View Full Version : Encounters with shibui

11th May 2001, 16:26
I thought I'd try to start a thread relating to a discussion of what Dave Lowry calls "shibui" in his book "Moving Toward Stillness." I could be wrong, but from what I have read in his book and other writings, it seems to be the embodiment of modesty, calmness, and serenity - traits many of those studying the martial arts try to embrace. Over the years, I have met a handful of martial artists who seem to embody these traits (and many who do not - not the point here). In the hustle and bustle of our modern society, these very traits are not exactly encouraged outside of the dojo.

In my experience, I believe that something as intangible as this cannot be taught so much as demonstrated. As a Westerner and a student of the martial arts, I have struggled to understand and occasionally learn from these often exceptional individuals. What I have found is that learning from these individuals can be refreshing, rewarding, and maddening at times.

Anyone care to share their thoughts on this topic? And yes, I understand it is somewhat contradictory as a discussion topic...but what the heck.


Chuck Clark
11th May 2001, 23:31
I also have had an interest in shibui (shibumi) for a long time. I agree that it's difficult to talk about. It's been my great fortune to have been influenced by a few individuals that I think demonstrate this trait in their practice and lives.

I suspect if we think about it...we ain't got it!