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#178791 - 08/18/05 06:52 PM Re: "Identity Crisis" [Re: MonkeyLegs]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
MonkeyLegs wrote:
Quote:


Using a chinese or japanese term to explain a posture or movment is just an auditory way to convey what your thinking.





I think you mean a "culturally biased semantic" rather than "auditory"...

Bruce,

As you may be aware, in the "koryu" arts, the teacher (and sempai) always takes ukemi for the junior. This is the "Way of transmission".

Video clips are preferable to static photos as they convey the movement "transition" visually. Whilst they do not convey the "feeling", they can provide certain clues as to what is happening. However, it takes a lot of experience to be able to pick out that sort of subtlety.

The other difficulty with video is the speed at which it happens. The eye-brain connection can perceive movement at approximately 30 frames/sec. Anything faster than that (i.e. a lower number of frames/sec) and it becomes a blur.

For this reason, it is necessary to slow down the movement is so that the movement can be conveyed visually. And yet the problem remains with conveying subtlety of feeling. Unless you have a "trained eye" it is hard to grasp the subtlety without feeling it.

At best, using analogy and esoteric meaning can often be a useful way to "point at" the meaning you are attempting to convey.

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#178792 - 08/18/05 10:02 PM Re: "Identity Crisis" [Re: eyrie]
glad2bhere Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
"....At best, using analogy and esoteric meaning can often be a useful way to "point at" the meaning you are attempting to convey......"

Dear Eyrie:

I agree whole-heartedly. Perhaps, in the end, what I may be making an arguement for is the same sort of effort one can see in the "aiki" discussion over in the AIKIDO area. The challenge there, as I see it it, is to talk about a hard-to-define quality in terms as concrete as possible.

In this thread the challenge I see is to be able to discuss interpretations or applications of Kata/Hyung with as few pre-disposing effects of culture as possible. For me, forms-- authentic forms not the trash made-up for tournament competition--- are representative of the essence of an art. To examine a form only through the lens of a particular culture would be to me, like reading a fine author as translated and available only in a language other than the original. Or perhaps it would be like observing art as illuminated by a lamp whose buld was of a single non-white color.

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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#178793 - 08/18/05 10:56 PM Re: "Identity Crisis" [Re: eyrie]
MonkeyLegs Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 27
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Quote:



I think you mean a "culturally biased semantic" rather than "auditory"...






When I say auditory I ment if you had to describe it via phone or somthing similar. But if culturally biased semantic is a better term to use then we will use that


Edited by MonkeyLegs (08/18/05 10:58 PM)

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#178794 - 08/18/05 11:09 PM Re: "Identity Crisis" [Re: glad2bhere]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
What's really interesting Bruce, is your liberal use of analogy to explain what you are trying to say.

Doesn't that say something about the difficulties of language and semantics in conveying meaning and understanding?

Apply this to movement and I think the problem is not the movement, but describing the movement semantically that someone else would understand thru their perception filters. Which would be what your original question was attempting to ask....

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#178795 - 08/19/05 08:38 AM Re: "Identity Crisis" [Re: eyrie]
glad2bhere Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
"....Doesn't that say something about the difficulties of language and semantics in conveying meaning and understanding?......."

PRECISELY!!!!!

You understood my analogies because we share an understanding of things like "light bulbs" and "books" between the two of us. Its part of our culture. But a person who has never seen a light bulb or a book might have a thoroughly new take or contribution on what we are discussing here but not be able to share their view because they could not relate.

In our own cases, how many times have you, for instance, been doing work on some bit and had someone tell you that if you were part of such&such group or had grown up in such&such culture THEN you would better understand. I am not discounting this observation nor do I want to. I am thinking that there must be some way in which we (MA practitioners and students) can minimize the effect of this reality as we study kata/hyung--- which, of course, was the whole point of my starting this thread. Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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#178796 - 08/19/05 11:16 AM Re: "Identity Crisis" [Re: glad2bhere]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
I think I understand what you're alluding to. I don't think you can completely eliminate or at least separate the cultural context from the art. I believe the very thing which influences the art is its cultural context and philosophy. (But I could be wrong).

However, I think the broader and more diverse the person's experience, within different cultural contexts, the easier it is to explain the same thing in different ways, and from different perspectives.

But then again, I could be totally off-base here....

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#178797 - 08/19/05 12:33 PM Re: "Identity Crisis" [Re: eyrie]
glad2bhere Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
Ahh, yes.

And after reading you post, I stood up and had a good stretch.

With my feet a comfortable distance apart I stretched high towards the ceiling with my palms.

After that I twisted at the waist left and right rotating my arms around their axis as I did.

Now--- if was a great stretch and felt wonderful----

but did my body KNOW it was stretching or did it KNOW that it was doing two postures from BA DUAN JIN ("Eight Pieces of Brocade").

When people stand-up on a theatre after the credits do that KNOW they are doing Chi Kung with that stretch?

If that stretch were part of a Kata would we WANT to use Chinese Chi Kung as a point of reference? How about Indian Yoga? And if we did use these disciplines to frame our discussion don't we likewise take on the limitations of those cultural interpretations? What if I don't want the discussion corrupted by talk of absorbing Prana or facilitating Ki Flow? Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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#178798 - 08/19/05 04:44 PM Re: "Identity Crisis" [Re: glad2bhere]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
mental masterbation.

...did my fingers KNOW they were typing that, or were they performing an obscure hand-kata over the keyboard?

hmmmmmm

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#178799 - 08/19/05 05:38 PM Re: "Identity Crisis" [Re: Kintama]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
G2BH -

Ok, what about a Japanese-American describing a Korean form to a friend in China? Whose perspective is right or appropriate or correct? The individual's experiences ARE going to inevitably color their interpretation of something.

Describing something second hand to a third party is not going to allow for a nice sharp culturally impartial interpretation. Luckily, most people have enough brains to make sense of it anyway.

Now, hand me a rag, Kin.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#178800 - 08/19/05 07:44 PM Re: "Identity Crisis" [Re: glad2bhere]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
From your description, it was a stretch and waist twist. If you say it was movements from the Baduanjin, then that means something different to me, and I would have expected more from the description...

i.e. they're not doing qigong unless they KNOW that they are - all they're doing "resembles" the outward expression of the exercise.

That's the key isn't it? We're not talking about conveying meaning now, we're talking about transmitting knowledge and conveying understanding.

This medium is about developing keyboard-fu. Some people's keyboard-fu is at the beginner level, some are slightly more advanced. But the really advanced practitioners write very little or post cartoons which speak volumes and creates shared understanding instantly.

(i.e. People who understand what I'm talking about will instantly KNOW who specifically I'm referring to).

As for clouding/corrupting the discussion by using a particular culturally-rich semantic frame of reference, I think that is unavoidable. We can attempt to strip the cultural interpretations, or clothe it in a foreign syntax, but I think it is inevitable that you will lose the richer meaning that a shared context evokes in terms of understanding. (Re: keyboard-fu example above).

Ah.. the joys of communication....

* goes back to cave and contemplates in silence *

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