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Shuhari is a Japanese martial arts concept, and describes the stages of learning to mastery. It is sometimes applied to other disciplines, such as Go.

A rough translation of the three stages:

  1. Shu (守:しゅ ?, "protect", "obey") — traditional wisdom — learning fundamentals, techniques, heuristics, proverbs
  2. Ha (破:は ?, "detach", "digress") — breaking with tradition — finding exceptions to traditional wisdom, reflecting on their truth, finding new ways, techniques, and proverbs
  3. Ri (離:り ?, "leave", "separate") — transcendence — there are no techniques or proverbs, all moves are natural

Shu Ha Ri can be considered as concentric circles, with Shu within Ha, and both Shu and Ha within Ri. The fundamental techniques and knowledge do not change.[1]

During the Shu phase the student should loyally follow the instruction of a single teacher; the student is not yet ready to explore and compare different paths.[2]

[edit] Related To

Chinese martial arts (or popularly known as Wushu) have similar 3 stage concept to Mastery. They are sometimes known as:

  1. Ti (Earth): Basics. To experience movements at the fundamental levels.
  2. Ren (Human): Ready to learn. (Some Chinese martial grandmasters equates the entry to this level as the Japanese belt system level of Black Belt (1st Dan))
  3. Tian (Sky/Heaven): no conscious thought, flows/moves like the elements. This stage takes years of training and coaching from other Grandmasters.

The Shuhari concept is first presented by Fuhaku Kawakami as Jo-ha-kyū in Tao of Tea. Then, Zeami, the master of Noh, extended this concept to his dance as Shu-Ha-Ri, which is to be lent as a concept of Aikido.

[edit] References

  1. ^ "The Meaning of Shuhari". Retrieved on 1 June. 
  2. ^ McCarthy, Patrick, "The World within Karate & Kinjo Hiroshi" in Journal of Asian Martial Arts, V. 3 No. 2, 1994.

This article was originally taken from Sensei's Library.

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