Mar. 31st, 2014

respectorcist: (urahara)
I like Eastern philosophy. Let's talk about shuhari.

Shuhari is a martial arts term originating in Japan, where it is part of the practice of Aikido. It's reminiscent also of the Wushu practice Di Ren Han.

The three syllables stand for the three stages of ideal skill acquisition.. In this case, I'm using them to refer to general skill acquisition, and for the purposes of this writing, also to refer to the process of becoming a better creative writer.

The first step of Shuhari is shu. Shu can mean 'to obey' or 'to protect.' And in the act of shu, we practice the fundamental principles of a thing. This is where we gather our framework of techniques. In this part of the process, we remain most faithful to the subject, learning from the masters that came before us. We read, we absorb. We practice.

The second step of Shuhari is ha. Ha means to digress, or even to detach from yourself. In the second step, we break away from tradition. This step is the step that invites more creativity. When we enter ha, we begin to think of innovations that we could be making. We begin to push our 'boundaries' a little, and test things to see what works, and what doesn't.

The third step of Shuhari is ri. Ri means to break away or to leave and represents transcendence. After building up our basic skills and then pushing our boundaries, we become able to make natural decisions about how to apply our skills, things 'flow' for us.

The three steps can be visualized as a group of concentric circles. Shu is encompassed in ha and both shu and ha are encompassed in ri. The goal of the first two steps is to reach the third, where we feel comfortable mastery.

This isn't to say that you'll always remain on the third rung It's possible that anyone, indeed everyone, will need to settle their learning method back down to ha or even shu. When we feel disconnected from the basic, fundamental skills of something, we should never feel bad about ourselves, ever, to stop and reconsider them. To re-learn the proper way of doing things before transcending it and making the skill our own unique possession.

There's a reason why the act of mastery here is being called shuhari as one concept, rather than simply ri.

To obtain skills in the last circle, we must always retain the skills that we learned in the previous two. We need to be careful not to discard them or their value. For an ENTP like myself, this is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. Isn't what I'm doing right now ... the most important? Sure it is. But it's still necessary to dot your Is and cross your Ts.

Otherwise they're both kind of just funny-shaped Ls and what we were trying to do becomes irrelevant.


respectorcist: (Default)
if anyone asks this is educational

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