Worldly Wisdom Wednesday – A Return to First Principles

Posted By on September 5, 2012

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4 Responses to “Worldly Wisdom Wednesday – A Return to First Principles”

  1. Gary Carbone says:

    There is a saying in the martial arts: “If I teach you One, you have to learn Three.” This has always been the deciding factor, in my opinion, between one who seeks the Path through martial arts rather than looking for the teacher to get the “secrets” from. Having been on the marttial path myself since age 11 or so, I find it interesting to note that I still have a teacher.This has been going on well since well after I became a teacher, whatever that means.

    It seems Musashi always had a teacher, whether it was one of his opponents or the master geisha woman who explained the inner workiings of the lute to him. Interestingly, it was the empty space that gave the reed room to vibrate…….

    I struggled for a long while, seeking the Three from the One. Back when I was working through these things, it was popular for people to quote Bruce Lee’s words about the confinements of traditional martial systems. So you had a lot of charlatans who had just enough training to talk the talk, and now they were all claiming to have created their own systems. I found that so offensive that I steeped myself in training with traditional martial arts masters/systems, and I was fortunate that these people appeared in my life. It’s funny to look back and see all the “forms” that I had learned through a lot of hard training, sweat and solitary work—where are they?

    My answer is that they have been distilled, absorbed and just plain beaten into my psyche. I now practice mostly simple repetitive movements, seeking the essence of knowing the Three (or maybe Ten Thousand) through Instinct or Way of the Wild).

    If you are in your 50’s like me, you may remember when Muhammed Ali was to fight an exhibition with Lyle Alzado, the football player. A reporter asked Ali how he thought he would do against Alzado, who could lift hundreds of pounds etc. Ali replied that if it was a football game, Alzado would surely win. But that he (Ali) had trained for 15 years just to learn how to throw a jab. I never forgot that. It amazed me–a jab? Don’t we all know how to throw a jab? No. It is only after throwing the jab, or the reverse punch, or the 45 degree angle step for thousands of times, and many years……it becomes something that erupts from deep within and without, the subconscious mind, the Wayof the Wild.

    Thanks for letting me rant, Randy

    • Randy says:

      You are always welcome to rant here Gary. I particularly enjoy your beautifully crafted comments that sometimes represent articles in the in own right – variations on the theme under discussion.

      I share your disgust at the perennial crop of bullshitters that infest every field of endeavour that requires true investment. They thrive on those who want a quick and effortless answer to everything, and the door swings both ways. Such “teachers” are often born from the ranks of those who want the appearance of competence without the substance. Worst of all are the ones who lay claim to being purveyors of dark secrets earned from service in some arcane and unverifiable military service.

      I believe your experience with finding all you’ve learned distilled into your own being represents a merging that is truly the Way of the Wild expressing itself through the Gary that exists at the moment of action, whether that action be delivering a strike or a caress. Speaking a word, writing down your thoughts and posting them here, or choosing to remain silent, Everything.

      • Randy says:

        Oh, and by the way, I fully intend to quote your line, “It seems Musashi always had a teacher, whether it was one of his opponents or the master geisha woman who explained the inner workiings of the lute to him. Interestingly, it was the empty space that gave the reed room to vibrate…….” It has echos that will resound through a number of projects yet to come! Thanks again Gary.

  2. Steve says:

    First principles … hmm. I prefer principles straight up and those that miss them be damned. I know that sounds harsh, but when it is thought of by those with functioning brains, they see the immediacy of Gary’s excellent ‘rant’. Bravo, GC.

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