Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Desire Paths

A few weekends back I was talking with a friend of mine that is a Landscape Architect. In our conversation the concept of "Desire Paths" came up. A desire path is a path developed or worn away by animal or human traffic. The path is often the shortest or easiest route between a starting point and a destination. The amount of wear on the landscape is representitive of the number of people or animals consistanly using that path. Most often a Desire Path is referred to as a "shortcut" or a "path of least resistance".

My friend even told me of a college that when built, did not put in sidewalks for two years. After two years they just paved the desire paths that had been worn by the students. The students found their way.

Gichen Funakoshi, the father of Shotokan Karate once wrote this poem...

To search for the old is to understand the new.
The old, the new
This is a matter of time.

In all things a man must have a clear mind.

The Way:
Who will pass it on straight and well?

Do you ever wonder on your martial journey, "is my teacher is teaching me straight and well"? If you are teaching do you ever ask the same question of yourself? Who does pass on "The Way" well, and how would you know? Do you find yourself on a Main Street or have you stepped off that known road and onto a desire path?

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