Van Canna wrote:
There are many components to the study of martial arts...it is up to the individual to choose which primrose path he wishes to follow. No problem.
But the defensive aspect of martial arts is very complex these days and needs much reaching out and introspection.
People who don't believe this are really in a delusive mind state according to the writings of Rory.
I have to think about the days when Van and I would duel on these Forums. And now with time, it seems we agree more often than not. It is truly scary.
The first point... There really should be a laissez faire attitude about the path. Why? Because every individual brings a unique set of abilities and shortcomings to a learning environment. In order to maximize the experience, each must ideally find his/her ideal path. Some may do well in a closed, structured environment. My brain wants to see the same principles applied as many different ways as possible so I can absorb the common thread at an intuitive level.
I agree that "more is better" doesn't always apply. Knowing and practicing more kata could
mean that you're giving your brain more choices when a decision point comes at a critical self-defense moment. And more options can lead to a slower response.
On the flip side, a literal practice of anything we do is useless. In our very real world, chaos tells us that many self-defense situations will never, ever be repeated again in the history of time - the exact same way
. So if we train with specifics in mind, we're doomed to succeeding forever in our last great battle. Wonderful...
Somewhere in-between being ill-prepared and being over-schooled is a place where we have a Rory (to give an example) who can adapt and usually respond appropriately in situations where most cannot.
When I started my last job and I knew I had a lot of learning to do to catch up with the productivity of a few in my "science sweat shop", I understood the challenge ahead of me. But I brought a rich background to my new place of employment. Maybe I had just a smattering experience programming in SAS. But I had a lifetime of experience programming in Basic (first time in 1970), Fortran, DEC assembler, PDP script language, unix script language, SPSS, RS/1, Visual Basic... You get the idea. I wasn't a slave to any one language. Rather I thought of myself as training to be the kind of person who could sit down in front of a computer with a manual of the language and Google, and get it done with the help of my peers. I wasn't a SAS programmer, but rather a person who could program in any language thrown my way - given enough time to prepare. I made my first deadline by doing a few consecutive weekends. Then I finished a project that got so much attention that Predictive Modeling is preparing a version of my work for real time production application. Now I have a person I admire greatly in my group coming to me twice (2 times) in the last week to ask me how to do a few things she couldn't. She's worked there 5 years.
My point? Some of us expand our horizons - past a mastering of the very basics - not to muddy the waters, but rather to help us see through them better. Learning to master fighting a Uechika can be a bit like trying to get a charge out of kissing your sister. Listening to inbred teachers is kind of like my experience walking into my first aikido dojo and looking at the "attacks" people were learning to defend themselves against. I stopped going when I realized I could hit them at will. I picked my aikido training back up in a place where most participants had a black belt in some other style.
The irreverence that comes from Rory, Van, and myself isn't arrogance, but rather a touch of wisdom. Speaking of myths, we've learned not to believe in or trust our own.
And rather than cluttering our brains with technique junk, well...
I'll speak for myself. I talk about principles-based fighting because I think the solution to the decisions vs. choices dilemma in a world of mathematical chaos is to master simple fundamental principles and then master being able to make up the details as you go along. The beauty of getting out of your own dojo is seeing that other people can apply the same principles, only in a slightly different way. In the exercise of separating the important from the unimportant (and sometimes downright irrelevant), it's possible to see both the unshakeable truths and the beauty of unpredictable Nature.
Not classical music, but rather jazz.
Not chess, Mr. Spock. Poker!