Patterns & Practice

If one wishes to develop handwriting skills, one would practice the relevant patterns correctly until one is competent in handwriting.

This logic also applies to Martial Arts Practice (Keiko, Shugyo, Renshu etc…).

To use handwriting as an analogy:

Shy, is “learning through Practice” and involves tracing the pattern template in the correct order from start to end (The mechanical 1-2-3 of Practice). This allows the learning of the Pattern through CORRECT PRACTICE and encourages Kime (focus). If not traced diligently and correctly, the benefit of the pattern is lost and one cannot learn and develop the skill sets the pattern represents. This is reflected in most disciplines, from cutting a template for clothing to training the branches of a Bonsai to take on the required form.

Ha, is “remembering through Practice” where the neuromuscular pathways are developed through the correct and regular repetition of the same pattern learned in Shu. The form of the pattern is practiced over and over again and encourages Nagare (flow) to gain the strength, coordination and stamina needed to form the letters. If neglected, the newly learned pattern withers and dies before it can bare fruit as it has not received the adequate nurturing needed to survive.

Ri, “adapting through Practice” allows the practical application of handwriting without the need of a physical template to duplicate the pattern used for forming the letters needed to write. This is a creative experience and encourages Henka (change/adaptation). It is the manifestation of the skills developed in the previous phases. If neglected, one never experiences the functionality of the patterns learned and developed.