What is Shuhari?
Shuhari (sometimes pronounced suhari) is a Japanese concept relating to the path to mastery. I've heard of the description before, but not the actual term, so I decided to share it with you. The idea was originally presented in Tea Mastery, extended to Noh Dance, and then eventually martial arts, specifically aikido and shorinji kempo. It is a word that is broken down into its component parts.
This is related to the initial period of study. This time period involves direct imitation of your instructor. This is where you copy his/her movements as closely as possible. In martial arts, this should last through shodan level.
This is the second period of study. This is where self-application is performed. Your movements will now be adapted to your body type, and abilities. You start to make the movements your own, and no longer mimic your instructor. This is where you should be as a shodan. I like to think of this as an experimental period.
This is, for lack of a better term, mastery. Your movements are spontaneous and natural, because they are completely your own. This is where most, if not all, martial artists aim to be. This is the level of O-Sensei, Kano Sensei, and others. This is where most of those great martial arts myths come from.
So how are you doing? What level of practice are you in?