“Black Mice and Happy Accidents …,” by John Will

“How do new techniques evolve? I see techniques evolving two different ways; firstly, they can be designed through the process of intellect; that is, we can deliberately build them, correcting and modifying as we go – or they can be stumbled upon and evolve through what I call the process of ‘happy accident’.
To understand the happy accident concept – we need to understand how the evolutionary process works in nature. To explain this process (and perhaps highlight how quickly it can happen) I’ll use the example of how a mouse population might change/evolve from white to black in only a few short generations.”

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  1. …martial arts are very conservative for good reason. the novel may be attractive, but, in our largely pacific society, untested in any forum beyond the dojo.

    balance and unbalance are simple. if there’s anything new there, it’s probably only new to us.

    there are only so many joints in the human body. only a limited number of ways of articulating them. similar joint techniques are found in most martial arts.

    the nervous system is less thoroughly explored in dojo techniques, but again, it is a finite system. anything “new” there is probably a rediscovery.

    rediscovery is a fine thing, but, again, can be pretty haphazard. in a life or death situation you do something and get lucky. you live. then you attribute the outcome to the technique rather than luck and teach it. you discover something new in the dojo. you think it’s slick. it’s replicable in that context. so you teach it even though it may make unrealistic assumptions about how real world situations eventuate.

    the story is that we need teachers because we’d never live to make all those mistakes. in an era of peace, the conservative approach is to retain and propagate a system proven in more troubled times.

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