March 19, 2010

A Closer Look at the Budo Charter Pt. II - Training


ARTICLE 2: KEIKO

When practicing daily, one must constantly follow decorum, adhere to the fundamentals, and resist the temptation to pursue mere technical skill rather than the unity of mind and technique.

This is quite the interesting subject when regarding training. The first thing that jumps out to me is the mention of practicing daily. Some may say, "Wow, I am happy if I can get to the academy three times a week." And that is a valid issue in tod

ay's modern society. But keep in mind that practice is not just in the dojo, it is part of everyday life. Conflict resolution / prioritization of actions / keeping mentally and emotionally calm / ensuring we take care of our bodies properly etc. are all aspects of martial training that must be practiced at all waking hours of our life. To simply train only when at the school severely limits your growth and potential to become a martial artist.


"Decorum" is relative to culture. Certain etiquette and formalities can be dramatically diverse depending on which culture we are dealing with. This charter was obviously enacted by the Japane

se, therefore certain Japanese customs such as asking the permission of the instructor to speak prior to asking a question is common in traditional dojo's. Whereas most western instructors do not require such decorum. Again these vary school to school, and teacher to teacher.

Students must exercise caution in their expectations when it comes to teachers and fellow training partners. For instance I have witnessed many a broken heart because teachers will have a very strict code of conduct that they enforce diligently, for example some schools strictly forbid the use of alcohol or drugs by its students. The instructor cannot expect to hold students to higher standards than themselves. Many students look to the teacher as something just short of a demigod, and then they find out he drinks / smokes weed / had an affair / or any number of issues we may find unsavory in everyday life. Students and teachers alike need to always keep in mind that we are all human. Teachers are no better / worse than the students. Neither should abuse their position, rank, or authority for personal gain or benefit. Of course you must take this with a grain of salt since I am basically married to one of my students!;)

"Adhere to the fundamentals...." true dat! As my BJJ c

oach Brian states: "They are called the basics only because they have been proven to work." Fundamental underlying principles are what makes the art, an art. Even the fanciest moves out there are set up by the fundamental moves, or the threat of a fundamental move leaves an opening for the advanced fancy move.


This next chunk regarding uniting the mind, body, and spirit along with not pursuing technical skill is a rather in depth topic. Certainly I agree that one wants to make all the movements second nature using all our capacities to execute the technique. But one also must strive for technical proficiency! After all it is a martial art we are studying so we cannot ignore the fundamental difference between martial arts and basket weaving! Many whom are solely interested in fighting, or competing, often do not last at traditional academies, or they simply bounce around from

school to school never really learning about loyalty, dedication, eating bitter, or discipline for that matter.

Personally I believe one needs a bala

nce between attaining technical skill and working on unity of body, mind, and spirit. Ultimately they go hand in hand, but I understand why the charter makes a clear distinction. In today's Youtube culture it seems par for the course for people to be in a hurry and to learn / teach the next neat move. Kid Peligro dedicated a rant about this very subject.

Take your time and enjoy the journey. In the end you will discover their is no end.

Train Hard, Train Smart!

JAB

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