AiShinKai - Harmonious Heart Association - Achieving Peak Performance in Daily Life
Self-Mastery - Character Development - Leadership - Team Management - Conflict Resolution - Global Citizenship

How Long Before Results?

How Long Does it Take?

We get asked this question a lot.  There is a famous story in Japan about a student of swordsmanship who petitioned a master for training.  He asked how long it would take.  The master replied that ten years might suffice.  "TEN YEARS!" replied the student.  "What if I doubled my efforts?"  The master answered that
with one eye on the goal, and only one eye on the Path, perhaps twenty years would be more realistic.  It's a humorous story, but with a real point.

Everyone is different.  We come to the Path of Self-Mastery with different tools and personal history.  Some people get what they want quickly, others have deeper ambitions, or simply enjoy the training and the community so much that they stay a very long time.  The benefits of self-mastery are far-reaching, and there is always room for further improvement.  Dr. Bannister has been studying for more than 30 years, and he still gets up at 4:00am every day to practice mind-body coordination and swordsmanship.

It all depends on your needs.  Business clients sometimes find a single session with Dr. Bannister will open new horizons and change the way a company thinks about conflict resolution and negotiation.  Others engage the AiShinKai to offer a series of individual personnel visits or group sessions to explore principles and movements that promote self-mastery.  Schools and universities typically will engage the AiShinKai to offer quarterly or semester-long programs in a specific area of interest, such as a particular martial art.  Community groups are normally content with a demonstration or single presentation.

For those individuals who want a serious course of study in the Principles of Self-Mastery, it does matter how much we put into the training.  Those who train only one hour a week find progress slow.  We recommend engagement in formal martial or cultural arts training two times a week, combined with weekly private lessons.  This will help you to polish individual skills in a way that is not possible in group training.  Those students who practice this way make very rapid progress, with real, quantifiable progress obvious after 6-8 months.

Traditionally, there are three levels of accomplishment.  Called Shu-Ha-Ri in Japanese, the first stage is one of imitation, the next being internalization, and the final stage marked by the breaking of the mold and the discovery of full human potential.  In traditional Japanese martial arts and cultural arts instruction, Shu is said to take 2-4 years, Ha 4-5 more, with Ri being achievable in 8-10 years total practice.  In reality, only a few very special people fully realize their full potential.  They are recognizable by the confidence, elegance, and originality of their art and actions.

It takes time and consistent effort to make a master.  A single drop of water has little energy, but a million drops have the awsome power of a tidal wave.  AiShinKai training is fun, endlessly challenging in a good way, and extremely rewarding.  Once upon a time we surveyed our black belt graduates, asking how much they would want to be paid if they could return their new-found knowledge.  Hypothetically, we offered $40K, then $50K, then $75K.  But they all said that they wouldn't return the information, even for $100K.

We are confident that we have the method and the means to expedite your journey to self-mastery.  But it is up to the individual student to avail themselves of the opportunity.  AiShinKai instructors are like temple bells, waiting to sound until the student strikes with the right question.  If you like that kind of challenge, and want to discovery the many benefits of self-mastery in your own life, come and see us right away!

Breathing and Meditation Exercises


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affiliation, gender, or in any other way prohibited by law or common sense.

Offering local and nation-wide educattion in Leadership, Conflict Resolution, Team Management, and Mind-Body Coodination, as well as the Japanese martial and cultural arts of AiShin-Ryu Aikido, Iaido, Aiki-ken, Aiki-jo, Kyudo,
Ki Meditation, Kiatsu Ryoho, Bonsai, Shodo, and Ikebana.  Locally serving the communities of Seattle, Everett, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Mukilteo, and Edmonds, WA.
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