Learn, build, share, repeat.
by, 09-17-2011 at 11:42 (3537 Views)
Being a mat rat, a dojo doorstop, a martial arts monkey or a budo nerd takes a lot out of you. You spend most of your free time at the dojo, most of your holidays thinking about budo and doing it on your own, taking notes, re-writing those notes, then tearing the note page out as you realize your notes were wrong. Then re-writing it again, looking for that old note page because there was some good stuff in there and you tore it out and threw it away in a moment of frustration and haste. It's a process. The way you view something in the beginning seems to be blurry, which clears up over time, only to become blurry again, and so on. You build it up, you tear it down, you build it up again, then you...well, you do it again. Meanwhile you are dealing with life, the ups and down, the comes and goes...then you get into the dojo and all that fades away. It's transcendent, yet at the same time it plants you flat on the earth in your own skin. Sometimes you go and you are full of life and energy, other times you go and you feel like you are three steps from a shallow grave. It's a discipline, a way of doing things and a really tough way to spend your free time.
But you keep going. It's right about here that things get esoteric.
By keeping it up you see things from a different point of view. You cut away the tethers of supposition, put things in perspective, only to have it all fall out of place again.
This is warp and woof of the dojo: You learn, build, share and then repeat. It doesn't matter if the martial arts is set in stone or if itís eclectic. Staying in a safe padded box only behooves the serious practitioner. You need others in order to train, to go out and practice in a mutually beneficial way that allows you to grow and not to stagnate. Within the act of physical experimentation, you can evaluate and exchange to expose faults, reveal the "lies" you have been telling yourself about your technique and where you are truly thriving. This is the reason you must be a good training partner, and also the reason to grow good partners. It's important to have the ability to actually study- to learn, practice and correct all in a mutual breath free of unnecessary whirls that get in the way and tend to lead astray. There must be an agreement through training, one where it becomes understood that beyond egoism and hubris, you are working for each other. Word usually don't express that, nor should they be able to. It's just a place you arrive at, or better yet, go every time.
Sometimes you can break out of physical constraints which hold you back or at other times you find that what you are doing is best for you, just right. This comes through practice and working with others; a chance to understand what they are doing from all directions, what seems to work for you and what does not. You realize that people have different builds and some techniques need adjustment to work around them. Occasionally you find a principle that works equally well with everyone, only to discover people that it won't work with, which garners a very important vantage for re-evaluation. This is where it starts over again, you're a little wiser for the wear and you have the process of craft to thank for it.
Just my late night ramblings...I am probably going to look at this in the morning and wonder what I was thinking. I usually do.