View Single Post
Old 01-25-2011, 02:47 PM   #86
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: The Essence of Training

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I said nothing about "interest or self-satisfaction"; I never thought they were in it for the fun of it. The point was that they didn't produce any essential necessities. In economic terms, they were overhead. If you don't like the phrase "leisure class", choose another.
What about "life-on-the line" class? They had a grueling life, standing always ready to plunge toward death or even to plunge a knife into their own stomachs....

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Well, not exactly. Say rather that in many circumstances, that was a necessary but not sufficient condition to prevent depredation of the work that was done by others. You still have the problem of where the surpluses come from, and they come from numbers.
Hardly matters, really. Farmers produce food, samurai produce a safe environment in which to do that. They're not non-productive. Just "differently-productive".

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Let's return to the subject under discussion, about the essence of training and so on. If you're talking about the origins of the koryu, you're talking about martial arts that were developed by a professional military class made up of men (primarily) who had the leisure to train all day, every day. Again, if the word "leisure" offends you, by all means choose another one (but it in no way suggests that they weren't working hard, so ya know...don't project).
So why use the term leisure? It certainlydoesn't apply. What they did was work like animals, just like everyone else in Japan with the added burden of constant vigilance even in their "down" time.

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
How many farmers had to work all day in the fields to support one bushi?
What does it matter? The farmers couldn't have lived without them.

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
That's the point. Skip feudal Japan if you prefer and look at feudal Europe: how many peasants did it take to support one knight? The point is that dedicated training of that sort has never been an option for any but a few. Why would we today expect things to be different?
It's true that a wealthy man can travel and spend a ton of time training. But what in life is different? The wealthy have more opportunity for everything.

But I have found that people prioritize for what they really want. Be it gambling, boat-building, marathon-running or dressing in furry costumes and going to conventions.

I once had a wealthy teacher who could travel freely around the world and never needed to sweat about his mortgage or his children's provision or anything else. He insisted to us that "Budo must be your first priority."

I don't really believe that. Even if it could be my first priority (because I had unlimited resources and didn't need to work), I don't think it would be. I don't believe it should be the first priority for anyone except as it serves and supports his or her family's good. It happens that it does that to a great degree, but in this teacher's case, he was a rich fellow who enjoyed doing judo, aikido, karate and sword, so he made it his first priority. But I doubt it would remain so if his finances were seriously shaken. He would change priorities pretty quickly. A professional soldier does not have such leisure.

Best to you.


"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
  Reply With Quote