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When do we not need it?

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When do we not need it?

Postby Robb1950 » Mon May 09, 2011 7:54 am

I recently was watching a "new kata" that had been posted on a karate wedsite. As I watched the master powerfully perform his moves, I also noticed he was no longer using a crescent step move forward. For those who have never practiced karate or kung fu, a crescent step is pretty much a basic way of moving in the vast majority of stand up martial arts.

Intrigued by the way the master was stepping in the new kata, I emailed a very senior person in my style who in reply dismissed the notion that one must be tied to something so basic as a crescent step in his or her movement. While I suspect there are many things we learn as beginners in all martial arts that at some point are no longer necessary to our practice, the question I am left with though, is how do we know.

One of the things I enjoy most about training is aikido in the continual reference to basics. Stance, angle and positioning are continually emphasized. But, is there a point in aikido, or martial arts in general, when in our training (not in mutual combat when whatever it takes to survive matters) we let go of basics?
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Re: Basics, when do we not need it?

Postby Francis Takahashi » Tue May 31, 2011 10:08 am

The word "kihon" is a fundamental concept that defies consensus in translation and application. What is "basic" to one system or to an individual may be radically different to another's perspective. Yet, its true nature never changes, and it remains incumbent on the individual to pay the price of life long due diligence to recognize, and accept it for himself.

It is said by some that once one commits to a particular idea, or point in space and time, one has traded freedom for something that is fixed and specific. The principle of "ki no nagare" holds true, not to formlessness, but of being in oneness of form while creating anew with each movement taken.

Despite all, the "basics" will always rule. A basic tenet of real estate is that "beneath all is the land.".One cannot hope to build anything permanent on shifting ground.

In any human endeavor, especially the martial arts, the foundational validation is always the basics. That is why it takes no less than a lifetime of committed study, to recognize, incorporate and to grow within its all encompassing embrace, and its compassionate protection.
Francis Takahashi
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