Ends and Means: Why are we training?

The telephone just rang and a young man launched into a detailed inquiry about aikido. How did it stack up against other martial arts? How long did it take to learn? What if I was challenged by a black belt in another style? and so on. It was the classical catalog of concerns that seem to torment many aspiring martial artists, and when I could not prevent myself from laughing, there was a pained silence at the other end of the telephone line.

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