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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2023 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are great thoughts. DP, I hear you on the visualization. I've tried it in the past, but I really have a hard time with it. It's hard to see myself doing things in that way, although I do try.

Bob, you are right about the floor revealing the truth. It does so every time! Your comment about proper reflection and mastery is spot-on.

Bruce Lee wrote:
pg. 10, paragraph 5: "Artless art" is the artistic process within the artist; its meaning is "art of the soul." All the various moves of all the tools means a step on the way to the absolute aesthetic world of the soul.


Artless Art...strange paradox. Art that isn't artful? Or the art that has yet to be released? The expression not yet expressed? Or perhaps not adhering to the "rules" of art, and expressing oneself the only way one knows how?

All the steps of all the tools...when I hear "tools," I think of striking tools...the foot, the fist, the heel, the middle knuckle, the forehead, etc. In grappling, the "tools" become the guards, the counters, the various plays...these are the tools we use as Martial Artists to express that which is inside us.
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Zaine
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
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Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2023 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Artless Art...strange paradox. Art that isn't artful? Or the art that has yet to be released? The expression not yet expressed? Or perhaps not adhering to the "rules" of art, and expressing oneself the only way one knows how?


Agreed, this is hard to parse out. As humans, we love to categorize things. In the end, I liken it to the Buddhist idea of desiring to have no desire. Bruce Lee wanted the Martial Art to simply be. He wanted it to exist only in the moments of itself. He likely knew that we would categorize it, and he himself categorized it. However, having the opportunity to let it just exist was a dream of his nonetheless.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2023 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even though Bruce was against labeling JKD, he did exactly that. That's the path of any course whether it be artless or not.

"I don't hit, it hits all by itself" is a type of an Artless Art. To have "no technique" is a type of Artless Art. "There is no opponent because 'I' does not exist" is another type of Artless Art.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” This too, is a type of an Artless Art.

Bruce despised labels yet he was a prisoner of them himself. That which he couldn't escape from became a constant to him. An Art has boundaries; limitations that bind the martial artist, and of these handcuffs that bind, "self is a hinderance" becomes that constant one way or another.

The Artless Art exists whenever it doesn't, and it doesn't exist whenever it does. "It" just exists because "It" just does. One needs to be careful how the word Artless is used because it's defined by lacking knowledge, or skill being uncultured, made without skill being crude, and this I believe what not Bruce and/or JKD by any means.


The seamlessness of the Aesthetic world of the soul just grabs right at me in a beautiful way because within the Artless Art, one can be appreciative of, responsive to, or fervid about the beautiful responsive to or appreciative of what is pleasurable to the senses.

Imho.



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bushido_man96
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Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2023 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great responses, Zaine and Bob. Lot's to think about there....or to unthink about???

I'm going to dwell on these posts a while, and see if I come up with anything.
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Zaine
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Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2023 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've recently been reading Zen in the Martial Arts which covers a lot of Bruce's teachings. The concept of an Artless Art seems to go along with his ideas about Zen in general. Being present in the moment, changing shape to match the current, letting go of labels and just existing, these are all things that Bruce taught to his students. Hyams, the author of the book, speaks a lot about achieving understanding of life via his lessons in dojos/dojangs/kwoons. A number of these lessons come from when Hyams was training with Bruce and I'd be willing to bet that Bruce wanted to apply his understanding of Zen to this system he created as well.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2023 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, I've been giving this some thought, and come up with an interesting paradox. In order to give life to the "artless art," and in the end to have "no technique," you have to start by learning something in the first place. I think it would very difficult for someone with no MA or fighting experience at all to step out of the house, and all of a sudden be creating an art that "just is" without knowing anything in the first place. So, in order for the art to "just be," you had to have something to start with in the first place. Bruce had Gung Fu to start with, after all. And even though he didn't want to put any restrictions on his style, he did have drills and concepts that he taught (these things seem intuitive, because having drills and concepts makes it easier to organize thoughts and processes).

Anywho, that's where my mind went on these thoughts. Fear not; the next post will be up soon! Just wanted to read others' thoughts on this, as well.
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DarthPenguin
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Joined: 03 Dec 2021
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2023 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that reminds me of the paradox of the shaolin momks : an order of pacifist warrior monks. I think i read something once on it where they said that in order to truly be a pacifist you need to be able to fight so that you can then choose not to. Otherwise you are simply someone who can't fight.

Also sounds a little similar to Kit Dale's philosophy for learning BJJ, where he empathises learning concepts and principles rather than techniques believing that you can then naturally adapt a technique to the situation if you know the concept of how one should work (he says he doesn't have a favourite technique as anything performed is dependant on the situation)
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2023 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are good points, DP. I saw a similar quote about pacifism once: "Only a warrior can choose a lift of pacifism; everyone else is condemned to it." Strong words.

Bruce Lee wrote:
pg. 10, paragraph 6: Creation in art is the psychic unfolding of the personality, which is rooted in the nothing. Its effect is a deepening of the personal dimension of the soul.


When we create something, our personality comes to light, and also grows, and is therefore enriched. I think also every time we explore and "create" something, we learn about ourselves, whether good or bad, thus the "deepening of the personal dimension of the soul."

As for the personality being rooted in the "nothing,"....when I see this, I wonder if the translation of whatever that word would be in Chinese is really very well expressed in English, or with the word "nothing." In my mind, nothing can't have something in it; to me, it seems like a void. Therefore, can something truly be rooted in nothing?
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DarthPenguin
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2023 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What i would take from that is that different facets of your personality/abilities have a root in nothing - the so called empty cup.

So it is rooted in nothing, then expands/branches out into something (the unfolding part), with at the root having been nothing. You could then theoretically 'prune' a branch and return to nothing restarting the whole process
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2023 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see your analogy. However, if you prune a branch, you don't have "nothing;" you still have the branch. See what I mean? It's very confusing, and I don't think that word does it justice.
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