During my second week of basic training for the United States Air Force, one of the guys in the barracks asked our training instructor (TI) when we would learn how to shoot the M16. The training instructor's reply went something like this: "You don't even know how to fold your *&@)& underwear yet! How do you expect to learn how to fire a *&(@% M16?
Anyone with basic military training experience knows that trainees have to perform all kinds of mindless chores such as folding underwear into six-inch squares, making hospital corners, spit-shining boots, etc. Failure to perform these simple tasks perfectly resulted in severe punishment. Why? Details.
If a trainee does not have the capacity to learn the simple tasks, how can he or she learn the important ones like loading, cleaning and firing a weapon, following an aircraft tech order or applying a tourniquet to stop bleeding? They cannot. All of these things require attention to detail. If you neglect the details in simple tasks, how can you expect to learn the really important, potentially life-saving ones? Martial arts training (Budo) requires the same discipline.
If a student is not willing hone foundational skills such as ukemi (rolling), stance, posture, footwork, etc., he will never master anything. It takes a long time -- perhaps a lifetime to learn such skills but it all starts with mundane basics. In the Bible, Jesus tells us to build our homes on rock rather than sand. Matthew 7:24-27. It takes much longer and it's lot more work, but a solid foundation is well-worth the time and effort.
As a young karate student, I never appreciated kihon (basic strikes and kicks) or kata (forms). All I wanted to do was fight and I became really good at sparring but really lousy at karate. I didn't really understand karate until I lived in Japan and found aikido...and budo. Karate is budo; aikido is budo. Judo, kyudo, iaido...all budo. Budo is roughly translated as "The way to enlightenment through warrior training." Training for war is far more rigorous than just learning how to fight; it involves strategy, planning, logistics...details. The way we line up before and after class, the bow, the way we fold our uniforms after class, kihon, kata, bokken training...all details.
Real budo training is rigorous and demanding because it focuses on details that could potentially save your life some day. Mundane, boring details...like folding underwear, making hospital corners and spit-shining boots.
Jissenkan Aiki Budo