Re: Article: Apples and Oranges; State Specific Learning by Lynn Seiser
Up front - with Ignatius, I do not see the Shu-Ha-Ri process as being a linear one. However, I think we have to again realize that there are two focuses at work here - in how one is approaching their training and in how one is going about achieving the goals of their training. I'm with Ignatius when he says that training is about to achieving freedom from form through the practice and integration of similar fundamental basics, etc. However, if one wants to just do forms - as a kind of preservation exercise (which I'm personally against) - I cannot see why training to Point X is such a poor idea in terms of achieving its end. (I'm leaving the debate over whether cultivated habits are the same thing as spontaneous response to another time.)
On another note...
What if we take this back to a practical level and ask: "Are there really all these aikidoka out there that are cross-training to the point where they are not learning their 'Aikido' basics well?" Or, "Is premature cross-training the reason why so many folks in Aikido do not have strong basics?" Etc.
In my experience, I tend to see something different from what Lynn's article seems to be implying. I tend to NOT see many aikidoka cross-training. Additionally, out of the aikidoka that have poor basics, I do not see premature cross-training as the reason for such poorly developed basics. On the other hand, what I do see is a lot of folks trying to do Ikkyo believing, for example, that they are using their hips, when in fact they are not. Related to this, I see a lot of folks who do Ikkyo "using their hips," but being unable to put their hips into, for example, a roundhouse kick. Additionally, of the aikidoka that do cross-train (which I won't attempt to define here), I see a great many that do in fact become aware of how they are not using their hips like they think they are in Ikkyo when they take on practicing the roundhouse kick.
For me then, I wonder how much the notion of apples and oranges is really (only) a philosophical problem - not really a problem of reality???