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hard vs soft naivety

Subject: hard vs soft naivety
by yaban on 2006/9/20 10:32:17

I see that on another thread this old arguement has raised it's puss filled head again.
It is pretty simple really, both are needed to learn some aspects of Budo. Both need to be done in a controlled way to be useful to learning. Knowing both allows you to be deceptive in your technique, hiding speed behind a slow movement, strength behind soft, flexibility in technique behind an apparent commitment, softness behind strength.

This is where kyojitsu comes in, using all things that are possible to defeat your opponent and doing so by the tactical and strategic deceptions needed to affect victory.

I think people need to take the time to think about what they are saying when expressing these ideas too as often when people say "hard training" it seems to me they are talking about "conditioning". Some conditioning for martial artists is a good idea, some people also like it as part of their training. Is it necessary? Well to lesser and greater extents depending on the person. If you want to fight like a shootfighter then yes, if you want to rip eyeballs out, then not so much.

In my time as a bouncer there were incidents where taichi practitioners took out several opponents and damn hard too. Also an SAS trooper going down to a judo student hehe. A lot more depends on the person and how they react to a real situation than what training they did beforehand. Some of the people advocating hard training are quite fat I notice and I would bet too slow to chase many down as their opponent ran for better weapons. Some of the "soft" devotees are also that by appearance too, but maybe that is more appropriate?

Learn it all, learn how to be fast, how to be slow, how to move a lot and to move a little, how to be strong and powerful, how to be soft and subtle, how to be obvious and how to be deceptive, how to be kind enough to be able to disarm your grandmother safely, and how to be nasty. It is called being complete martial artists and not a devotee of one type of training to the detriment of tactical choices.

Lastly I would like to recount something that happened at a Soke class in 1990. I was training with Kenji Mukai, who was shodan still at the time. As much as I liked him he had been a Roy student and so I often gave him a few wake-up calls in training. Soke nudged Nagato Sensei my way and I got this message "You know you have power, do you need to practice it so much? When you have subtlety aswell as power then no-one will be able to beat you."
Kind of obvious really.
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