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  1. #1
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    Default ABSORB WHAT IS USEFUL

    ABSORB WHAT IS USEFUL

    Tuesday, October 24, 2017


    It has almost become a cliche hasn't it? Bruce Lee's ethos of Jeet Kune Do (that is what Lee called his collective system of fighting). "Absorb What Is Useful".

    Sadly it has become an excuse for superficial dabbling and scanning rather than learning. After all...absorbing something only takes like what...fifteen minutes?

    Contrast that with the man the phrase is credited to.

    Lee did not give birth to himself as a martial arts icon, nor an actor. He studied a great deal. His main system - Wing Chun was a beginning, but Bruce did not dabble in that once a week. He immersed himself in it for years - longer than most casual western students would. It was the same for western fencing and bodybuilding and all the other aspects of building a combatant's body and mind that Lee studied.

    Contrast that with the superficial student, dabbling in something on a temporary basis, or worse, relying on a youtube clip for his training...and then exclaiming with a Lee-esque swagger that he has "absorbed" what was useful.

    Sorry kids...a superficial scanning of any discipline will never yield anything useful, nor anything you could possibly absorb. In order to determine utility one must have a degree of education in the topic. And that education is not obtained by studying with an already formed opinion. To the contrary. In the west we say train with an open mind. In the east they would say begin training with an "empty cup".
    The idea is the same. You must be a student before you can be a master. And only the opinion of a master is worth listening to. Without mastery, nobody cares what your opinion is because even though they may have told you differently at snowflake school, an uneducated and inexperienced opinion is totally worthless.

    So unless you have studied as deeply and intently as Lee, whatever it is you wish to absorb, shut the mouth - open the eyes - and listen.
    Gabe Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
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    Overheard in the dojo:. "You're picking furniture when you haven't laid a foundation."
    __________

    "To spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary." Pournelle

  3. #3
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    “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own”

    No disagreement with the blog post as far as it goes, but I think the full context of the Bruce Lee quote merits inspection. Three parts:
    - Absorb what is useful - seek out expert knowledge...Bruce Lee was known to have a very large martial arts library, and studied many "styles"
    - Discard what is useless - with the enormous amount of information available, it's impractical to try to infuse oneself with all knowledge. Law of probability, not all information will be useful to all students, don't try to make use of everything, some ideas, techniques, etc. will not be beneficial, set them aside.
    - Add what is specifically your own - BE THE WEAPON, the sum of the parts of knowledge one has gained/applied/mastered makes each individual a unique fighter. Don't try to be a clone of anyone, but become the best fighter you can possibly be by applying the best of the expert knowledge you have acquired, whether it be from instruction, or experiential learning.

    I see this as beyond empty hand combat application, but also to include all sorts of weapons, many of which go bang, many which do not, and some skills which have nothing directly to do with the application of violence, but sometimes simply avoiding the circumstances which might require the application of violence.

    Lee was an interesting man.
    In order for the underprivileged and inept to feel adequate, the skilled and capable must be made stupid by decree.

    - Gabe Suarez, 12/13/2011

    “If a broad ban on firearms can be upheld based on conjecture that the public might feel safer (while being no safer at all), then the Second Amendment guarantees nothing.”

    - Justice Clarence Thomas

  4. #4
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    I like to use a grocery store analogy when talking about knowledge/learning/experience:

    When you go to the store you don't by everything. You go in and first you get things you think you need, as you walk around you pick up a few things you want, then a few that seem like a good idea. But you can't take the whole store home with you.

    Once you begin to add goals and discipline, you get more of the things you learned that you need than you did before and some of the things you "need" have become "wants" instead, less of the things that you want, and you learn to evaluate the things that seem like a good idea under the lens of experience and how they affect into your goals/discipline.

    Lastly, once your goals/discipline/experience have become the focus of your life, you go to the store and only get a handful of things, large amounts of what you need to progress toward your goals (protein, meat, BCAAs, cheese). Almost nothing of what you (a couple of cheat meal things, cocktails, and peanut butter) and you find you desire these less as they have no value other than making you feel good for a short time. The things that seem like a good idea (hamburger helper) is now evaluated in context and either added to the things you need list or discarded as useless.

    What speeds this process up is to take an experienced coach with you or a "master" as Gabe referred to above.

    ETA: The cool thing is that you can go back anytime you want for more, it's and infinite well.
    Last edited by Greg Nichols; 10-26-2017 at 10:03 AM.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
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  5. #5
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    Grocery store...I like it!
    In order for the underprivileged and inept to feel adequate, the skilled and capable must be made stupid by decree.

    - Gabe Suarez, 12/13/2011

    “If a broad ban on firearms can be upheld based on conjecture that the public might feel safer (while being no safer at all), then the Second Amendment guarantees nothing.”

    - Justice Clarence Thomas

  6. #6
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    Well-considered analogy Fuzz; holstered for future use. Thx
    Ted Demosthenes
    Suarez International Staff Instructor

    From Murphy: "If it looks stupid and it works, it ain't stupid"


  7. #7
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    The isse is that 99% if those that use Lee's words only use the part I quoted...and use it dismiss thatbwithwhich theybare not comfortable or disciplined enough to learn.
    Gabe Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    The isse is that 99% if those that use Lee's words only use the part I quoted...and use it dismiss thatbwithwhich theybare not comfortable or disciplined enough to learn.
    Life is too short to be one of the 99%...need to set the bar so much higher.
    In order for the underprivileged and inept to feel adequate, the skilled and capable must be made stupid by decree.

    - Gabe Suarez, 12/13/2011

    “If a broad ban on firearms can be upheld based on conjecture that the public might feel safer (while being no safer at all), then the Second Amendment guarantees nothing.”

    - Justice Clarence Thomas

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