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 ~

Monday, August 31, 2009

Learn, Diverge, Forget

There is a saying in Japanese martial arts, Shu Ha Ri. It has to do with the learning process. Below in an excerpt from an excellent article. Click here to read the whole article.

“Shu-ha-ri” literally means embracing the kata, diverging from the kata and discarding the kata. The pursuit of training in a classical Japanese endeavor almost always follows this educational process. This unique approach to learning has existed for centuries in Japan and has been instrumental in the survival of many older Japanese knowledge traditions. These include such diverse pursuits as martial arts, flower arranging, puppetry, theater, poetry, painting, sculpture and weaving. As successful as shu-ha-ri has been into the modern era, new approaches to teaching and learning are altering this traditional Japanese method of knowledge transmission. Whether traditional Japanese arts and endeavors are successfully passed to the next generation of practitioners is up to the sensei (teachers) of today and their wisdom in confronting the inherent strengths and pitfalls of shu-ha-ri. In this essay I will focus on shu-ha-ri and its unique application in the honorable martial discipline of Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryu jujutsu.


walt said...

I am entirely ignorant about the subject matter of the article, but appreciate the described approach. In the Asian arts, there's always the last stage of abandonment, or forgetting, i.e. liberation.

So much knowledge is embedded in these arts, but with eyes aimed ----> at the *prize*.

Nice photo, btw! Similar to many forest scenes in this neck of the woods.

Dan Hoffman said...

Argh! Rick... I don't subscribe to aikidojournal, so I can't read the whole article. Could you send it to me?

Rick Matz said...

Try here: