Umeboshi Seminar 2019

There is a strong association between the brush of the artist and the sword of the warrior; often these two instruments being seen as one thing.

Umeboshi is a salted and pickled Japanese plum; often used as a filling in a type of Japanese dumpling.

The “Pickled plum dumpling” is a very common treat in Japan, very much in the same way that martial arts has become a very common activity. The exterior bread of the dumpling is made form rice flour, water and salt that can be found almost anywhere, and is quick and easy to make. However, the inside filling requires plums that come from only one place, along with the right amount of time to pickle them. Though what holds the dumpling together is the bread exterior, it is what’s inside that makes it truly special. This seminar will take us through the generic exterior of Martial Arts and into what fills it, into what makes it truly special.

Martial Arts is the generic term that encompasses a very large spectrum of methods in how to do something that already fills us – i.e. fighting, along with all the subsidiary influences and feelings that stem from it. All life fights for itself, from bacteria to an elephant. Improving upon the ability to fight better is not unique among living organisms; fighting to live and survive is universal to all life – brain or no brain. What is unique is our ability to better understand the nature of it, and in turn better governs ourselves.

Martial Arts is an “art” that possesses great knowledge and wisdom contributed by many great minds over many centuries. What makes martial arts an art is that it employs the same devices all arts employ – passing on knowledge and wisdom by circumventing the limits of words through design. Many martial arts teach through patterns known by various names, eg., kata, taolu, anyo and pumsei, among others. Similar to a musician, painter or architect, a martial artist’s training and study builds from basic foundations of line, geometry, balance, perspective, and so on.

This seminar took the the participants through some of the building blocks of martial arts, power, leverage, balance and influence as taught in these forms, utilizing shape and design as a mode of reference. Various basic brush and drawing was covered and each participant created shapes and patterns on paper in order to view and analyze what is often very difficult to see and understand in a general class setting. Various stances, strikes, blocks, grabs take downs, throws and weapons was used as the physical media from which they painted and drew our studies, that deepen our relationship with the foundation from which martial arts is built upon.

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There is a strong association between the brush of the artist and the sword of the warrior; often these two instruments being seen as one thing.

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