The "Fine Points" Make All The Difference!

August 2004

Volume 7 Issue 8

Aibudo Kanji

fluid movement, with maximum control and finish at the same time.  If you find that within your movement, there are "thuds" or "bumps", you are losing effectiveness in controlling your opponent.  Everywhere there is a bump or thud, you have to convert that point to a "whish" or "swish", which reduces the effort, while at the same time increasing control.  You'll know that you approaching this level of effectiveness when you are able to fight or compete with one hand behind your back.  Alright, now how to you acquire this true effectiveness?  It won't be found in a book, CD or video tape.  It has to be "learned", one-on-one with your instructor, who is able to accomplish it themselves.  They are the only ones who are able to present it to you as they "feel" and "understand" it.  Feeling and understanding can not be found in print or visual "appearance".  "Planned" movement outside the void also reduces effectiveness.  Once you have removed the "thuds" and "bumps", the last step is interjecting what you have trained into the void.  As you know, the only way to do this, is by repetition.  A lot of it.  There is nothing more that can be said of the void as it only comes with proper movement through time.  Now back to the "thuds" and "bumps".  Generally, correcting these only requires the shifting or repositioning of only an inch or two along with the proper mindset.  You should now know that realizing the "end of the trip" is more important than the "stops" or "side-steps" along the way.  They not only increase the time to reach your objective, but require effort that's not necessary.  You just as well be sweating in a cool breeze or shivering in a 90 degree shade!

The Fine Points

     The "fine points" are that which only your instructor or a seasoned professional are able to explain and cause you to feel.  That is what we are currently working on within the Aibudo system.  Without the "fine points" all you have is "course" and with "course" your wear and tear, is much more obvious.  This wear and tear is the result of ineffectiveness.  You can measure your effectiveness, somewhat, by the number or size of the bruises you acquire in a full blown challenge.  Lack of "wind" is another self-test.  Being a marathoner or fitness guru, will not develop the "wind" that is necessary in the arts.  It only comes by the way of  maximum efficiency with minimum effort as they say. Of course, "false effectiveness" can appear as "true effectiveness", if you are working with ineffective opponents or training partners.  If you are not challenged or "force feeding" your challenges, you will learn to believe that you are effective, when you are truly not.  The time will come when "life" will "punch you right in the nose", when all along you thought you were something you're not.

Approaching "Master"

     In our system, there are 10 grades of blackbelt.  The last grade before being considered a "master" in our system is 4th Dan.  We just had an individual reach this grade and they are just beginning to realize what the next step is.  True learning is about to take place.  This new learning will now become a serious part of the rest of their life.  The only alternative to this is failure of themselves and life.

Picture of Shihan

Steps Of Learning

     When it comes to learning something new, particularly within the arts, we have to do it in steps.  First off, you are shown the technique or movement in it's "finished stage", or in other words as how it is to look and function when you have it right.  We'll possibly do this a couple of times, then we start the "steps" of you learning it.  The first "step" is, both of value and detriment all at the same time.  The "value" is the breaking down what you saw take place, step by step.  The "detriment" is that, this learning of step by step, injects into your brain, "step by step", which is not how the movement is to be executed.  What you initially learn as "step by step", then has to be unlearned and relearned as "fluid" movement.  The period of time that you are learning the "steps" of the movement shouldn't be too long, or the relearning in "fluid" movement is much more difficult to achieve.  It's even possible for the steps never to reach fluidity.  If that becomes the case, you never are able to acquire this movement as an effective tool in your "tool box".

     The next major step in the learning chain, is now converting the "fluid", but somewhat ineffective movement, into something that works.  You say, what do you mean ineffective.  I have it as fluid as the next person, so shouldn't it be effective?  Fluid without maximum effectiveness and with minimum effort, is only about 30% in value.  Do you only want to learn an offensive or defensive movement that is only effective 30% of the time?  Of course not!  So, what's the secret of near 100% effectiveness?  It's learning to inject into the near