Renshu, price of admission to complete realization

articles blog May 20, 2022
 

練習, renshu. To train repetitively. Knowing with the mind and knowing with the body are different things. I’m not interested in talking about a martial art I can’t realize and perform physically. Talk is cheap.

In order to fully understand budo, it’s takes unreasonable amounts of repetition and failure. It is a non-negotiable price of admission to complete realization. I’m still in line.

This technique is easy to pick apart. Space, distance, kiri gaeshi and so on. Until you understand the only thing I’m trying to do is move her sword into the same space, trying to get her wrists to bend a certain way, to get her shoulder line off center, over and over. Fast transition to oshi giri. Simple, yet not complete. Just a piece.

I could be closer, elbows tighter, deeper hips… But that’s not the point, that is done in my keiko, when she too is moving with intention.

It is not the kata, Shu So. It is simply renshu. Training.

One thing, only.

When I was a little boy. My Dad taught me to cast a fishing rod in my back yard, landing the lure in a bucket. Hundreds of times, further and further. Of course, there are no fish in the back yard. Suggesting I’m doing it wrong and would catch no fish there is stupid. But when I went fishing with Dad, I could always put my lure exactly where I wanted it, without getting snagged or lost.

When was the last time you did serious, uncomfortable repetition? When was the last time your teacher pushed you to your own threshold, when you began to resent them?

Every time, put the lure on the trout’s head, or go back to the bucket. In my opinion, that is budo.

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