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Old 03-04-2013, 09:55 AM   #12
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
Location: NY
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 452
Re: Tohei, Solo Practice, and Internal Training

Mert, these are some great points.

I've been cooking for a long time. Pretty seriously. Here recently I wanted to make rice pudding, and realized I didn't know how. I can usually throw things together, and they come out great. This was a different story. I started with some eggs, milk, rice, sugar, vanilla...came out like crap.

My model for rice pudding was what I experienced in NYC at Jewish Delis.

I did something I don't often do, and looked up some recipes. People had all sorts of things... even the kitchen sink. I did run into one comment on a forum that basically said, "You've got to understand the process, and allow the rice and milk to really hang out and get to know each other - and become something else."

So, I simplified things. Just low heat, rice and milk. Then after things were nice and thick, I added sugar. I nailed it on the third try. And what I "nailed" was the experience and the texture of eating rice pudding from a Jewish deli.

The point is, all I needed was the intention to match or exceed the texture I'd already experienced. And in this case that "model" that particularly impressed me was from eating rice pudding in a particular deli in '82.

The point being, to relate this to internal training, is that all these parts - muscles, tendons, fascia, etc. have not only nothing to do with anything, they serve as a huge distraction.

Power is intrinsic. We don't "get" power. It's already present. And it's not Japanese or Chinese or concealed in language or kanji or some historical "esoteric writings." Power is living. It's right here, right now. And it will clearly show itself on the surface. Even Nishio would say, "You already know this, I'm just reminding you."

I'm totally fine with a few different parts to learn to understand something... low, middle, high - height, width, depth - inside, outside - above, below. But past that, once we start dissecting, and getting lost in, not only moving static parts, but moving processes - it becomes an exercise in navel-gazing and tail chasing - and adding when we should be subtracting. We always have to come back to, and keep in mind, the whole and our original intention and purpose.

Have you ever noticed the difference between products that are designed by good designers, and products that are designed by programmers? There's a huge difference. Programmers get lost in the parts and what they can do. Designers approach something from the end-users experience. Good designs are always powerful, simple, elegant.

If you look too deeply into the well - you fall in.
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