Speech and Action

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

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Speech and Action

Postby gmattson » Wed May 26, 2004 8:55 pm

More interesting tidbits from Kenji Tokitsu's Miyamoto Musashi, His Life and Writings. GEM

The relationship between speech and action among Japanese warriors

The proverb "speech is silver, silence is gold "is found in both the West and Japan, but it is interpreted an experienced in very different ways. The Japanese interpret this phrase as placing absolute value on silence and expressing contempt for eloquence-but this does not suggest contempt for words; on the contrary, it stresses the importance placed on every word. A worthy warrior spoke little, because he knew the importance of words. The word was conceived in terms of the role it might play in a possible chain of cause and effect, even if this were to remain virtual.

Like a sword, and words can wound or kill, but as long as one does not touch the blade, a sword is no more than a smooth piece of metal. Someone who knows the qualities of a sword is not play with it, and someone who knows the nature of words does not play with them. In warriors attributed power and effective action to words, especially names. That is why the name of the technique was as important is secret for some one seeking to understand the mind behind it.

Anonymous transmission of the martial art did not exist, at least for warriors. For them the simple knowledge of how to do something was limited and incomplete. The ultimate transmission was in the name. For this reason the ultimate transmission of a school often took place to communication of the names of all the techniques, of which the practitioner had already for the most part attain mastery. One did not fully acquired the techniques of the school until it had been named.
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Postby Stryke » Wed May 26, 2004 9:57 pm

someone who knows the nature of words does not play with them


I totally agree , good post George , Dont say anything anything If your not prepared to go for your sword . Words of Wisdom
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Postby Phil Stefanini » Sat Jun 05, 2004 7:21 am

This seems to follow a deeper, more intuitive, perhaps ritual, understanding of the martial arts, where the object of continuous practice (action) is to seek stillness.
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Postby maxwell ainley » Sat Jun 12, 2004 7:04 pm

Hi .

A wordless state reached through constant practice ,over a life time ,or through dynamic intensive activity ;a very short timescale . Who enters that state ,will be temporary at a loss to explain , skill at arriving at a mid-way point in communication is ever a ongoing experience .

The satori experience is classical of this problem ,and it can happen to all doubting Tomas's who train ,a product of intensive questioning is a wordless state ,not seen by the many ,it's content seems to evade description .
To acheive it tasks are more important than descriptions ,mind/body tasks all day long ,not now and again ,resting just for sleep .

Lets say ,the wordless state is reached ,who can one converse with about matters .

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Postby Rick Wilson » Sun Jun 13, 2004 5:05 am

Good to hear from you Max. :D
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Postby maxwell ainley » Sun Jun 13, 2004 11:34 am

Hi Rick , and thanks.

Not to lose the thread but to point to the state,states that minimum use of words issue from [warrior types or others etc.]
My statement ;someone entering the state ,the wordless state would be temporary at a loss to explain ,pressure normally would reactivate a need express ,may be also the right words just will not present them self.
Lets go back to entering the wordless state . to give it substance ; at first there would be no pressure whats so ever for speech ,because the ever constant flow of thoughts have subsided ,a new level as been reached .

A totally different state is now present ,one that as been held back ,thats not quite the right word ,or expression ,more like waiting to be re-discovered ,coming back to who can one talk to in REF; to the new state .mostly to people who know ,if possible or others who pursue similar things .

With time the wordless state will have have its own unique thought flows ,so it would make sense there would be a originalty within its flow ,that is different to the prior level one lived and breathed by ,a greater understanding will be within the new state ,or better still a ability to get a over view of the older state ,this would be seen in a thought form that describes to oneself in few words ,in other words a mass of words are not needed to describe a large concept .

And this is only a beginning to how the new state works ,normal states heavy word based states ,are at ones disposal ,the new normal state is basically a symbol state ,it can manipulate the symbols at will .

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Postby maxwell ainley » Sun Jun 13, 2004 11:14 pm

If a new level is reached [a new state] silence would be a major element ,but it would be a totally different silence.
This silence would be more natural ,a relaxed type that had more insight within the long drawn out pauses .
In this type of silence the warrior could very quickly respond ,quite simply there is less strain now within the entire organism ,quite a considerable amount of dark side elements have been vomited up .
A clearer eye is at work .
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Postby maxwell ainley » Mon Jun 14, 2004 7:41 pm

In my own teaching method ,initially [mentioned this a few times in other threads ] I would make use of long pauses of silence ,and express myself in actions .

