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sorokod
10-19-2008, 12:54 PM
The concept of SHU-HA-RI came up towards the end of a different thread. Prof. Goldsbury had this to say on the subject:

...I have always been taught that the goal of training is to imitate as far as possible (with no conscious exclusions) the waza of the teacher. I believe that this is the SHU stage of SHU-HA-RI, but there is no conscious logical step to the HA stage. HA is not rejecting parts of any waza that you do not like, while keeping the rest. Nor is RI putting all the various bits together, like a patchwork quilt.


Seems to me that the given description of SHU is a usefull parctical definition. Can something similar be said about HA?

Andrew S
10-19-2008, 03:33 PM
My understanding of HA is that you should not become a copy of your teacher. I remember a conversation with a former uchideshi of my sensei where he said that "sensei would not be happy if I did everything just like him"

sorokod
10-19-2008, 04:15 PM
Previously discussed here: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5951. See also this article by T.K. Chiba http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5951

NagaBaba
10-20-2008, 09:06 AM
Seems to me that the given description of SHU is a usefull parctical definition. Can something similar be said about HA?
I'm not sure it is very practical definition, but what I observed, in HA stage one personalizes waza according to his body and state of mind. In the same time, one preserves the transmission from his teacher. This process allows you to clearly identify and embody the aikido principles.

Then in RI, one has to adapt again his body work to express these principles in order to transmit it to your students.

sorokod
10-20-2008, 09:45 AM
I was thinking "clearly prescribes what needs to be achieved" when I wrote "practical", probably a wrong adjective to use.

...in HA stage one personalizes waza according to his body and state of mind. In the same time, one preserves the transmission from his teacher. ...

Potentially there is a tension between the "personalizes" and the "preserves", how would it be resolved?

C. David Henderson
10-20-2008, 10:51 AM
Potentially there is a tension between the "personalizes" and the "preserves", how would it be resolved?

David -- Thanks for going ahead and starting this thread, and for linking to the article by Chiba Sensei. I agree with you that there is a tension here. Does this make any sense or provoke further thought in thinking about the issue:

The tension is resolved ultimately through continued training, including specifically training in basic form. When the individual gets to a certain stage of understanding, however, the focus of training shifts from absorption-through mimicry towards integration in one's own body the patterns [principles] of action embedded in kihon.

I seem to recall Chiba Sensei wrote that the HA stage of training, like the SHU stage, is "protected" by the teaching, and come "under" the teaching. To me this suggests the form as-taught still forms a template against which one acts and examines one's acts.

In part, "preservation" limits "personalization" precisely because it is in tension with it. "Preservation" rests both with the student, who has internalized forms of action, and the teacher, who continues to transmit form to the student in teaching.

As I read the article, the "tension" you address may appear as an element of "destruction" as to some aspects of the forms one has learned.

I think this destruction may be of the kind often necessary to the creative process -- in this instance, of adapting what has been burned into the body and making it more fully one's own.

Nor does tension necessarily connote instability -- think of how the spokes of a bicycle wheel keep the shape of the wheel through balanced tension. Without balance, the wheel "tacos's."

What do you think?

Regards,

DH

sorokod
10-20-2008, 11:06 AM
Oops, the link to Chiba Sensei's article http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archives/2001/mar/feat_0301_tkc.html

NagaBaba
10-20-2008, 12:13 PM
I was thinking "clearly prescribes what needs to be achieved" when I wrote "practical", probably a wrong adjective to use.

Potentially there is a tension between the "personalizes" and the "preserves", how would it be resolved?
To add to DH response,

Such tension is necessary and is actually used as a tool to extract the principles from a chaos of details in techniques and applications. Id say a student goes through the process try/error. So some times he will go too far in free form, some times too much into already learned form. Every time he must resolve a problem, he is free to try any solution possible. But in the same time, if he wants to preserve the teaching of his instructor, he is forced to focus his efforts in special direction. This living tension gives him opportunity to create something new and still connected to existing tradition.

Ive tried to write it in very generic form as possible, not sure if it makes sense to you.

Ron Tisdale
10-20-2008, 02:50 PM
Nice post Mr. S! I think I agree...tension often has a negative connotation in aikido...but it can actually play a positive role sometimes in my opinion.

Best,
Ron

sorokod
10-20-2008, 03:53 PM
David and Szczepan, the image of tension as constructive and positive thing, rings true to me. Interestingly, Chiba Sensei, seems to be less worried about maintaining a connection to the original forms:

...Technically, this is also the stage wherein it is required to rearrange or reconstruct what the teacher has taught. This includes the elimination of what is undesirable, unnecessary or unsuitable and allows new elements to be brought into the study as food for growth. ...

Charles Hill
10-20-2008, 05:32 PM
Potentially there is a tension between the "personalizes" and the "preserves", how would it be resolved?

My current thinking that "preserving" cannot successfully be part of the HA stage. I believe that doubt plays a big part in destroying what one has learned before. I think that in the RI stage, the individual comes to realize that his/her moving away from the teaching is itself part of the teaching.

Here is a question: Is it possible to go into the HA stage while still maintaining an active teacher/student relationship with a sensei?

In keeping with the Kazuo Chiba example, he became independant very early/quickly in an all but organizational way, did he not?

