Waza = “Reference Architecture”

On Saturday, we explored the next Waza in the Jo Ryaku No Maki level of Gyokko Ryu – Renyo. We looked at 6 (Six!) different sources of material for descriptions of the base/core waza, including 3 from the Boss himself.

We tore apart the notes, read them, re-read them, did our best to interpret what we were reading, and identified what we felt was working (and perhaps not working). We did inside, outside angle versions. We moved the timing of some of the elements around vs what was in the Waza description, and we tried variations as seen and recorded by various teachers over the years.

One of the main points to come out of this effort was using the Waza as a “reference architecture”, ie as a framework or a “box” to explore ideas and concepts. To treat it as a baseline or a starting point and to tease out the essence of perhaps what it is trying to teach us. Waaaaaay too many people simple perform a set of movements that they think is closest to what they think a Waza is and then move on to the next one and they do not peel apart the layers and depth of what is inside. These people are technique collectors and what they are doing is shallow understanding at best, and a pale approximation of mimicry at worst.

This is all about the PROCESS of learning. Of utilizing the FRAMEWORK of a waza to explore within and about bringing the material ALIVE. It is about concepts, not techniques. And when you can understand concepts, you have a meta model that you can apply anywhere.

(Oh and for my geeky friends, this is a cybersecurity Reference Architecture. Kind of a high technology version of a waza, eh?)