I always like it when we take a month or so to practice a new technique. When worked consecutively for a while, you can actually see the technique go through stages. At first, it’s all about the gross motor skills, which correspond nicely to the gross part of the self in the Upper Left Quadrant. You can’t really look at it from any other perspective at this point because you are just trying to survive throwing the technique. You are just trying to figure out how to make your brain move your arms and legs… not even gracefully, just at all. It’s definitely a Beige-centered Stage period. Then eventually when you can get through it you shift to looking at things from the Upper Right Quadrant and look at form. Is your form correct? This can take a while and some people work on this forever. “Form” covers a lot of things, not just whether you are perfectly placing your limbs. It refers also to your mechanics and execution of the technique. A lot of Orange Stage martial artists get stuck here and just work that part forever. They get really good at it too.
Tonight, I was able to shift out of the gross perspective with the sword. We have been practicing ways to throw basic draw cuts and re-sheathing the weapon (noto). For most of this month I had been struggling with it but finally tonight it clicked. Most folks may just move on from there, but recall that after the gross comes the subtle, so at that point I started working on the flow of the technique and the energy behind it. Subtle is not only “chi”, if you believe in that, it is also your emotional state and how you move. Will probably need more time to be here doing this.
I guess I am also noticing that when it comes to techniques, there’s a huge correlation between Stages and Perspectives. At lower Stages, you can’t really encompass many perspectives. It’s all about “me” and “my form”. There’s not a whole lot of concern for other’s and their form, or formations. You really have to be able to rest in the Upper Left and Right quadrants and do them without thinking before you can bring your technique into a more communal space.