Every practice has a cost, there is a ton of slag for an ounce of gold. Just walking in the door and getting on the map for an hour doesn’t necessarily meaning that you’ll make any progress. Over time technique will stagnate and training may get boring, but even worse the risk for injuries goes way up. For years I did suburi work thinking that I was building up my form and muscles, now my elbows are creaky and my shoulders overly tense.
In order to try and undo that damage and other bits of slag I have been carrying around I train differently. At the most basic level I train with a particular goal in mind so that a few months down the line I can check in and see if the training I am doing is helping me achieve something or not. Also, I train so that at the end of class I feel looser and more relaxed than at the beginning of class. Even when doing something like push-ups I want to keep a sense of openness in my joints and in my breathing. Finally I try and keep coming at an idea from different angles so that my mind stays interested and doesn’t get stuck in a rut.