View Full Version : 20 Year Technique

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R.A. Robertson
06-28-2004, 11:14 PM
In the spirit of this forum, I thought I'd ask others what the famous "20 Year Technique" has meant for you.

As a beginner, I'd hear references to it, and I think we assumed that it was the classic kokyunage. But I wonder where this bit of lore came from. How common is the reference to a "20 Year Technique" in others' styles and dojo? Which technique does it refer to for you?

Obviously, we can reply that they are all 20 year arts, or that 20 years is only for speedy learners. But more broadly, what do you understand now that it took you 20 years or more to really appreciate? Knowing what you know now, can you teach it to others, or will they also be fated to wait 20 years to get it?

If there are skills that can be taught to a reasonably adept learner, but not mastered without "seasoning," then what is this seasoning process? What is the magic ingredient bequeathed to some through time that makes the difference between aptitude and true depth?


R.A. Robertson
06-28-2004, 11:20 PM

Well, it wasn't until after I had posted this thread that I saw there was another once currently active with the exact same title.

Never mind aikido. Maybe I can hope to master web communications in 20 years...


07-03-2004, 05:55 PM
I like the question....

It's true that I'm tempted to say "they're all 20 year techniques". Not only that, but the more I learn to appreciate the nuances of, say, shomen iriminage, the more I learn to appreciate the nuances of kamae, the set of my shoulders, the feel of my foot on the floor! Such a question opens a Pandora's box. I settle it with "I do what I do and the older I get the more I love it for its own sake".

I think this is what constitutes 'seasoning'. If 'seasoning' means 'expertise' then it is entirely possible for the talented youngster to learn it. And it is entirely possible for it to be taught. In fact, it is important for us AS TEACHERS to relay expertise to the student as efficiently as possible. This might even mean teaching in a manner entirely different from that in which we were taught. I think teaching should evolve in this way.