Friday, September 04, 2020

"Seeing Deeply - the Method and Intangibles" by Badger Johnson

Everyone wants to be able to see below the superficial. They know about terms such as reverse engineering, deconstruction, going back to the original source, changing the paradigm, but they don't know how to do this in practice.

One way is going from the general to the specific or from the specific to the general.

Another way is going from the external to the internal.

An example of the latter is analyzing the phrases related to dealing with the 'enemy'.

You hear phrases such as:

If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.

This is by Sun Tzu notable Chinese philosopher.

Then we hear the infamous phrase by Walt Kelly:

We have met the enemy and he is us.

Pogo by Walt Kelly

Thus you can take every phrase or advice about the external enemy and search for meaning in the internal.

By doing this you find more layers and often can stumble upon something that will really reveal an inner truth to yourself.

There are other similar methods. It's just a matter of creating a framework for applying non-superficial analysis to concepts.

A further example.

People ask 'What do you do if...?' and then post a difficult problem.

The first step is to say, 'You've asked for a solution to a problem that has already developed, and the answer is found in anticipating the problem sooner'.

Another example is, people say, 'just use this method', but if you really think about it, everyone says that but in reality, it never actually works as intended.

Look for different than intended aspects. Look for unintended consequences that invalidate the original rule. Most rules apply up to a point and then near the threshold the reverse becomes true.

Can you think of any other methods?

And now, let us look at the Intangibles of Seeing Deeply.

Delivery systems

Subdividing the beat


Apply a metaphor which works in one area to another. In music, you subdivide the beat. It helps to understanding attacking on the half beat or the one and a half beat. People don’t really understand how to do that, because it’s the footwork not the hand movements.

Lomachenko took off a full year to learn ethnic dancing. Everyone seems to know he’s using footwork to put him out of reach of opponent’s counters, but they don’t exactly see how he’s doing it.

Vasaly Lomachenko (blue) X Domenico Valentino (red) /WSB 2013/Apr 19,2013

People can see a result, but they don’t know the build up. People want to know how the end result was achieved and you can tell them but if they haven’t done it, they’re missing all the intangibles.

I’ve asked myself about the people in Jeet Kune Do (JKD) concepts, Tim Tackett, Taky Kimura, all of the second generation students. If I can see why they are missing the point, not seeing that their idea of JKD is based on Bruce Lee’s stage fighting and thus won’t work in the real world, and I’m very far removed, why can’t they see it?

If I can see that Bruce Lee had to have an non-collapsible bridge arm to make things work, and if you don’t have it, then you’ll never be able to do interception. If you haven’t figured out how to do ‘non-intention’ and ‘non-telegraphic’ then to make any of it work you have to rely on brute force. They’re all brute forcing it and think they have true JKD.

It’s as though it’s hero-worship gone mad. If you’re so entranced by the founder that you feel you can’t find your own ‘JKD’, it will actually stand in your way.

For example people are amazed by Houdini. They try to recreate his stunts, even if they haven’t figured them out they’re willing to fake them. Some stage magicians will work up their own tricks. Some will do the old stuff in a different form. One of them was the Balducci Illusion a way to make it look, based on perspective, that they were levitating. Instead of innovating, current stage magicians use camera tricks (David Blaine) to make it look better than it is.

People want to be like Bruce Lee so badly they obscure the truth from themselves.

This was a situation where they had an example of how to see deeply and they chose the superficial, though augmented superficial. They only performed martial arts, they didn’t do it, staying on a ‘stage’ of seminars, to try and recreate the magic that died when Bruce Lee passed away.

Funny how people know there’s truth but decide to use elaborate methods to hide from it.

© Badger Johnson

EDIT ON 9/5/20 - Posted Seeing Deeply Part 2, a followup to this essay.

Please check out Badger Johnson's other essays:



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