Will a system follow the age of it's leadership?

January 2003

Volume 5 Issue 1

Aibudo Kanji

Focus Revisited

     I hate to run this entity into the ground, but it's an item, that has so much importance, I feel it's necessary.  Without  visual or mental knowledge of where you are going to place yourself or your "weapons", will disrupt your physical and mental balance.  To move from one position or place without balance is suicidal.  With this focus, should also come proper breathing.  There is no way to breathe properly if you have "no focus"!  Before any movement takes place, you must look to see where you are going, if you are a kohai and you must have a mental awareness of where you are going if you are a sempai.  And, irregardless of kohai or sempai, you must be breathing out with each and every movement.  That will be the case, whether shifting back or moving forward.  If you are a kohai, you must "force" the actions of look and breathe, to build them into your void.  If you are a sempai and feel that you are "too good" to breathe, you will soon find yourself hurt and placed in the area of humility.  Without focus, combined with proper breathing, you will be slow, off target and unbalanced.  Self-confidence will never be developed without focus.  You will only feel good about your talents when you are rarely caught totally off guard.  Even in the beginnings of martial arts training, if you are looking in the direction of "harms way", your natural void will reduce the effects of what you are about to receive.  On the street, that could be the difference  between a slight cut or abrasion and the alternative.  Put focus on your priority list  with each movement in life or the arts.

One, Two, Three Revisited

     This another item that I believe "cannot" be overlooked.  Whether on your feet or on the ground, the three step action is necessary.  Let's use this ground example.  You are on top in a side mount and nothing positive is happening on your part.  You know from experience if you don't move and change the mental "attitude" of your opponent, the "tide" could turn.  So you do a 180 into a side mount on the other side.  What should have happened between the middle and end.  First off, you will "pass" what's in the way over the top.  That's number one.  Arriving at the other side, you will move to control your opponents action, whatever it happens to be at the time.  That's number two.  Following this transitioning control, is the "winning" technique.  That's number three.  It doesn't matter the movement, up or down.  You will "pass", control and "win".

Kumite in the beginning

     In the beginnings of my martial arts career, kumite was not what I looked forward to, but entered into it every chance that I could.  I would "square off" with the instructor or another student whenever there was a lull in the training.  It could even be before or after class.  It didn't matter, because I knew in my heart, that if I didn't "force" the kumite action, that I would always have a fear for it.  And you know what, I believe I was right.  The more I ":squared off", the better I got, and the less fear or apprehension that I had.  It took about a year, but I finally reached a point, where the only thing I felt was "awareness".

     What are your thoughts about aging leadership?  I really don't expect an answer to that question, because of respect, but it's a viable question never-the-less.  Aging leadership, without youthful common sense, can spell the doom for any organization, especially the martial arts.  Leadership can also be too young.  Youth without the knowledge of maturity, will give a martial arts system a false security built only on speed, power and the bully syndrome.  Somewhere in between, is probably the best place for leadership to begin.  There will be a fair amount of history mixed with a beginning maturity to have awareness a part of every training situation.  In this way, speed mixed with awareness of the void attribute, will cause a system to become better and neither stagnate or advance into the unrealistic.  A system must be very careful as time goes by, that it doesn't place too much emphasis on the void entity as many or most of the practitioners will not have developed very far into it.  Techniques will have to be worked and utilized within the system, that have very little void required for them to perform effectively.  Effective techniques built on speed and maneuverability for the newer and younger practitioners will be mandatory.  Whereas, techniques built around awareness and control are mandatory for the more seasoned.  There will also be practitioners, irregardless of age, that will be able to perform movements of a mixed fashion, but don't build a system around these individuals.  That type of system will only be effective in the middle and will lose on the ends.  You may have to think about this a bit.

Picture of Shihan