ACADEMY OF CHIVALRY
"Ultimate simplicity leads to purity."
I recently watched a documentary called "Jiro dreams of sushi". I have watched it before... Many times as a matter of fact. I find the film about a sushi Chef who has practiced his trade with relentless dedication to his craft for over 70 years inspiring to say the least. But I also am reminded of the Japanese idea of Shokunin.
The following is the best example of it's ideal; “The Japanese word shokunin is defined by both Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries as ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan,’ but such a literal description does not fully express the deeper meaning. The Japanese apprentice is taught that shokunin means not only having technical skills, but also implies an attitude and social consciousness. … The shokunin has a social obligation to work his/her best for the general welfare of the people. This obligation is both spiritual and material, in that no matter what it is, the shokunin’s responsibility is to fulfill the requirement.” – Tasio Odate
Sound familiar? The martial arts is an environment that I fell in love with at the age of seven. Even this far down the road I find many moments of the day given to thinking about new methods of attack, defense, measure use, and application. In short, there is nothing I would rather be doing. And I really feel that all that are called to their own path have that same blissful affliction.
The idea of when you practice, to practice perfectly, should be in your mind. Before you stand in front of the pell, see the area around it, look at the distance you are covering. Pay attention to the grip you use and why you use it. Does it change? Why would it change? What emotional mindset are you in when you practice? Do you begin and end every session of training with the most basic cut... Quiz answer: You should :-)
I often tell my students, "You could spend your entire martial career perfecting the first cut and it would not be a wasted life." Because everything in that ultimate simplicity leads to purity. And everything in that purity is worthy of a life long journey.
[You can find "Jiro dreams of sushi" on Netflix or Amazon. I is worth your time to watch and see what a lifetime of dedication can bring in personal pursuit.]