Pottery and Krav Maga
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

August 14, 2019, Israel

A book is always a treasured gift, especially if it comes from the personal library of a friend. So I began to read, and the section is about Japanese pottery. 

The author is writing about making pottery and training with a strict master. "Be careful, he would say, of the unwarranted gesture: less is more. We would work in silence. "(Edmund De Waal, The Hare with Amber Eyes)

The line resonated with me. To the Japanese everything is an art, from the martial arts to the art of arranging flowers, to the art of folding paper or making pottery. The master here is expressing a powerful idea; do not be tempted by the unwarranted gesture. 

Be careful, he would say...

Sometimes I come to teach a seminar and I see that some instructors, on their own, have changed IKI techniques that we have developed. Be careful, he would say...

They have seen what they believe are empty gaps and they felt a need to fill them in. Be careful, he would say...

They have been unable to execute the technique correctly so they have added a grab, a lock, or something else which they have thought to be a useful addition. But the master warned, Be careful of the unwarranted gesture...

The master and the student worked in silence, no distractions. The student observed the master, his every gesture, what was necessary and what was superfluous, that is what it means to be an Apprentice. 

The Master explained that the pottery and all true art expressed an unconscious beauty  because "the craftsman had been liberated from his ego"(page 3) 

What incredible truths are contained with these few words by a master of pottery. Not another word is necessary.