learning Archives - Kishinkai
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learning Tag

Giving to receive: uke, a cornerstone of the learning process – by Alexandre Grzegorczyk   It is commonly admitted that a whole life of practice is necessary to understand the essence of budo. This affirmation could be debatable, but it is nonetheless true that learning is a never-ending process. Near the end of their life, many masters reported only starting to understand principles they have been studying their whole lives. For example, Funakoshi sensei, aged 80, stated “I now start to understand face-level blocking”. Such testimonies display lifetimes of studying, with a continuous questioning and constant remodelling of their practice. It is obviously not exclusive to martial arts, as the same mindset can be found with many musicians, painters or artisans. Personal study is a mandatory step in progression; however, practice cannot fully exist without a partner, especially in arts of the body. Having good teachers and good uke is a non-negligible factor of our evolution.   [caption id="attachment_16362" align="aligncenter" width="468"] Gichin Funakoshi senseï[/caption]   Being uke It is often stated that uke and tori are two sides of a same coin, both required for a budoka’s evolution. When one is in class, about half the time is spent as uke and half as tori. The teacher usually...

  Learning to learn Aikido (and other martial arts…) – by Leo Tamaki   The shu, ha and ri steps in the learning process of martial traditions are well known. To simplify, shu corresponds to imitation, ha to exploration and ri to mastery. But, if shu ha ri can be linked with the study of a movement, it originally represents the big stages in a practitioner’s life. Today I wish to have a closer look at the much-reduced steps of a movement’s study.     Unbelievable techniques Traditional Japanese martial techniques are very subtle tools. Their goal is to allow an adept to survive a confrontation with one or several opponents that are physically superior. Even if the curriculum of a school is made of several steps with increasing difficulty, the first techniques cannot work after few repetitions (by this I mean the first few thousand times those techniques are performed). A superficial vision can lead to the impression that the techniques are levers or strikes that can be mastered in a few hours. The truth is entirely different. The true efficiency of these movements makes them… literally unbelievable. One cannot believe it. An untrained gaze will only see, in a movement, a lever resulting in an insufficient...