View Single Post
Old 05-25-2008, 06:48 AM   #9
mickeygelum's Avatar
Dojo: Warren Budokan, Ohio USA
Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 502
Re: A Typical Day, you know, the same old, same old..

Here is how I have come to understand things. There are two wheels to the cart that is Budo training. 1) There is the type of training that helps you to gain the form that distinguishes your set of tactical applications. This has to do with artistic parameters, stylistic preferences, given technical architectures, etc. This type of training is by default best marked by theory, cooperative training, etc., and takes advantage of idealized training environments, slow training, diagrams, repetition, etc. 2) There is the type of training that works to bring the former training off of the chalkboard and out of the laboratory and into environments where it can remain viable as a living art or state of being -- places where it is expected to interact and respond with the natural/living world and at the speed of life.

In my experience, most martial arts training as it is practiced today focuses on only the first type of training. Why? Here are a few possible reasons: It is marketable -- i.e. one can sell it; it requires little personal investment (relative to the second type of training); and it can adopt a pedagogical approach that remains akin to the dominant pedagogy we see everywhere in the modern world today. That is to say, it is and remains familiar.

As for the second type of training -- why so rare? Here are a few reasons: It remains non-marketable because as it aims to move the practitioner beyond the packaging of this art or that art, it itself cannot be packaged, labeled, etc. If anything, it is antithetical to packaging of any kind. Additionally, as the first type of training has more of itself leaning on things physical (i.e. body movements, stances, etc.), the second type of training mostly pertains to the way the mind/spirit relates to the body's capacity to move and/or be. This means the practitioner is going to have to have more of him/herself participate, revealed, observed, and transformed. In a world plagued by delusion, denial, self-anxiety, self-alienation, and intimacy issues, this is a huge burden to bear. Often it is too huge a burden for the average person wanting to train in the martial arts today -- my opinion. Finally, the second type of training remains rare in today's world because the instruction in it is as much an art form as that which it seeks to cultivate. This is because instruction here pertains more to a mind-to-mind transmission than it does to anything else. That is to say, training and instruction at this level is highly particular -- in terms of being, space, and time.

That said, and this is why I posted the videos, while the two type of training are related, even inter-related, it's quite out of place to judge the second type of training by the standards of the first. Why? Because, in many ways, the second type of training has to undo what was done in the first type of training.

Now, if you are having to do this on your own, which most of us will have to do if we look to chase (FOR REAL) this illusive aiki-spontaneity, and you will be default have to look to undoing what was done in the first type of training, well… You are going to look like a mess, but only when folks are judging you, WRONGLY, from the first type of training.

So, I would like to propose this another way… Here's the problem before you (the practitioner):

You are learning an art form (e.g. Aikido). You practice the forms over and over, develop the particulars, generate the right power sources, etc. And, then, you realize, all that information, all those accomplishments, don't directly translate into the living world, and definitely not at the speed of life. Now, what are you going to do? Do you just give up and stay in the green house -- the realm of controlled environments? Do you go looking for another art that is supposed to "work"? Do you deny that the problem is really you?

If you answer all these questions the right way, what then? What does a training that bridges the gap between form and spontaneity look like if not this? And, if you got it on film, please show it so we can talk better about it.

Mr Valadez.... I attempted to provoke constructive self-evaluation, not judge. By your own words, it appears that you can not take a position one way or another. As I stated, just my thoughts, hopefully it will help someone, maybe even you.

Mr.Gano...Please forgive my typo, Comfort and environment are not synonymous with ability levels. They are, at the least, associatively porportionate.

Train well,

  Reply With Quote