Tradition and Freestyle.  Why train in both?

Patriotic Ribbon
Patriotic Ribbon

October 2002

Volume 4 Issue 10

Aibudo Kanji

The  Greenfield Academy

The hardest part is the beginning!


How good are you?

     It doesn't matter how long you're in the arts, you will never  be as good or as bad as "you" think you are.  If you tell yourself that you are really good, you probably stink.  If you tell yourself that you stink, you are then probably pretty good.  I said pretty good.  Good or bad is relative.  At 16, you probably think that you know everything, when you compare yourself to a 9 year old and even some at 16 think they know more than a 40 year old.  Now that is a serious error in judgment, of which only the truth will come about when, the then 16 year old reaches 40 themselves.  The laws of the land do not allow us to truly test how good or bad we truly are.  Even in the dojo, physical and mental limitations imposed upon each of us, restricts the testing of our true worth.  Most students actually unconsciously hold back in many movements because of the "respect" that they have for the instructor.  This "respect" is actually the fear of what may happen if they try.  The instructors, on the other hand, are holding back with each and every movement.  Their testing is never accomplished.  If it was, they would probably be in jail after the first try.  Most "true" instructors are much better than they believe they are and the "greater than thou" masters will never be worth their "salt"!

"Thought Training"

     You learn in two ways within the arts.  The first is during your actually class time.  The repetitions necessary to begin the memorizing of this or that.  But to speed up the learning process, the "out of class" mental training is absolutely necessary.  Thinking about the movements of  kata, defense techniques or strategies are worth more than the active class period.  Within the physical class period, no matter how hard you try, there are always going to be distractions to break up your thought processes, but in the confines of your home or other quiet place, you are able to mentally work the martial arts at near 100% effectiveness.  That is when the true fine-tuning takes place.

The worthiness of

the Uniform

     I won't spend much time on this, because anyone who has been in the arts long enough to loose the unnatural feeling of taking off your shoes to train, has experienced this already.  It doesn't take long before you feel much better training in the traditional uniform than in street clothes.  The uniform seems to be a silent partner assisting us in our training.  Without it, we seem to be missing something that is necessary in our success.

What is Tradition!

     Tradition in the martial arts is referring to what?  What is tradition with respect to anything?  It's history, isn't it?  What good does it do to study the history of what you are involved with?  In another Hoodoo and in our discussions prior to it and after, you found out that common sense comes from the knowledge of where you have been.  How would you rate the worth of a technique, movement, philosophy or strategy without something to compare it to?  Easy answer now, isn't it?  History is the only thing that we have, to compare now to.  Also in the martial arts, we study and perform traditional techniques because of the rigidity and non-variables that they demand.  Everyone learns to perform the basic specifics that give you something to build on.  Each and every traditional technique must be performed with precision.  Not only in the physical, but in the mental as well.  Here is where you begin to learn proper mindset.  Without the proper mindset, all you have is movement.  There is no "heart" developed.  Your focus will be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The basics of tradition will never be learned and the complex techniques later on, will only be mechanical.  The proper mindset within the movements will always be missing.