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Old 01-07-2007, 05:15 AM   #63
Michael Douglas
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 393
United Kingdom
Re: Crazy Ki demonstration by Barrish Sensei

David Valadez wrote:
This is true at even a very mundane level. For example, look at the difference in body development in Barrish and in his students. Clearly, somewhere along the line, Barrish did some really hard physical training -- the kind of resistance training that would develop his body thusly. On the other hand, perhaps obviously, his students are not really being pressed in that direction. In general, I think this might be a product of a teacher/practitioner reaching a particular skill level, one from which they come to understand what is "key" to training or what simply "one cannot or should not do without."

As a result, though an instructor tended to do all kinds of things to get where they eventually got to, they end up mostly teaching on this "key" thing. For example, you get a guy that as a young man would spend hours swinging an axe or a sledgehammer, or even pulling tree trunks out of the ground, thereby reaching a point in the development of his physique where he is obviously the one capable of kicking sand in the face of others while at the beach, etc. But, a decade or two goes by, and somewhere in their training they realize that physical conditioning is not everything, that timing, or kokyu, or mushin, etc., is key -- key to applying things like a well-conditioned physique and/or anything else for that matter. As a result, rather than asking his students to girth up, he has them working on timing, or kokyu, or mushin, etc.
For some reasons, and sticking with this example, it tends not to occur to instructors that their understanding of timing, or kokyu, or mushin, even their insights into such things, is entirely dependent upon not only that well-conditioned physique but also that period of their life where having a well-conditioned physique held a more central place in their training. Elements that held primary places in their own training tend to be edited out for one reason or another when it comes to their students -- some reasons being positive, some reasons being negative. On the positive side, it could be that an instructor, in good faith, is trying to save "time" for a student by taking out what they have come to (mis)understand as wasteful or unnecessary. On the negative side, it could be that an instructor is no longer capable of such types of training (e.g. they could be old now or in poor health but still desire to be on the mat leading the way in all aspects of a given practice).
I loved this bit of your post David,
it really strikes a chord with my own observations.
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