Now to me that is a condensive statement, yet it is impregnated with mass meaning to me .but some one used to more verbal expression s accompanying expressed actions[initially] it could be overlooked or not even thought about.
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Postby maxwell ainley » Tue Jun 15, 2004 7:17 pm

1.my use of actions [intially instead of words ] invites for me a closer investigation into into body language at a low level .
2.plus the silent atmosphere is the actual begining aclimatizing period [make /or break ] to instruction
3.The begining is the end and the end is the begining [silience is part and parcel to the begining as it is also to the end .
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Postby maxwell ainley » Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:24 pm

In the west we can take silence ,in life in a wrong way .

When I start to teach someone they face silence ,but it is not a uncommunicative type of silence ,a depressing type ,or a moody type or a brooding type.
The atmosphere is one of learning ,so for starters it could be called a learning type of silence .knowledge and words will be produced eventually .

A objective is to concentrate ;silence is a atmosphere that aids this ,although there will be a struggle to cope with the silence its self and some inner turmoil ,I watch this displayed within the motions.
The battle as begun ;my initial task is watch like a hawk and guide ,not relieve the situation ,until a point as been reached that satisfies the effort I am looking for ,also I have bypassed the intellect in a roundabout way .

Tounge control is being observed two /way teacher student the start of control is truly been prepared ,a dynamic focus of energies at the begining is at work .

ax.
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Postby maxwell ainley » Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:29 pm

Even though they are notes related to the early years of practice ,I hope they offered a certain insight into [warrior types etc]
As you see I place great value upon silence,how it can be used ,faced and most of all understood .Its highlighted in my practice as a dominant feature ,Years ago I had a gut feeling a lot could be communicated without one word entering affairs ,not that I don't value words ,I try to go the extra mile without there use in practice .

For about 10 years I did mega solo practice ,during those years I came upon various insight into action /silence ,plus I am fully aware that silence is one of the seven factors of enlightenment [major factors].
So any one training with me will gradually become familiar with silence ,and feel more comfortable within that atmosphere with the passage of time ,plus we can then disscuss various ways silence can be used .

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Postby maxwell ainley » Sat Jun 19, 2004 7:22 pm

As we are aware there are quite different types of silence .

So once we develop a bond with our conception of silence ,we will have undergone dramatic change ,my idea is to bring training to this point "we are now comfortable to a certain degree in the atmosphere .
I highlight the atmosphere initially so we can't escape it ,its up front in our face ,all surface moods will be spotted in this atmosphere ,our moods destroy our observation ,and this slows down real development .
The atmosphere if seen in the right content will act as a mirrow ,the atmosphere always as purpose ,we could say the initial stage struggles with the idea of the mirrow ,the second stage becomes more accoustomed to the presence of the mirrow atmosphere ,in the third stage we now see and start to use the mirrow .

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Postby maxwell ainley » Sat Jun 19, 2004 7:38 pm

Obviously this is in sanchin ,but only if awareness is applied when undergoing a face off with sanchin .As I said words will come ,so you could talk all day long about silence/action in relationship to speech .
We do go quiet when we run out of ideas ,we do go quiet if we think we are not being understood ,we can be frightened to say anything ,I see these things mostly in the first two stages of the mirrow atmosphere .
In the third stage things change quite simply the practioner as changed ,yet this change is not always seen by the many .

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Postby maxwell ainley » Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:48 am

In stage one ;we really do not understand silence at all ,we do not possess the mirror mind in any way shape or form ,for starters our inner talk gets in the way ,so in stage one we don't directly feed the intellect ,instead we learn to increase our attention to the movements ,and demonstrations .
The atmosphere /attention /movements demonstrations are primary ,a correction is only used to reinforce the primary ,so at this point the correction acts as a secondary reinforcement .
The atmosphere can increase our awareness ,then we start to go partial blind to it ,then blind ,so in solo practice it will highlight its self continously ,swinging between blind and aware .
In this method we confront the atmosphere ,but this is not fully apprehended ,in stage two we start to realise why the method weaved its pattern in that way .
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Postby maxwell ainley » Sun Jun 20, 2004 1:11 am

We have got stage one well underway with out one word of instruction .
Its quite obvious in students minds lots of questions could be turning over in ones mind ,if the student entertains either great interest or doubts in the pattern of the method as it starts to shape up ,this is all part of events .
Relief can be ,a demo that as realism ,or a slight change in the pattern .
At some point speech on subject can reinforce the whole focus of effort .

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