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by mrdunsky on 2014/2/6 5:17:38

Shu-Ha-Ri has been mentioned many times on these threads. At the same time it is often said that in our art you move in ways that are natural for you, thus the art becomes your own.

Without a doubt these are both true but what seems to be lost is the understanding that this takes time. You have to spend a lot of time learning to move yourself in ways that do not feel natural to you, doing things that when you currently do them are less than effective - and not fund or exciting to do. Only by spending many years in the Shu can you begin to see the Ha. There are precious few who are in the Ri.

I am firmly learning in the Shu. It is a natural consequence of being a westerner that I play far to much thinking it is exploring the Ha. How much am I really learning if I have not truely learned the Shu?!

We watch Hatsumi moving freely in the Ri and when we train in Japan we try to capture some of the movement to get an idea of what we thought we saw. Soke States he teaches to the 10th dans but so many times it seems like he is showing things only to 1 or 2 people (in classes filled with 15th dans). The very act of trying to repeat his movement is self defeating as we are not him, not at his level and almost always miss his point. But with enough visits and enough watching him we can start to see pieces of the puzzle.

In the same way - practicing unnatural movements that "don't work for my body" over and over can sometimes make the movement become more natural and cause our Body to appear to change styles.

However, we cannot wait to get to the next stage, understand things immediately, have every movement "seem natural" to us and we seek the quick answer and easy fix. When it doesn't come quickly, people loose patience and look elsewhere. Thus we know many people who have "lots of Martial arts training" in many arts. Masters of none.

My whole point is to find a teacher with close connection to the source in Japan. Train Diligently and plan to be in the Shu for many years. When you find the urge for quicker answers look around but be sure to understand it will likely be a fruitless search if you are not ready.

Looking for answers from unknown idiots like me is 99.99% a waste of time. So often the .01% of true pearls gets lost in the noise.

To speak to the post...Yes all of your taijutsu can be use in all movements when it is appropriate and you have practiced the basics many years. I have heard the scrolls are written vaguely to allow more variety and are not intended to limit movement.

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