At different points of training I would often hear this phrase: You have to steal the art.
I found it curious, as how does one steal something that doesn’t physically exist?
It took a few years in the martial arts to begin to see the method of transmission, and a few more years to understand it.
So how does one steal the art?
At 9th kyu I learned the fundamentals to be able to do this- tsuki, jodan uke, ichimonji no kamae, and zenpo kaiten.
The skills to get in a good posture, throw a good attack, and receive a good attack.
The fundamentals of distance, timing, and balance.
As a *learned* the martial arts, I noticed that not everything was explained, most things were not explained. If a waza had four parts, you might have been told the first, second, and fourth part.
But what about the third?
One had to figure out and connect the movement, using the fundamental- kihon happo, san shin no kata, to see how the movement worked, so figure out how to move.
You had to *steal* it by closely watching the teacher or senior students and figure out just *what* was going on.
Why not just be fully transparent and tell the student everything?
Out of love and compassion.
Once needs to develop budo eyes- to be able to see, feel, and understand what is going on and that connection, that skill can’t be taught, only cultivated, and being forced to *steal* the art is one of the ways to develop this inside the dojo.