Explaining practice in words

Contributors offers insight into the non-physical side of the Martial Arts, often ignored when discussing self-defense.

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Explaining practice in words

Postby gmattson » Wed May 26, 2004 8:51 pm

I was sent a new manuscript of a soon to be published book by Kenji Tokitsu called Miyamoto Musashi, His Life and Writings. (I’ll be discussing this book more as I get more into it. I found the following section quite relavent to some of what is going on in our Forums and thought that others might enjoy the commentary. Also, I’ve been trying to train my speech recognition program and wanted to give it a “test drive”. Please excuse any typos… If I had to proof read the program, I’d lose any time saved by not typing the words. Hopefully it is clear enough to be understood. GEM

The difficulty of explaining that practice in words

Practitioners are generally content to progress on the way of practice without writing about it. Since intensive practice requires a person to immerse himself fully and deeply in his actions, and objective written description is difficult, for it requires one to assume some distance from the practice. If the practitioner has recourse to language, it is usually selectively, in order to bring out and intuition rather than pursued a line of logic.

Moreover, studying the practice of an art of combat in-depth is not always compatible with writing about this art, for the process of going into the practice deeply means acquiring a capacity for sensory-motor reactivity that goes beyond the reach of mental reflection. Spontaneous movement and intuitive comprehension are reinforced, and one must avoid increasing the gap between perceptions and reaction by adding the pitfalls of intellectual speculation. Reflection is a part of bubo, let it must be self-directed, introspective reflection that is not allowed to intervene in the moment of combat, where the spontaneity of movement is essential. However as Musashi wrote, combat is not confined to the moment when it is actually taking place.

In Musashi’s timei, when confrontations were direct, it was enough for the majority of accomplished practitioners to immerse themselves deeply in their practice and limit themselves to a few words, just enough for cause I subliminal hints intelligible to their students. Into the transmission of a school's art, sometimes a language developed that was unintelligible to outsiders, based on a very broad intuitive register and seldom going in the direction of logical developments. From that point of view, Musashi's work is exceptional. Nonetheless, looked at from our present point of view, his logic does not always seem coherent, and the meaning of his words is not always precise. If his words had been received directly from him in the flash, with swords in hand, these verbal and ask students and ambiguities would not have been important, because Musashi’s body and swords when easily have dispelled the ambiguities. However, 3 1/2-century is now separate us.

Someone who practices and martial art in-depth and trains every day to the point of exhaustion has a tendency to developer relationship with butter and that becomes prosaic worker functionary at the same time as the intuitive aspects of his participation grows: he will tend to distance himself from long-winded objective reflection. He develops an end to intuition that can find a profound or manifold meaning in a single expression or a single radiogram. The sense of fullness that comes from these intense physical exercises reduces the amplitude of logical sequences. It is only when the practitioner crosses the threshold of another dimension, where the sensation of fullness is realized through a stable treading of the way, and words will become more tangible. That's it is no surprise that Musashi’s wrote his major work just before his death, even though he had been trying to write since his youth
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Postby Phil Stefanini » Sat Jun 05, 2004 7:43 am

George: Oddly enough, I wrote a response to your 'action and words' post before I read this.

I believe this discussion falls into the realm of 'continuous present', the so called fourth dimension, or psychological time (not physical time) where one's time changes with one's reaction to the environment.
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Postby KerryM » Thu Sep 23, 2004 9:10 pm


I so spent a class having each student "talk" their way through Sanchin-

it's tough! :) Going to have each child make "stick-figure" "sanchin's" to see where "they see" Sanchin as being- next

stick figure so that it doesn't become a coloring contest :)

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