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Apr 19, 2011
by: Anonymous

Researching Shu Ha Ri may give a good answer to this. Shu Ha Ri are ...well... to put it inaccurately the stages of understanding and practice in anything, but in this case specifically kendo.  Imafuji sensei can, I'm sure, give a better translation of those 3 kanji than I can..

Shu- First you don't have any framework in which to understand kendo so your fasted way to improve is to blindly imitate what you see as best you can.

Ha- As you gain experience and understanding, you can start to reason out why things work and how they work and improve based on that understanding as well.  At this point your movement is still grounded entirely in kihon but there are differences based on that understanding.

Ri - True mastery.  At this point your experience is so broad, that your act/react so instinctively that your kendo seems sometimes divorced from kihon and has become something of your own making.   But nonetheless correct and proper as suits circumstances.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Shu ha ri is here. “Shu Ha Ri: Level of Training Phases”.  In the shu phase, we must listen to our teacher. And try to study what has been told over and over by ourselves. In order to acquire what’s been taught, we should be creative too.

Some people try to be creative without listening to their teachers. They may listen but they don’t try what’s been taught enough and try to be creative. I see this a lot. Creativity is good and important but being humble and obedient is more important, I think.

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