Shuhari 守破离


[1] Shu (守):
Guard and abide
by traditional wisdom
with learning of fundamentals

[2] Ha (破):
Detach and break away
from traditions
to discover exceptions.

[3] Ri (离):
Depart and separate
from all the above to transcend,
to express naturally and freely.

Aikido master Endō Seishirō shihan stated:

‘It is known that, when we learn or train in something, we pass through the stages of shu, ha, and ri. These stages are explained as follows.

[1] In shu, we repeat the forms and discipline ourselves so that our bodies absorb the forms that our forebears created. We remain faithful to these forms with no deviation.

[2] Next, in the stage of ha, once we have disciplined ourselves to acquire the forms and movements, we make innovations. In this process the forms may be broken and discarded.

[3] Finally, in ri, we completely depart from the forms, open the door to creative technique, and arrive in a place where we act in accordance with what our heart/mind desires, unhindered while not overstepping laws.’

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