Thread: RE: Elegance
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:11 AM   #17
aikishihan
Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
Location: Los Angeles, California
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 367
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Re: Elegance

From Wikipedia, “elegance” is considered a “synonym of beauty”, and a “standard of tastefulness”. It connotes “simplicity and consistency of design, focusing on the essential features of an object”. In Japanese, something elegant is called “yubina” or “johin na”.

As such, I have no quarrel with the application of the term “elegance” as used by Szczepan or Basia to the examples given. Again, with beauty being in the eyes of the beholder, we perhaps need to re examine what is being beheld, the actual features of that substance that speak to its true value, of utility and of application.

I too see and profoundly appreciate the beauty in all art forms, artificially created by man, and wondrously produced by Nature. I too can appreciate how amazingly efficient such simplicity of design can enhance the utility and function of such objects. Yet, I cannot forget that the substance of such objects are, beyond doubt, separate and independent from any description of its esthetic value or notions of elegance. It is not necessary to muse about the elegant craftsmanship of the katana maker, to appreciate fully the purpose and function of such a creation. One can wonder endlessly about the form of the SR-71 Blackbird, blissfully ignorant of the true nature and purpose of this awesome weapon of mass destruction. Lastly, what of the fantastic singing of the Humpback whales, delivering messages unknown over hundreds of miles of ocean, leaving us only the ability to call such songs “elegant” and mysterious.

No, I cannot knowingly fuse both form and function into one quivering mass of ecstasy, orgasmically enthralled by such an impossible union of opposites. We must respect the purpose and intent of the object we encounter independently from the pleasure we may derive from simply observing it from afar. The elegance we attribute to martial arts mastery must never mask the sad fact that good people still fight, for reasons forever suspect, or that they will continue to do so. It can only be hoped that our championing of Aikido can act as a counter balance to most of it, giving respite and peace whenever and wherever it is successful.

And Szczepan, merely knowing "how to use various tools" does not ensure that the work produced will be automatically appreciated, appropriate or elegant.Being honorable, respectful and kind works best.
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