Tuesday, January 31, 2006


One of the biggest criticisms I hear about Yoshinkan from other stylists is that there is a fairly well-defined set of techniques to learn, and that's it. After that it is just practice practice practice. OK, it is true that Yoshinkan is very rigidly structured, which helps to keep the techniques and teaching method regulated and pure. At the same time, our practice in the dojo leads us to Jiyuwaza, the closest we get to manifesting REAL Yoshinkan. Jiyuwaza is quite far from being rigid or highly structured except in the very early stages.

Don't forget that chess also has a finite number of pieces and squares, but the actual combination of moves in a chess match is practically infinite. Chess also includes dynamic responses to an opponent, and there are various levels of mastery which include the ability to think and plan several steps ahead and sense your opponent's reaction to every move you make. When you play against a true master, there is a certain inevitability of the outcome almost from the opening move.

Of course, I would contend that Yoshinkan training allows us to make multiple moves for each single move our opponent makes, and that is where the chess analogy does not fit. Still, there is value in being able to understand the infinite possibility from studying the finite methodology, and it becomes yet another way that Yoshinkan training can manifest itself in us every day.

See you on the Mat,


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