Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Budo Training

Below are excerpts from a very good article on Budo training. To read the whole article click on the title of this post.

Noticing requires no time and no thought. It is immediate.

The problem is that the clouded mind fails to notice that it has noticed and this is why so many warriors seek ways to the purification of the body-mind instrument, often referred to as enlightenment.

Training is not a pseudo-intellectual process, but a living, kinesthetic and complete process. This can be uncomfortable for beginners or the complacent. To progress, this pain has to be met. Frontally and full on.

The greatest secret is action. The next is noticing action. And whilst watching someone else work can be fascinating, the only way to walk in the shoes of the worker and attain the skill, is to do so. Do the work. Not once or twice but thousands upon thousands of time until the errors cannot be perceived by others but you know that there is still work to be done.

Instant gratification is a toxic and false belief. There are no short-cuts. Mystical mumbo-jumbo is fun in the movies for kids, but in the real universe everything has a price.

Mastery of true skill requires work. Lots of it and there is no way around this. Nothing changes without attrition. Evolution fine tunes through reduction by paring away the superfluous excrescences which have no value.

In other words to notice truly, you first have to approximate what you are noticing, become it through fire in the belly, intense desire backed up by real effort until every effort becomes ordinary and even effortless, because you are no longer wasting an atom of energy fighting yourself. Such would constitute the physical, mental and psychological purification: Misogi, required to directly apprehend the moment at each instant, with all its potentials, variables, nuances and possibilities, which then change in the next instant, without the mind dragging.

* Mitori-geiko, a noun, translates as: Learning and progressing by watching the keiko of others, and evaluating the strong and weak points of their example. Receiving with the eyes the style and technique of an advanced practitioner usually Budo but applies to everything that can ascend skill levels.

Whatever the Budo or skill, it is wise to sit quietly on the side just watching the training.

Basically there are three parts to practice or geiko.

1/ Mitori geiko - receiving with the eyes the style and technique of an advanced practitioner.

2/ Kufu geiko - learning and keeping in mind the details of the technique through contemplation and mental visualization.


3/ Kazu geiko - repetition through which the technique as personified in one’s own art.

All three are essential to all training. Scientific research confirms that watching an activity in which you are trained, activates the neuro-muscular pathways involved and reinforces functional skill.

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