Thread: Shuhari
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:27 PM   #1
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697

O'Sensei learned well and once he had what he wanted he moved on. He practiced Shuhari.

Many westerners too practice shuhari but may call it something else. So what is it?

It is intrinsic to 'stealing a tachnique' yet it doesn't have anything to do with taking without permission.

Thus it also has nothing to do with skulduggery or keeping things from. It is merely a way of study.

The only true way of study in my opinion for all else called study to me is merely copying or gathering data like a machine, a robot.

The problem for those who know this and do it is that they then know if others want to truly understand then they must do the same. Unfortunately those in this position run into the usual complaints by those who think study is something else. Complaints of needing a better model, complaints of not being taught properly, complaints of not understanding. The list goes on.

So what is this way of study?

It's basically the most natural thing that most tend to forget or have 'taught' out of them by modern education. A baby studies this way. A toddler does too and boy do they learn. They not only learn but can understand and do too. No books, no lectures, no school classes.

Another funny thing about shuhari is that it was considered that only the intellectually smart could do it. Wow! So there you are, babies are inherently intellectually smart so what happened?

Now stealing from this point of view is an intellectual activity. Knowing how those who looked at these words as is common I bet Ueshiba had a big smile on his face when he mentioned anything about stealing techniques knowing how the majority would take what he meant.

Very basically yet clearly Shuhari is the observing, perceiving and recognising the principles BEHIND
what is successful rather than just copying or gathering data about.

So then you get to understand the principles so you can take them away and apply them to what you are doing or even use them in new innovative ways. That is the stealing referred to.

Thus the principles behind the techniques must be observed and practiced in order to understand.

Now don't this sound a little familiar? This way of teaching and studying is very much about observation and perception and very much about through doing as practice. Hands on!!!

Yet those who put down O'Senseis teaching and thus shuhari now shout about hands on. It's one of the best jokes.

Now it doesn't always have to be hands on but it does have to be observation of principles in action, principles behind the physical presentation.

T.S. Elliot understood shuhari. He wrote 'Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal.

Picasso understood shuhari. He said 'Good artists copy, great artists steal.'

All great innovators in this computer technology world study the principles of what others are doing and then get busy being innovative.

So personally I wish more had stolen techniques instead of complaining about they didn't understand what O'Sensei was saying. In fact you will find the ones that progressed furthest continually went back to principles behind what they were doing.

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