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Old 11-07-2013, 12:28 PM   #35
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 800
Re: YouTube: Christian Tissier at 2013 World Combat Games

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
But my point is that what one sees as perfect almost always has flaws somewhere. I can guarantee you that a smith like Ono probably looks at his sword and grouses "next time I'll do that differently". Same with the polisher telling himself next time he'll shift that one transition a half mm forward next time with a 1% change in the angle. It's really about how closely you look.
With respect to my painting, although I'm strictly a hobbyist, I always walk away from a finished work noticing the imperfections and where the changing of a brush stroke here or there would have yielded, to my eye at least, a more polished result. Heaven forbid I ever crank out the perfect piece; for then I shall have to spend the rest of my life trying to duplicate the feat.

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
... my Aikido ... practice is really much like polishing in my mind. Each day working to refine, each day working to make things just a little more crisp. Each day trying to find that essence and allowing it to be seen.
Pretty much sums up why I just keep coming back for more and more.

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
WRT guys like Tissier and his style of demonstration I'm reminded that there are multiple styles of polishing. An older style (sashikomi) was more subdued, more subtle, and was geared towards letting the blade show what it was without as much "adjustment" by the polisher. The more modern style, kesho, is really a product of modern times, a product of having the luxury of taking as long as possible but also trying to present the same basic things, but to make things stand out more, to balance things, to allow an educated person to study the blade in the very same way but with the togishi (polisher) in essence saying "here, look at this and look at how wonderful that is -- and don't miss this activity over here." People will argue without resolution about which is "better" or more appropriate. The funny thing for me is that if I don't notice the polish but can see in to the blade, I really don't care how the polisher approached it. Two means to building a "lens" to view in to the work of the smith. To "see" the very soul of the steel. Two ways, two purposes in a manner of speaking, both perfectly legit.

More people here would benefit greatly if they could take that lesson to heart. Honestly I think Mary M's post touches on it as well. See past the polish because the polish is there *only* to allow you to "look in". Demonstrations are the same in my mind. Different means of showing something about how they train and what they do. But in the case of swords the "best" polish is the one you don't notice because you're seeing in to the blade. And the polish can be redone. The blade, however, remains the same, and is that mystery underneath that you will hopefully never fully appreciate. But with each look maybe you get something more you weren't able (or ready) to see before.


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