Matthew. You state a case without addressing my questions. Do you rely, depend, on that safe environment?
Do you see that bottom line dependency on own ability and self far, far, exceeds any 'thing' you think protects you.?
Some people would rather not see this because it would show they have been lazy in their thinking.
In part, I do rely on the safe environment. I try to be alert at all times, but I am definately more alert when walking down an alley at night near Denny Park in Seattle, than in the Beaux Arts Village in Bellevue. Like I said, I always try to maintain awareness of the area around me, but I adjust my attention based on the particulars.
So no, I don't rely on the tsuba to protect me, just as I don't leave my door unlocked in areas I assume are safer. Similarly, I wouldn't remove the lock in order force myself to pay more attention to the door.
I would say all top professionals in all walks of life use this attitude. It's what separates the top sportsmen from the rest. They blame no one, they focus purely on their own ability and improving it, and every time they make a mistake they blame themselves and reprimand their self for being lazy. Such is the upper echelons of discipline.
I believe a little more in the role of happenstance for individual success, but in essence I agree with you here. Motivation and self-determination are key to personal success in anything, be it chess or self-defense.
You're preeching to the choir when it comes to the idea of self-reliance. I think what we disagree on might be the best way to describe it. If all you're saying is it can be useful to not use tsuba to reinforce a serious mindset, then I see no problem. What I disagree with is the idea that laziness is a necessary condition for all
accidents. Sometimes it's hard to parse through you laguage, which reflects an ideal strived for more than an absolute reality. When you describe your posts as relating to your standards of teaching it often seems easy to mistake them as admonishing others for not sharing your particular view.
I think I see where you're coming from better now. Thank you for the chance to discuss it.
Take care, Graham,
p.s. I think Keith's point is a very good one. The question isn't only about safety, it's also about pushing the edge of capability; when that is practiced with serious intent, even with safety in mind, accidents are easier to come about. When approached mindfully, this can still be done in a pretty safe way. I think it's very important for people looking more toward self-defense to practice more like this (i.e. the degree to which the individual wants to focus on this aspect should
naturally reflect how vigorous they and their partners are going to practice; how much they are going to "squeeze" into that edge between chaos and order).