One more point. I do not think that the shu,ha,ri model is one that can be currently applied to self, ie. "Im in the ha stage." I think it is a model for a teacher to understand what he/she has gone through and can expect/hope students will also go through.

Charles

C. David Henderson
10-20-2008, 08:18 PM
One more point. I do not think that the shu,ha,ri model is one that can be currently applied to self, ie. "Im in the ha stage." I think it is a model for a teacher to understand what he/she has gone through and can expect/hope students will also go through.

Charles

I may understand what you are saying here, but on the surface it appears a bit paradoxical. Can you amplify this point please?

Regards,

DH

Charles Hill
10-21-2008, 05:31 AM
Hi David,

It seems to me that if one feels it is necessary to destroy "HA" that which was learned from a teacher, one would not be thinking that this is actually part of the process. I personally find it a bit suspect when a teacher "teaches" shu ha ri to his/her students.

As Prof. Goldsbury points out, the shu stage is marked by imitating/modeling the teacher as much as possible. This is much like a child, right? Then the teenage years hit and you want nothing to do with your square parents, kill the Buddha and all that. At this stage I think the student comes to some conclusion that his/her teacher has various things wrong and splits. Next is when we grow up and have our own children and see what it was like for our own parents. We go beyond them and yet we kind of go back full circle, albeit with new eyes.

How is that?
Charles

C. David Henderson
10-21-2008, 09:39 AM
Charles,

Thanks. I see your point better and more fully.

This then relates back to your comment about whether it is "possible to go into the HA stage while still maintaining an active teacher/student relationship with a sensei."

I am getting the sense that you think of the HA stage in terms of a relational break with a teacher. This is consistent as well with your comment that you're skeptical of teachers who "'teach' shu ha ri" to their students, no?

Regards,

DH

Charles Hill
10-21-2008, 02:29 PM
I am getting the sense that you think of the HA stage in terms of a relational break with a teacher.

My answer is yes, while keeping in mind "relational" is somewhat of a vague term. The word "break" is just right, methinks. A translation of HA/yaburu. Chiba Sensei has been mentioned. In his career, when was the high point of his HA stage? I venture to guess it was when he quit Aikido and came here to my new hometown of Mishima to do construction work. For O'sensei, perhaps the HA stage was in leaving Takeda and going on his own, and this leads to an interesting (for me anyway) idea.

You earlier defined HA in aikido as adapting technique and making it more fully one's own. If this were the case, I do not believe that break/destroy/tear is the right word to accurately express this. Yet I do think this is what O'sensei did. He "destroyed" what he learned from Takeda, but he adapted and made more fully his own what he learned from Onisaburo Deguchi. This is perhaps why he seems to not have subscribed to this shu, ha, ri idea for his aikido. Takeda is not the main influence on Ueshiba's aikido, Deguchi is!

Charles

gdandscompserv
10-21-2008, 02:45 PM
Me thinks one can only see the shu-ha-ri of ones training when looking back on it, reflectively, after training for many years. In other words, I'm not sure one can really know when they are in the moment.

NagaBaba
10-21-2008, 03:37 PM
My answer is yes, while keeping in mind "relational" is somewhat of a vague term. The word "break" is just right, methinks. A translation of HA/yaburu. Chiba Sensei has been mentioned. In his career, when was the high point of his HA stage? I venture to guess it was when he quit Aikido and came here to my new hometown of Mishima to do construction work. For O'sensei, perhaps the HA stage was in leaving Takeda and going on his own, and this leads to an interesting (for me anyway) idea.

You earlier defined HA in aikido as adapting technique and making it more fully one's own. If this were the case, I do not believe that break/destroy/tear is the right word to accurately express this. Yet I do think this is what O'sensei did. He "destroyed" what he learned from Takeda, but he adapted and made more fully his own what he learned from Onisaburo Deguchi. This is perhaps why he seems to not have subscribed to this shu, ha, ri idea for his aikido. Takeda is not the main influence on Ueshiba's aikido, Deguchi is!

Charles
I' would say, break can have two aspects: break with learned forms (to create the new ) or/and break existing relation with teacher (to create a new relation). One has to destroy old to build new dimension.

In both cases it is a process, i.e. for O sensei it took at least 5, may be 10 years to break with S.Takeda....
So this process take some time. Both, student and teacher must be very carefull with this process, for sure.

Charles Hill
10-21-2008, 07:18 PM
I' would say, break can have two aspects: break with learned forms (to create the new ) or/and break existing relation with teacher (to create a new relation). One has to destroy old to build new dimension.

Hi Szczepan,

I would agree yes, but only in the West. In my experience in Japan, shu occurs as is quoted by Prof. Goldsbury in the first post, ie. it is a stage where the student absorbs the form almost unconsciously. In this situation, I believe that in the student's psyche, form = the teacher.

When I began aikido in the US, I was taught step by step, put your foot here, etc. In Japan, however, people learn by assimilating into the environment, there is always a strong societal pressure to do things a specific way. So, I think that here in Japan, the ha stage is basically impossible without distance (physical/psychological) from one's teacher. I am much less certain about the West.

I really like your comment about "to build a new relation" but I do think that is probably part of the RI stage.

Charles