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Old 10-24-2006, 10:34 AM   #25
Budd
 
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Dojo: Taikyoku Aikido
Location: Williamsville, NY
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 928
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Re: Takemusu Aiki in Systematic Teaching?

While the mental stimulation of the ongoing discussions is interesting, I think the development towards 'Takemusu Aiki' boils down to several salient points:

1) Do you begin with a basic set of movements that teach the core body skills (using the music analogy, regardless of playing by ear or reading music, you have to, at some fundamental level, understand notes, tempo, chords, keys, etc.)?

2) Does the training methodology contain an emphasis on the form (to maintain and reinforce the body skill development through the execution of the 'basics') and the function (pressure testing in live/resisting/sparring/insert phrase - NOTE, not necessarily "competitive/sport", but not necessarily excluding them, either - environments) to further develop both the body skills and the ability to use them in changing paradigms?

3) Is the instructor able to reproduce their skills in their students? Is one of the goals for training to develop students that equal or surpass the instructor? It's sort of a clumsy, roundabout way of asking if the instructor is teaching you with a goal towards transmitting the art in a way that you will be able to transmit it someday yourself?

Another example, if we're looking at training in 'the arts'. I spent several years as a 'theatre person' acting/directing/stage managing. Strictly from the perspective of teaching a person the 'art' of acting, there were several different types of acting, from straight plays, Shakespeare, musicals, tv/film, etc. Each required different the perfection of slightly different skillsets, yet all stemmed from the basic ability to comfortably move within one's own body to manifest the required character/role. I imagine the same philosophy could be applied to any number of physical endeavors (from dance to painting)

It's also interesting that while there are also a number of approaches towards developing these skills (in this case, acting), from Method/Stanislavsky technique to Restoration period approaches, Robin Williams, who was exposed to most of them while at Julliard's Drama school, is quoted as saying that the first thing he did after graduation was "forget everything he learned" and took up as a mime (while I enjoy a lot of his work, I'm sure some may wish that he'd stayed that way).

YMMV
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