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Learning by example

Posted on Tue, 27 January 2015


The traditional way of learning disciplines such as kinbaku, and especially the martial arts, in Japan has been a long apprenticeship of simply observing the master at work. Later, the student might be permitted to untie his sense's work. Today's fast track methods tend to gloss over or entirely miss some extremely important points. The video resources here provide you the opportunity to study some of the greatest at work. You'll also see recordings of lesser mortals but everyone has something to offer. Even the worst examples can provide a yardstick by which to measure the best. Like many areas of appreciation, one starts out with a coarse palette, unable to distinguish the accomplished from the barely competent. However, a critical and sharp eye will soon start to identify the finer detail.

Watching the maestros is an excellent way to hone your handling and flow. Observe the economy of movement and how they use their fingers. They will almost always catch the rope with a single finger, rather than push it with several fingers. As I like to tell students "Finger, don't fist!" :-D Note how much is done with only the index fingers, or finger and thumb, and how little hand swapping is involved. Ergonomic tying!

In terms of creating feeling and connection, it's pure gold. This is the sort of thing that is so rarely taught and really can't be learned from text.