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Old 02-22-2006, 08:11 PM   #8
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Re: Article: Apples and Oranges; State Specific Learning by Lynn Seiser

I understood Ignatius to be asking, "If it can't be 'either/or,' can it really be (in reality) 'both/and.'" In other words, for me, he's wondering if one can really (i.e. in reality) put off the pitfalls of compartmentalization by studying one art to POINT X (i.e. that point where one gets said enough to supposedly not be fuddled by a second art) and then going on to study another art to its own POINT X. Or, inversely, and short: Isn't studying one art to POINT X really just the pitfalls of compartmentalization?

However, I could be wrong concerning what Ignatius is asking.

Either way, I'm wondering if we are missing something when we compare arts to such concrete things as fruit. I mean, there is a reason why folks use apples and oranges in this analogy. It is because they are so different from each other in so many clear-cut ways. However, are martial arts really like this (even capoeira and aikido)? I tend not to think so, and the more I study, the more I tend to hold the position that martial arts are not at all like apples and oranges.

If anything, if one wants to stay with fruit, wouldn't they be more like different kinds of apples or different kinds of citrus fruits, etc. Somehow I think the analogy loses its emphasis if we opt to say something like, "Aikido is like a Fuji Apple and JJ is like a Gala Apple, and we shouldn't mix Gala Apples with Fuji Apples." Hearing that, I can imagine, somewhere, some Chef is going to say, "What? Of course you can mix them, using one to bring out the tartness in the other or using one to bring out the sweetness in the other or using one to balance against the other, etc." Or, some chemist is going to say, "Look, at another level, in the right hands, via the right means, one could never tell the difference between the two apples - there's nothing wrong with mixing them."

On the other hand, I think I see the problem that Lynn is trying to address: of not knowing anything well because of studying too thinly because of studying too much. Or, at least I think this is what is underneath his advice. If I got that right, I do agree with Lynn that the problem has to be solved by employing a training strategy of "either/or & both/and." It's just when I say that, I tend not to understand that as studying one art to POINT X before taking on another. When I think about "either/or & both/and," I imagine I tend to see things like Ignatius might.

Good points Lynn, good points Ignatius. Thanks.


Last edited by senshincenter : 02-22-2006 at 08:14 PM.

David M. Valadez
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