Monday, April 22, 2013

Stroke to technique relation

 As I have mentioned previously, Shodo has numerous relationships to the practice of “Te”. The first example I usually “point out” is the stroke for “Ichi” (“one”). The stroke begins with the “mother dot” (set at it's usual 45° angle) moves to the right in a slight arc, ending slightly higher than it started, and finishes with an “ending” dot (again, at the 45°angle).
 This motion is performed just like a “milking” punch motion is done in Taika Oyata's version of “Te”. The motion begins with the hand positioned at an approx. 45° angle (in front of the hip, to the front side of the torso). The hand moves forward with a slight rise, until it makes “contact”, at that point the “fist” makes a slight “milking” action, akin to the wrist motion made when using the bokken (wooden sword).
 In Taika's book, “Te No Michi”, Taika makes reference to a technique (which he was told, by one of his instructors to “figure out”). Taika states that he was able to determine the correct technique execution by/from the “kanji” (the “written” name of the technique). He unfortunately, doesn't name the technique (or the kanji Which, “I” really wish he would have,..sigh..). Also, now names are often “made up” (just for a reference) by various instructors because, Taika doesn't give/have any “official” names for Techniques.
 At present, I'm working on “Sosho”(fully cursive) brush writing (less than 20% of Japanese can even read it, much less write it! LOL) It can be a challenge just finding examples (of a particular kanji). I fortunately have a “decent” amount of example books I can refer to. I was practicing “Te” (hand) in Sosho, and as I did the “strokes” it reminded me of one of the combination motions we teach. During a class (later) I had my partner throw a “face” punch, and executed the motions I had been practicing (with a brush) and it “worked” (it was already very close to “how” we do the motion anyhow). Although it was “interesting”, was it a “correct” technique? I don't really know. It worked, so I would have to say “yes”, but can it be replicated with any other “Kanji” (shrug?).   It may have been simple coincidence. But I do think it may be something (if nothing else, than for personal amusement) to explore.
 Anyone, can “relate” what-ever they do (carpentry, football, golf, painting) to Martial Arts practice. This (particular) “art” or “way” (shodo) has plenty of Martial Ways” (Iaido, Kendo, Shodo “obviously”) that use it as a “supplemental” art, to aid in the various individual “ways”. It teaches the breathing method that is prevalent in all of them. It teaches the “concept” of being “fluid” and relaxed (during execution). It teaches the Idea of “using the body” for motion (from the “hara” or “center”). It develops concentration and of course the concept of “doing something correct the first time” (as it's your only opportunity). For myself, it also offers “me” an escape from all the “hassles/frustrations” in my life. If for some reason, I'm not able to “empty my cup” LOL, before I begin to practice, it definitely shows (in my “failed” or “poor” calligraphy attempts).
 (As an interesting note, “Handwriting analysis” actually began in the “far east”, with brush writing. When one brushes kanji, the “mood” of the writer is VERY apparent. Which is why Copying any of the writings of the “masters”, be it of calligraphy, martial arts, etc. is so popular. If one can reproduce the style of the “master” [of what-ever] then the individual can possibly capture the “spirit/mood” of those masters or at least, so the thought goes).

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