In all martial arts (I am sure this also parallels all areas of life), practitioners can visit many different classes, recognise the techniques and training and feel comfortable with the practice.
But, is this wrong? Should not art be taught at each class, which reflects the instructor’s individual knowledge, understanding, interpretation and feel for their art.
If an instructor is sincere in his quest for the art, each class should be different, individual and unique. Each should, when the basics have been absorbed, move constantly on, reminding and encouraging their students to create and develop their own art. Only in this way will any art (thing) grow and flourish.
If you practice in an environment which concentrates solely on techniques, gradings (belts) and status = ego, you may end up with many student black belts who are good technicians. But, being so self-absorbed and encased in the ‘system’, you will never move on to the level of an artist who strives to become the art, ‘being’, instead of just ‘doing’.
Technicians, no matter how good, just keep the ‘machine’ running, usually along a single road. Their single-minded focus on the workings (mechanics) of the machine keeps them from noticing that the windscreen has become dirty and the artistic brakes are being applied. Consequently, their vision is obscured and journey restricted and very little real progress is being made. They only see the road ahead and the many other roads are missed.
Open your mind, adjust/release the brakes, clean the windscreen and see beyond the machine.
See all roads, explore, get out and walk round. All roads weave in and around each other, it is easy to move back and forth bringing back new experience and knowledge with which to make your art. Don’t restrict yourself to travel just one road no matter how familiar and comfortable it is.
In fact don’t just restrict yourself to travel many roads, it’s two-dimensional. Spread your wings, be unconventional and fly, soar into the air, use every dimension life offers. Engage your very being in the spirit of whatever art you practice (especially the art of life) and assist and encourage others to fly even higher and further than you.
Don’t just ‘do it’. ‘Feel it’ then ‘be it’. Easy to say, very hard put into practice – but try!
To find out more about Sensei Peter Seth's club visit www.zanshinaikido.co.uk You can e-mail Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org