Memorizing Joseki Discussion
moved from taiji:
Richard Hunter: I heard that when Michael Redmond came to Japan, one of the first things he was told was to forget everything he had read in Ishida's joseki dictionary.
Charles A page on "Ishida's clay feet" would be good, to pin down why ... (this is the page, chris :) -taiji)
BobMcGuigan: What I heard was a little different. As I recall Redmond said that he "had to relearn all his joseki ..." This meant, I thought, not joseki as in the Ishida dictionary but rather his understanding of what correct play was. Japanese pros sometimes use joseki to mean orthodox or proper play anywhere on the board. But maybe someone could ask Redmond what he meant.
Taiji Of course you cannot *simply* memorize joseki. However, I do feel that learning joseki is "one of the first steps to becoming stronger" (i believe that is a kageyama quote). Learning joseki is good because it can aid in your reading - how can you read ahead without knowing what moves to read? However, I caution anyone as well. Don't simply memorize. Feel free to improvize. I believe joseki is the best play in a certain situation. However, it is up to *you* to evaluate the situation. A free and easy hand concealing deep reading is similar to the taiji hand I hope to attain.
Also, about "ishida's clay feet". If you only play josekis from ishida's, and someone improvises, you lose all your strength. And to restate what I said above, you must at least play the right joseki for the situation. if you don't, you might as well not have played joseki at all. In that case, you missed the point entirely. As kageyama, I think, said, "Understand this one joseki and unlock the key to one hundred others".
Bob McGuigan: I think the "clay feet" phrase refers to the fact that there is a lot in the Ishida dictionaries that is out of date and even no longer considered to be joseki. I think the goal of joseki study involves shape, tesuji, and positional judgement, developing a sense for what is an equal result. Improvization is fine, and Ishida gives his blessing in the dictionary, but to learn from it you need to keep track of what happens over several attempts. Unexpected strange moves often are not taken advantage of properly by your opponent so you may think you've made a good move when, in fact, it was bad.