Thread: The Caretaker...
01-29-2006, 17:26 #1
I have a rare and valued treasure. It is something most have never seen and it cannot be bought for any amount of money.
What I have is correct instruction and developed skill in the martial arts.
But it is not mine to keep and it is not for sale. In fact it cannot be attained for any price except for that that are physical and mental costs.
What I have is correctly an "obligation" (giri in Japanese) that I accepted from the moment I received correct instruction and began to develop actual skill.
I became a "caretaker."
I was entrusted with a legacy of information and methods that date back centuries. This was made possible only by all the previous "caretakers" some of who are no longer even known.
The information provided to me is not mine to modify or add to. I may offer opinion or insight into those methods but they are not mine to change. To do so would be to destroy them forever. Once anything is changed or ommited it will be gone forever. The only reason "I" was fortunate enough to receive correct instruction is because all who came before me recognized their duties and obligations as "caretakers."
And that obligation is to provide to the next generation who you have received as it was provided to you.
Now cerainly each "caretaker" is free to explore and adapt that knowledge to his own existence in a manner that is most beneficial to that individual but the obligation to provide to the next generation what you have been given is paramount.
It is only in this way that in another 1,000 years people will have the same benefits that you were able to attain and will have been provided the same information you were given. And while they may never know your name, you will have made that possible.
Sadly, some of those in the past, ignored their obligation to provide what they were given to the next generation and those methods are forever lost. This is sad when one considers valuable methods may have existed for centuries and were lost due to the selfishness of a single individual. Almost as bad are those who feel "free" to change or modify what they were given. Again, the original knowledge is lost forever.
Now there is certainly NOTHING wrong with creating something "new" and seeing if it is relevant enough to survive the "ages" and be respected and appreciated enough to gain it's own "caretakers." And there is nothing wrong with adding your own views, insights and discoveries with respect to what has been given to you. In fact those may prove to be valuable "foot notes" that may well be passed on with the knowledge that you were fortunate enough to receive.
But in the end, if you truly value what YOU have been given, then you must understand why it is important to accept your repsonsibility as a "caretaker."
And it is important that you find suitable "caretakers" from the next generation and ensure that they are given the same gift that was provided to you. If what you have to offer is of true value and they are suitable candidates, they will accept their obligation as you have.
If in 500 years I am simply a forgetten link in a legacy that allows people to enjoy the same benefits of the same instruction that I was fortunate enough to have received, then I will have fullfilled my obligation.
01-29-2006, 17:35 #2
Are you on some sort of Crusade or something lately?For now, more than ever before, being sincere and dedicated is not enough. We must also be right. - Walter Kroll. 1971
01-29-2006, 17:38 #3
Originally Posted by jwinch2
01-31-2006, 22:51 #4
It has always bothered me that so much in technique, application of kata/forms has been lost. The most highly skilled individual I have seen in the martial arts is Taika Oyata. To me, his level of technique is "magical". I see him as possibly the last true master in the "premodern" martial arts. (to me premodern is my way of saying non sportive) But one day he too will pass away. His knowledge will pass with him. I have never personally trained under him. But I've attended seminar and I study tape of him and his technique. When I show my students a technique, I try to keep it as close as I can to what I understand of his performance of the technique. I don't wish to see more knowledge lost.