Sunday, 8 April 2012
Cho shi and racewalking
I have been taking Iaido (a martial art that roughly translates as "the art of drawing the sword") for about ten months now. I have grown to love the newfound stability, balance and flexibility it has given me. My favourite times at the dojo, however, are when we literally sit at Sensei's feet and he talks to us about different facets of one's approach to the art, history, and connectedness to one's own life. It doesn't hurt that he's an excellent storyteller, either! A few months back, he talked to us about Cho-shi, which means natural rhythm. Within the strict patterns of the different kata or forms, each practitioner will eventually find his or her own natural rhythm; their own way of performing or living the art. A related term is Aisatsu, creative personal interpretation within the guidelines of form. This was brought to mind yesterday at the racewalk clinic in a mini "aha!" moment. Here we were all following these strict rules for racewalking, but each had found or was in the process of finding their own natural rhythm, a way of using those strict rules to make the racewalk their own. As I watched each person pass by, I knew we were all following the rules, but everyone looked different, walked differently, approached it differently. Beauty in diversity.