Re: Breaking Shu Ha Ri
I think SHU-HA-RI is primarily a teaching/learning relationship, not something based on form vs. the absence of form. The form, if any, is the vehicle for the relationship, not the other way round.
In my opinion, a good example of this relationship can be seen with Morihei Ueshiba and Sokaku Takeda. All the elements: SHU, HA, and RI, are there. Form (= waza) enters into this relationship only to the extent that it is seen to be necessary. I think Ellis Amdur has argued quite strongly in his latest book that form did not seem to matter too much to Takeda or Ueshiba. But the relationship was there--and it endured. In terms of the relationship, the RI component was formalized only in 1936.