"A picture is worth a thousand words!" ?

Picture of Shihan
Picture of Shihan

January 2002

Volume 4 Issue 1

Aibudo Kanji


The ten concepts acquired through dedicated participation within the

martial arts.

The Value of Time

The Success of Perseverance

The Dignity of Simplicity

The Worth of Character

The Power of Kindness

The Influence of Example

The Obligation of Duty

The Wisdom of Economy

The Virtue of Practice

Improvement of Talent


     Sensei Combs this week, through an e-mail attributed a good bit of his college success through number 2 above, "the success of perseverance".  He mentioned some other factors, but I believe that he placed number 2 above the others.  John stated that he believes that without the arts, his dedication probably wouldn't be what it is.

Flexibility development

     There can be a good bit of controversy over the proper way to develop flexibility.  When advancing through my first experience of the martial arts, I ended up with several stretching injuries.  I didn't question the injuries, I just figured that, "that's just the way it is in the martial arts".  Well, in the way we were taught in those years, that's exactly the way it was.  Static floor and wall stretches were the name of the game.  Dynamic flexibility wasn't even mentioned.  The only thing that we were told was, that you had to warm up good before you begin to stretch.  Well, we did just that, but what I realize now is, that you didn't stay warmed up very long, as you cool down quickly as you sit down to "stretch".  We wondered, wow!, how many injuries would we have if we hadn't warmed up?

Probably, in those days, if we hadn't been performing those static stretches and worked dynamically as we do today, there wouldn't have been many, if any, injuries at all.  The body gets used to the way it trains and if warming up has to be acquired before movement is to be initiated, then that's what it will expect.  We now know that there are 5 levels, or means, of flexibility development.  The first is, of course the old reliable set down or stand up and static stretch, without movement and then the extreme of which we won't even mention.  The Aibudo practitioners follow and train as number 3, whereas the injuries are nearly non-existent and the plastic is very near the elastic.  In other words, the first thing out of bed in the morning flexibility is very near your end of the day, or warmed up motion.  For anyone who is unknowledgeable of number 3, it basically follows the scenario of the foreman on the job.  Even though they don't seem to work at the job as hard as the workers under them, they can generally still out work and out-lift anyone else in the department.  Number 3 flexibility development is acquired through occupation movement alone.  Your body adapts to the demands of the job.  The foreman doesn't have to sit down and stretch before he starts the job and neither do you.  Thinks about it!

The Value of Pictures

     Through the last few Home Dojo classes, you have witnessed the value of pictures.  Pictures can be a very valuable tool in learning, but where do pictures fall in the learning process chain.  If we place them first, then where do you place text and/or one-on-one?  If you place text first, then would a book with text and pictures suffice?  If you place one-on-one first, then where do text and pictures "come in to play"?  What is the value of each one of these entity's?  Can anyone of them be left out?  You no doubt have your own opinion about the above, but I believe that you will have to agree, that one-on-one is the most important in the learning process chain.  This is where your technique, or lack there of, is diagnosed, repaired, adjusted and adjusted again, over and over.  Text and/or pictures would never be able to do this as the experienced mind of the instructor is paramount here.  Text describing the techniques, or whatever, is the bible by which you are able to refer back to,

when the procedure or pattern is temporarily forgotten.  You actually never totally forgot the series of movements, they just kind of "grayed out" over time, and the text jogs you back.  But, when you are alone, the pictures of proper posture or look are invaluable.  This week the Aibudo practitioners witnessed first hand, the value of pictures.  You can be told, over and over, that your posture is either good or bad, but it doesn't really register, until you see an actual picture of what you just did.  Now, when the instructor on another practitioner says-- Robert, you're "too tall" or you need to get your hips back--, you are better able to relate because of the pictures you witnessed.

The "Masters" mentality

     As I have mentioned many times before in class, when just beginning in the arts, I had no idea of how the masters were able to move so fast with the proper moves needed for the time.  The only reason that I am bringing this up again in print is too reinforce the point that consistent participation and time alone, builds the Master martial artist.  Mind development is only going to mature through time.  Muscle memory is only going to mature through time.  When the body has the capabilities of specific movement without effort and the mind develops the ability to control that movement without conscious thought, only then will you be a Master of the specific art of which you are a participant.  You will not be a Master of other arts of which you haven't trained and you will not be a Master, because you wear a Masters belt.  To put this in another perspective, if you work for a company for many years and have acquired the title of vice-president and you walk into another business, are you still a vice-president there.  No, you are nothing with respect to that company.  You don't even hold the title of janitor.  Are you able to sit down at a vice-presidents desk and just start to work as you would do in your own business.  No!  The methods or techniques are different as well are the employees.  You would only be able to automatically function in this company if you had been there the required number of years.  So, when you "square off" with a master, and they appear to do everything automatically, well accept the fact that, that is exactly what is occurring and you will not be able to do anything about it.


perseverance and faith, a martial artist make!

Dedication at work!

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