zondag 14 december 2014

Spontaneous Throw

There is a saying in Budo that translates as “Enter form, exit form”. The phrase refers to the process of learning that we go through during our journey along the path of Budo.
When we walk into a dojo for the first time we are trying something new, something that we have not experienced before. We are “shoshinsha” – beginners with an openness and willingness to learn, and a certain naturalness in our movements but without form.
Once we start training we learn a variety of techniques and variations, physical exercises, as well as breathing and meditation methods. We are in the process of entering the form.
Gradually we are more and more skilled in the techniques and all of its variations. When during an exam a name of a technique is called we can perform the technique without hesitation.
But then, after years of dedicated training, we suddenly realise that all that we have learned is nothing but a vast amount of techniques and its variations. We have been accumulating forms. And while doing that we have lost the sense of naturalness that we had as shoshinsha.
It is here that we begin to realise that there is a higher degree of understanding, and we start to see how we can free ourselves from mere form. Simple things that we thought we understood start to get a deeper meaning, basic techniques are realised as part of something new and different. In fact the whole art gets a different and deeper meaning. We have exited the form and have returned to the original state of naturalness that we had as shoshinsha.
Tom Verhoeven
Auvergne, autumn 2014

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