Aikido/Reinforce Good Results

Practicing any martial art requires endless hours of repetition. Motions are often very subtle and vary slightly depending on the circumstances. It's fairly easy to tell when a technique doesn't work. It takes to much effort. Your attacker doesn't end up where he should. You miss the grip, turn wrong, step wrong, etc. The number of ways that things can go wrong are many.

Occasionally, especially when you are very new to Aikido, you'll get it right. The motions are right, your attackers goes just were he is supposed to, and it all seems virtually effortless. Still, as a beginner, you may not even recognize that the technique is correct, or close to correct. This is one very important reason to practice under the guidance of a good teacher. Your teacher will tell you when you are doing it right. More often he (or she) will tell you what you did wrong and it's important to listen and try to understand what changes you need to make to improve your technique. Later, as you become more skillful, you'll recognize when you do a technique right.

When your teacher tells you you're doing it right, or when you recognize it for yourself. Take a brief moment to acknowledge yourself. Try to memorize the feeling of what it means to do this particular technique in this situation right. If you do this on a regular basis, you may find that it enhances your learning. Your teacher and fellow students are not always going to pat you on the back for getting a single throw right - but you can.

This isn't about ego-gratification or narcissism. It's about creating a positive feedback cycle in your aikido training. As you get more advanced, it can be something as simple as a nod to yourself or a quick smile. Aikido is very much about creating reflexes and trained responses. Self reinforcement can accelerate body training by allowing your mind to feel a brief moment of satisfation - then its back to work.