Monthly Archives: January 2007

An interview with the Go Master, the 9-th part

Igor Grishin in China, 2006

- What does it mean to be a Go Master?
- If the word “master” is written with a small letter it relates for me to sports or crafts. In a sport game go master is somebody who wins more or less stable. If the collocation “Go master” is written with capital letters the Go Master’s anecdotes tell about it best of all. It is a new genre of stories about how to be understandable or obscure in one’s way but not only according to a situation or people’s demand. Go Master is somebody who is alive.
Go Master jokes; he gains his achievements not only by the result of a game.
For instance, a go master of the table game gains his achievement only on a go board. If s/he has lost some number of games, s/he loses the status of go master of the table game.
Go Master is on an absolutely different top. S/he can lose as many games as it is needed to win Freedom. Master is free!
If gain cannot direct to the right course let’s train with losses. Losses are a good field for every Master. If after a certain number of losses you are alive and still a Master it is very interesting. To whom? To you. It is absolutely not interesting to people. They have always been interested in wins only. In this sense they are even easy to deal with.
Where is the Mastery? Our Mastery? Is it on the wall in Diploma? Or is it in an edited book? Or, maybe, on a grave stone? In Federation rating? Where is our “Mastery center” located?

- How do you see you future and your School’s future? What are you striving for?
- I think the future will be bright. The School’s future is a huge light building. If it is not a large house surrounded by a park, it will be an enormous cube of glass and concrete. There will be huge windows so that light could pour through them.
But our school shouldn’t be concentrated only in a building. It should be located in the forest, in the mountains; it should swim into the ocean. Seagulls, moths, bees, butterflies should fly above it. We should reach far lakes, foggy ravines… We should go by queer cars with an enigmatic goal. We should play unusual games wearing unusual clothes. These games should heat minds and hearts. People should sing and cry looking at us. We should fall into the abyss of defeats and arise over the tops of wins. We should live and be alive.

- Could you explain the meaning of you formula “Go teaches how to see”?
- Oh, it is a rather big topic. Can I shorten it? To look, to watch, to see these are not exact synonyms. There are nuances that are so pleasant to talk about with people of fine fiber.
A sniper’s sight differs from the sight of a commander. To see means to conceive not only things with names. To see means to perceive those things that have names and those things that don’t have names in human world. Those things that are likely never get names… Go teaches how to see that means that Go teaches difficult. It teaches not to be afraid of being complicated for yourself and people.

- In Medieval Europe they studied strategy art with the help of chess. Do we need a Japanese or Chinese game? By the way, is it Japanese or Chinese?
- Go is the game that was given to us by extraterrestrial beings. In this case, does it matter if it is Chinese or Japanese?
In contemporary chess it has become impossible to study strategy. There are too many people in chess, but the percentage of those who treats it not as just a table game is very low. Can a child of three swim in the ocean alone? What do you think? If we view a table chess situation as an ocean and ourselves as children of strategy art this analogy explains everything (laughing).

- What is war? I know that you got a certain battle experience of an ideological war when you found your School? What did this war teach you?
- We do have a serious battle experience of an ideological war. The war is a total mobilization of all mental, ethical, moral, spiritual and emotional force. You can fight without thinking only when you are young. In the age of manhood you should prepare to this war carefully. And it’s better to stop at the stage of preparations. If there is a chance not to start a war you’d rather use it. There is always a possibility to find an appropriate solution for every difficult situation. The art of strategy can reveal us such possibilities.
Even if you deal with an absolutely opposite to you ideological enemy, there are always strategic methods that let you avoid the fight face to face. The battle experience is priceless. However, lucky are those who don’t have it as you should pay for it with your health and your time. The war means years without sleeping.

- For what may a modern successful businessman need martial arts? What can they give?
- If s/he doesn’t get enough physical activity, martial arts will give it. His/her sleep will improve and thus s/he’ll improve business. If we train seriously, martial arts are likely to make us people of healthy life. If you train very seriously the will turn you at the way of Mastery. Then a successful man will get an opportunity to transform his/her “big business” into “big evolution”. Mastery is a king of transforming of your state into your ego, your evolution, your family, your clan and your history.

An interview with the Go Master, the 8-th part

- You were good at martial arts. What made you leave it off and play Go?
- I’ve been practicing martial arts since 1988 and I have founded my own Wushu School. We never left Wushu art. Of course, from the outside, it could look like that. But in our own conception it’s isn’t so.
As time goes by martial arts should undergo certain transformations with you. If there isn’t any you should think of it. Think and try to understand if you are developing.
There are different stages of our development. Say, if to “switch on” legs you need to do certain exercises it is one stage. If it is enough just to walk down a street to “switch on” legs and in some time they “switch on” themselves it is another stage. What does it mean “to switch on legs”? That means to make them live, full of energy limbs that are able to carry us, think of the way, positions of feet and bars. Legs that don’t hinder while walking. They give strength. The longer you walk the more strength you get. Are these good legs? Aren’t these legs a martial art? Is it worth reaching of this stage?
Actually, I think if a person is in good shape, if s/he is fast and tireless s/he is in the state when it is possible to use martial arts. I know a lot of examples when people go to a gym but are in a shape which is not enough to speak about using martial arts. In fact, a person can train martial arts regularly but be in a bad for these arts shape. Sometimes s/he can be in a bad shape even during trainings. His/her state is the same as in a daily routine. It doesn’t rise energetically. Just imagine, a person entered the gym and started showing pictures to his friends, speaking to them, joking… Is it a training of martial arts? Of course, it isn’t. It is a service club.

- What was in the very beginning? What difficulties did you face?
- With the same that every person faces. With the difficulties of a human that come from you and people surrounding. With the difficulties that comes from the level of fate. With the difficulties coming from health, society, close friends… With these difficulties we face and will face not only playing Go or training martial arts but in every activity. In short, it was as difficult for me as for you.

- What did Go lack before you started playing it? How did you manage to renew your interest to this ancient strategic art?
- Before, everything was clear in Go. It lacked oddity. We’ve made it obscure. I think, we’ve succeeded in it.
Go was a very understandable game. Before go was a game that was played on a board. One should play as much as possible and solve life&death problems. The winner’s a fine fellow. The loser knows who s/he is. The win should be rewarded. If you win many games stop playing for nothing. You should develop and increase your rating. Everything was understandable and very easy.

- Did the Go amateurs greet the new ideas with fervor?
- Of course, at the beginning it was so. People like new ideas. Then the enthusiasm decreased as they were complicated. Nobody likes complicated ideas. If ideas are new they should be understandable for “all people”. As before Go was developing towards something understandable we had to speak about something obscure. Perhaps if Go had been obscure we would have had to speak about something understandable and… simplify it. For example, we could have turned it into a table game (laughing).