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A Different Perspective

Many people try to learn kata or techniques by memorizing them. Then they combine that with body strength and speed and believe they have what they need. Unfortunately stength and speed are fleeting and memorized kata are not the art. The art is hidden in perception.

The kata are learning tools that transmit the understanding of our art. They are not the art. To aquire that understaning you must put yourself through a process of experience and perception.

The process I ask my students to follow is to understand the goal of a kata, stay in kamae, train and experience the kata. Then I ask them to tell me the results of the the training. Most tell me what they do, how they feel, what they think. Their perspective is completely about them.

If you want to get this art then you have to do the work and that work is changing your perspective. There is no drill, set of movements, or words that can give it to you. You have to experience the training become aware of the relationship of the participants and how they interact in conflict. Then and only then will your mind begin to give you access to the taijutsu.

There are two sides to training. Skills, that need to be learned in their proper form, and then practiced for years before trying to teach them to someone else. However those skills are just the tools of taijutsu, they are not the art but a way to create the art.

The other side of training is by looking into the kata of the art to discover their lessons. The art is about perception. You must learn to see beyond yourself, to see the other person in the conflict, then beyond the two of you to the one event, then see the one event as many moments in time, then have all of it go away and just know what to do.

This perception is only built through experiences and the first step to that is being able to train for a goal and be able to then describe the cause and effect results of that training.

This is what was asked of me and continues to be asked of me by my teacher. This is what I have asked from my personal students. This is what is asked from any student who wants to get this art. The search for a different perspective.

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