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Old 10-22-2013, 10:32 AM   #23
OwlMatt's Avatar
Dojo: Milwaukee Aikikai
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 401
Re: Can you truly understand budo without training in Japan?

Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Adding to the other posts, children learn pretty much everything in a formal setting by Kata. When I was teaching English, a lot of kids would mimic not just my pronunciation, but also my gestures and body language in order to get it. Also, when my daughter was in kindergarten in Japan, the teachers there would teach the kids basic skills, like doing up shirt buttons and folding clothes by showing them in a step by step manner the "set" way to do it. The kids would then repeat the "set" way until they could do it "properly" (i.e. the "set way). When I was training with adults and kids in budo, everyone would constantly (some would say obsessively) mimic the instructor, even while the instructor was verbally explaining something. Basically, they watch, copy and learn, and in general, can pick up a lot of detail. It's a great skill to have, and I suppose most aikido and budo practicioners do this to some extent, but the level generally done in Japan is quite hard to recreate in "the West" We just have a different approach to learning. BTW, this has positives and negatives, but it is definitely a Japanese cultural hallmark.
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
I mean recreating the instructor's movement down to the minutest detail, because everything the instructor does is packed with layers of meaning and information.
This is a really interesting take on things. I had never considered the possibility that there were such drastically different approaches to learning from kata.

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