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funakoshi Shu-ha-ri   The Japanese didactics applied to martial arts
(Enter form, exit form)
Shu (守): Protect, preserve, obey
Ha (破): Break, Liberation
RI (離): removal, transcending
Many masters say: Shu-ha-ri is the principle of transmitting an experience. Exact! But in this post I would like to highlight, perhaps at a lower level than the depth of the method, the aspect of learning the techniques of any martial art that a pupil is preparing to study.
The method is divided into three phases:
1. Shu: It is the stage in which it obeys;
2. Ha: We are detached from everything; This phase is identified by the breaking of tradition;
3. Ri: You go further; This phase is identified by transcendence.
Let's see this method with the "technique" lens:
-First step: you copy the form (technique) of your sensei, you identify yourself with the knowledge of the martial school; You learn the basics and the kata; It imitates the Sensei in everything and for everything;
-Second phase: We are separated from the fundamentals, from the kata; This phase is identified by the breaking of the tradition. It breaks with the form of the Sensei, you search your own form (technique) and you start a personal search;
-Third phase: You create your own form (technique).
Basically at the beginning of my learning phase of the martial art I copy slavishly and I try to assimilate the form of the techniques that the Sensei shows me (Kyon and Kata). Then I will not take as a model the technique of my sensei, but I'll try to deeply customize the technique learned. And finally I am expressing my own technique, corresponding to my own being. I started "entering the form" Now, at the end of the long learning path, I am "out of form". I'm my sensei myself.
Obviously the expression of my martial technique is form and at the same time real substance!

Antonino Certa shihan
Posts published: June 6th, 2017

kyudo HARA 腹, the vital centre of man
This is the title of a book I read about 40 years ago. The author Von Durckheim1 a German practitioner of kendo explained the vision they have Asian people on the "groin" called hara in Japanese and Chinese dantians. The book was very complex but fascinating. At that time there were Japanese instructors explaining techniques of judo, aikido or karate, according to hara (sometimes called tanden). All actions must take it from there, they said, every martial technique must arise from the hara. Many years have passed and no one now talks about this important concept and especially explains it. For me the concept of hara is twofold:
1. Is the physical Center of gravity of the human body. So it seems logical that a physical action starts from there, being the center of gravity for its definition the point at which a whole body strength moves jointly and severally (whole). If I, attack with my fist, or by creating an imbalance, I start my action from hara is as if the whole body would help this my action, making the action itself much more powerful.
2. Hara is a "second brain". Just like they said some teachers, an instinctive brain not slowed down by the action of logical reasoning that our brain is by its nature. Then the action is instinctive, immediate and martial much faster. For decades Western scientists2 have discovered that nature has made available a second brain, located in the gut! Is the enteric nervous system (ENS), and is not in the head but almost entirely in the belly. In practice, these scientists say, all that is emotional, sentimental and vegetative nervous systems is handled by the second brain; While all that is rational is handled by the first brain.
Good read.
Antonino Certa shihan
1. K. Von Durckheim, Hara: the vital center of man according to Zen.
2. Michael d. Gershon, the second brain.
Posts published: April 25th, 2017

morihei ueshiba ATEMI (当て身)
If we made the question "what are the atemi?" to a practitioner of karate or kenpojutsu the answer is obvious: atemi are all our art! If we did the same thing to a practitioner of jujutsu, the answer is: it's a part of our varied programme of techniques. If we did the same thing, virtual, Morihei Ueshiba, founder of aikido, the answer was "occasions a real fight on 70% of aikido atemi, and 30% is are projections on the ground".
The use of atemi it has various objectives:
1. hit the vital points to break, crush the various parts of the human body
2. unbalance the body of the attacker (kutsushi) during the action of our defense
3. to block out the action of the attacker, for a second, in order to reposition our body in the best position to respond to the attack
4. disturb in advance the action of the attacker or disturb his sight for a few seconds, in order to bring a defensive technique.
In Daito-ryu the latter is called "mekakushi", which means "blindfold".
Antonino Certa shihan
Posts published: March 25th, 2017