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 Post subject: Hi folks!
Post #1 Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:16 am 
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Hi Everybody, looking forward to being part of these conversations. Thanks for doing this.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi folks!
Post #2 Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:40 am 
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Welcome! Glad to have you join the fun.

What's the story of how you discovered go?


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 Post subject: Re: Hi folks!
Post #3 Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:05 am 
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When I was a junior in high school, in '82, I was very interested in Japanese / eastern culture and philosophy. I was practicing Aikido, meditating, reading koans & the Tao Te Ching, doing a lot of life drawing, and long distance running.

I was attracted to Go as a possible way to have transcendental experiences. ( The impetus for this came from reading Shibumi by Trevanian. )

My high school physics teacher, whom I idolized, played Go and offered to teach me.
We had a couple of great lessons, but I was too intimidated by the need to impress him and the complexity of the game.
( and I was suffering from undiagnosed ADHD; high school was very rough ) So I quit. boo. sad.

Fast forward to 8 months ago, when I was re-reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. ( a very useful book about getting through creative blocks ) In which she asks the question "what activity would you do if you gave yourself permission to do it poorly?" and I thought "well, Go!"

So I started taking lessons at the Seattle Go Center, playing regularly, reading Go books, and solving tsumego. I am sloooowly getting better.

It still isn't the mystical experience that I hope it will be one day ( mostly it's a lot of stress and analytical thinking right now ) but there are the occaisional moments of non-verbal right brained reading, where I feel myself getting drawn into the board, that I really enjoy.

Enough about me, how did you get into Go?


Last edited by wind&water on Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #4 Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:49 pm 
Honinbo
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Hi wind&water,

Because of recent spam-bot attacks, some safeguards were put in place, so a little bit of human interaction is required for 'new accounts'. After a while, your posts will be immediate. ( I just approved your two new posts. )
Thanks. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hi folks!
Post #5 Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:08 pm 
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Thanks! I hope I didn't come across as antagonistic. I understand the need to scan posts.

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Post #6 Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:10 pm 
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That's a great account of how you found the game! My wife is reading The Artist's Way right now, and I've tried to incorporate parts of it (mainly the idea of daily pages) into my routine. I love that it is what brought you into go.

I came to go through my love of board games. For a while I was spending a lot of time on boardgamegeek.com, and at the time go was still rated among the top 100 games on the site. It was something of an anomaly - most of the highly rated games have been published in the last ten or so years - and it made me curious. I tried learning with a computer program (GnuGo, I believe), but the game seemed inscrutable. I mentally filed it as a game I would like to learn with a real person some day, and mostly forgot about it.

I was brought back to the game when I found a copy of a small, folding go board at a Goodwill thrift store. My wife agreed to learn it with me, and we spent several nights exploring the game together and watching Hikaru No Go. We thought it interesting enough that we ordered a nicer goban and some yunzi stones, along with one of Janice Kim's books, for our fifth anniversary in the hopes that we would play the game together for a long time. It didn't work out that way - she's since left the game behind - but after a fitful start I found it to be my favorite game of all those that I play.

There are many reasons I continue to play go. The community surrounding the game is wonderful, even if I do drop out of it from time to time. The history of the game is fascinating. I love the fact that such a simple rule set can produce such a delightfully complex game. I like that I can study the game yet never exhaust its depths. I'm thankful that I can find an opponent online in the evenings after my kids are in bed. The game provides a fertile ground for self-exploration; I feel I can improve myself as I improve my ability to play. On top of all that, it's a ton of fun. :-)


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Post #7 Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:56 pm 
Honinbo
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Hi wind&water,

Yea, high school can be rough.
Nice you can visit the SGC regularly!
May I ask if you know your lineage to master Ueshiba Morihei ?
Still haven't read Shibumi; some day... :study:


jeromie: is Go no longer on the top 100 ?! :scratch:
Did Monopoly pass Go ?! :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: Hi folks!
Post #8 Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:03 am 
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Hi Ed,

I wish I could claim relation to Osensei. He certainly is very influential!

I try to:

Relax Completely
Keep Weight Underside
Keep One Point
Extend Positve Ki

while playing. :bow:

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Post #9 Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:30 am 
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Shibumi is kind of a trashy spy novel. It's all right. I liked in high school, but it's not super deep.

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Post #10 Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:38 am 
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Go is currently ranked 128 at boardgamegeek. Monopoly is 16,159 - it’s not very highly regarded over there. There are over 100000 games in the database, so 128 is still very near the top!

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Post #11 Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:10 am 
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wind&water wrote:
When I was a junior in high school, in '82, I was very interested in Japanese / eastern culture and philosophy. I was practicing Aikido, meditating, reading koans & the Tao Te Ching, doing a lot of life drawing, and long distance running.

I was attracted to Go as a possible way to have transcendental experiences. ( The impetus for this came from reading Shibumi by Trevanian. )

My high school physics teacher, whom I idolized, played Go and offered to teach me.
We had a couple of great lessons, but I was too intimidated by the need to impress him and the complexity of the game.
( and I was suffering from undiagnosed ADHD; high school was very rough ) So I quit. boo. sad.

Fast forward to 8 months ago, when I was re-reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. ( a very useful book about getting through creative blocks ) In which she asks the question "what activity would you do if you gave yourself permission to do it poorly?" and I thought "well, Go!"

So I started taking lessons at the Seattle Go Center, playing regularly, reading Go books, and solving tsumego. I am sloooowly getting better.

It still isn't the mystical experience that I hope it will be one day ( mostly it's a lot of stress and analytical thinking right now ) but there are the occaisional moments of non-verbal right brained reading, where I feel myself getting drawn into the board, that I really enjoy.

Enough about me, how did you get into Go?


If you have studied Zen Buddhism you know that it is important to be fully present in whatever you are doing. Go can be a practice for being fully present, with an open mind, and with as little ego involvement as you can manage. Mystical experiences come from within you, not from what particular activity you are doing. Some people behave as if pro go players are some kind of super beings. I've been privileged to know several Japanese go masters and as in the general population, some are ordinary people who happen to be able to play go well, others are exceptional people who also happen to be able to play go well. One of the benefits from the development of AI software that plays go at a superior level is that it shows that playing go well does not correlate well with characteristics of personality. I play go for enjoyment and I study to understand more. I find that this approach is more satisfying than trying to reach a particular rank or win against a particular opponent. So enjoy go!

Here is a page on Sensei's Library where many people wrote about how they got into playing go: https://senseis.xmp.net/?WhyDidYouStartGo


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 Post subject: Re: Hi folks!
Post #12 Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:39 am 
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Gowan, good points about being present and experiences coming from within!

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Post #13 Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:27 pm 
Honinbo
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Hi wind&water,
Quote:
I wish I could claim relation to Osensei. He certainly is very influential!
Yes, indeed. Sorry, I wasn't being clear: I didn't mean a direct connection.
For example, Chiba sensei used to teach in San Diego;
I don't know whether he has since retired.
And he was one of the last direct pupils of master Ueshiba,
so if a person studied with Chiba sensei, then he's two steps linked to master Ueshiba. I was just wondering if you knew your lineage;
but perhaps this was lost in the mists of time. :)
Quote:
good points about being present...
From your Aikido days, you know if your mind wandered, you could end up literally all over the place! :blackeye:


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