13 November, 2011

Meaning of Your Art

Another post - I want to make up for my own laziness.  It doesn't hurt that I am feeling unwell today and I have some time at home to spend on my indulgences.  I find that in my conversations and correspondence with others, and through reading blogs and listening to podcasts, I am always thinking and I hope this will let me improve my practice.

I cannot say this with enough emphasis or sincerity.  Mr. Wayne Muromoto's blog is simply awesome.  The depth that he has makes me feel like I am in the ocean.  It is humbling to be reminded how far there is to go and how much there is to understand.

Anways, for the post in question: The Meaning of the Meaning

It raised a great question for my own art - what is the meaning of Goju Ryu Karatedo.  This is a question that I need to think about a great deal.  My first reaction is the obvious - it is a synthesis of hard and soft.  Well thank you Professor Brain, that was insightful.

But seriously, I have been trying to think of the kata and the lessons embodied in those I know.  There is a theme of advancing into an opponent, inside their guard, striking to allow for grappling, then a  takedown and follow up strike.  This strikes me as too generic and too obvious, and I know there is more to this.  I know I am far from the answer as I feel far from the technical top of our system.  I suppose once I get started on suparinpei I will have a better idea, but looking at the rest of the kata I will strive to find the patterns and mental approach inherent in them.

I also wonder, since karate is (in my mind) a synthesis of crane and monk fist, how is a harmonious mental approach created from those (at least) two different sources.  And then with the Okinawazation of those techniques and forms, and then Japanification, and then (arguably) the Canadianization, what is the resulting school?  I have read (and written about) the change that an art goes through from teachers and environments - so what does the art I practice have?  Perhaps this is a personal question that cannot be answered for an entire style?  In reference to the aikido example given by Mr. Muromoto, everyone does aikido a little differently - perhaps they each have their own riai?

Food for thought, once again, from those with greater experience.

As a side note, I again love this aspect of the arts - being able to learn from the stories and instruction given to you.  It forces you to think and keeps your mental engine pumping.  How lucky we are to be able to practice these skills we love!

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