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Shuhari (Kanji: 守破離 Hiragana: しゅはり)

Shuhari is a Japanese martial art concept, and describes the journey towards mastery. ‘Shu’ means to follow or protect the form. ‘Ha’ means to explore variations on form. ‘Ri’ is to let go of the form in order to fully grasp the lessons they contain. Shuhari can be thought of as a cyclical path towards mastery; one may return from a higher level of experience down to lower levels in order to clarify one’s knowledge. While it is a Japanese concept, there are many related concepts of skill acquisition. Korean practitioners may benefit from reflecting on the shuhari concept whilst consolidating knowledge around the forms we practice. At the same time, please enjoy my recommended reading list for any serious martial art practitioner:

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