time; more time than I have now. I feel that at the moment I can’t afford to be unbridled; I have to pick my choices wisely.

Ah, now there’s a dilemma! How does one does it? Go for quality first, or quantity?

In training – Take my own Aikido training experience for example: When I was a children’s instructor I trained at least 5 times a week. This went on for almost 13 months until I was unceremoniously shafted (different story) and due to financial constraints, I have been regulated to my current regime of training 4 times a month. Not long ago I believed that if I trained a lot in a short amount of time then I would become better, faster in a short amount of time. Though that still holds true, nowadays I’m finding out that my quality of training off the mat has given me new insight in how I view training on the mat. For my particular case, it seems that my quasi-hiatus has so far been extremely good training.

I have realized that perhaps it isn’t so much how many times your practice, but rather it’s how you practice in the times that you train. For me, I guess my challenge is: how do I get both in my training? Is it possible to achieve the process of quality training with quantity? I have noticed that despite my low attendance rate, my technical skills have deteriorated minimally (although I’m not holding my breath). So perhaps training minimally per month will yield its rewards in the end.

Although I’m hoping for sooner rather than later.

In life – I am after all, talking about life experiences. The moments where you enjoy yourself and your work. The moments where you are with your significant other as well as the ones where your dealing with annoying customers – in my case at least. How does one go about their daily life making the most out of it (quality) while doing as many things as possible (quantity)?

I first took notice of this problem while in college. Recently I told a coworker recently that going to a 4 year university is like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet: for a flat rate you can try any food you want for any amount that you want. The key words here are flat rate and any amount. When I went into my undergraduate studies I limited myself. Sure I went into writing and joined a fraternity. But there was still a huge part of me that was holding me back for some odd reason.

Now 6 years later I know the reason(s) why I was holding back and if I were to do my it all over again – it’d be very different. What I did would be akin to going to the buffet if you will, and only going for the salmon when in fact there’d be over 12 kinds of fish and a laundry list of meats, veggies, fruits, and other stuff.

I guess in a warped sense I was going to quality at that time…without realizing that I was missing the bigger picture. Hope my predicament made sense. So it’s a challenge; when should I pursue quality or quantity? Which one should I go for? As of now it’s an ongoing question that is answered different everyday.

Till next time!


3 thoughts on “Breath vs. Depth in Training and in Life

  1. Sometimes you have to take a step back before you can move forward. The circumstances of your life are constantly changing. Sometimes the rate of change is very slow and it’s hard to notice. Other times you feel like you’re on a rocket sled.

    Just do the best you can.

  2. Quantity versus Quality are choices I have vacillated through my life. Some things you’ll choose to seek Quantity, and others, you’ll choose Quality. Whichever, whatever, however you choose is Fine.
    One thing I have noticed, however paradoxical, is with women, you choose Quantity in order to get Quality. The more girls you pursue, date, fuck, will help you get better at attracting and drawing in the girls that you find more attractive. With women, choose Quantity in order to gain the experience and confidence to get Quality.

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