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Old 09-18-2008, 02:27 PM   #60
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Just a word of caution.
Everyone needs to remain self-aware. Rob openly states he doesn't have it yet. That's good. But in balance after 18 years training it- I don't think I "have it" yet either. And what about other methods? So, I hope everyone is self-effacing of where they may be at, and don't start to think they have it-when they clearly don't. We've already seen it with some posters here-who go on and on about something they obviously haven't a clue about.
We don't want folks who might accidentally think they understand more than they do and cause more harm than good. Mike's cautions were sound and good advice. It's a balance you have to reach between when you want to share and when you actually are able share. Add to that, just who you should be sharing with in the first place.
The way I look at it is that by accident, ego, and design a lot of western practitioners missed or discounted a set of physical skills that were the core/goal of Asian martial arts for at least a couple of thousand years. Those skills aren't intuitive and must be taught... which is why the skills declined in availability as martial usage declined.

At the moment there are a number of people who have become interested in the skills and who are trying to access whatever information is available in order to recreate/replicate some of the skills, to varying degrees. However, I don't know of any westerners (me included) who are really even close to being "experts" yet at these skills, and I know from experience that not all that many Asian martial artists are full-blown "experts" either. It's a matter of 'you pays your money you takes your choice'.... hit or miss and you have to be careful. The full range of skills is bigger than most people think, so some caution is needed.

All that being said, I don't think there's any real way to stop every Tom, Dick, and Harry who has even some bit skills (or thinks he does) from getting out there and teaching before his time. It's just human nature and it's going to happen. The important thing, in my opinion, is to get the basics out there so that the die-off of the core skills doesn't happen again. Beyond that I wouldn't get too excited about it because on the whole it's an occasion for satisfaction that something that went wrong is (maybe) going to be put right for some of this generation and the next generation. So what if the basics get spread, sometimes incorrectly or incompletely? In that case, it's caveat emptor and it's certainly a lot better situation than we've had up until now. And no matter who thinks they're good now and have "got it", there's going to be someone(s) better in the next generation. That's a good thing.


Mike Sigman
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