Beads Land-Trujillo6 months ago
I'd suggest that the real problem with imitation is when it becomes synchronized and ghettoized. The power of what Daniel learns from Miyagi in painting a fence and washing a car is that imitation can carry across problem domains in ways that unsettle the status quo.
Likewise, Daniel, in adopting the crane stance in competition, is imitating Miyagi, and yet in a way that throws his adversary into confusion, for it is imitation that defies the synchronized rules of the mainstream dojo. Likewise, the crane posture itself imitates an aspect of nature that has nothing to do with the context of combat and competition into which it is emulated.
Too much of "improving upon" existing systems operates instead in a ghetto of imitation. Refining a method or feature, where the refinement draws its inspiration entirely from within the context of the accepted norms around that method or feature, is not really a break away from imitation, as the circumstances in which that method or feature make sense are still being emulated.