What martial arts is very much depends on who your teacher is and their motivations for practising and teaching their art. In martial arts there are countless schools, each one a subtle (or not so subtle) variation of the one that went before. They are not all the same, and that is how it should be. However, I believe they should all have central values. Although is it thought by many that learning to fight and to defend oneself in a physical sense is the main focus of any martial art it is in fact a by-product of martial arts.
Learning to fight is a product of the martial arts none- the- less, however the context of that learning is all important. Learning martial arts will teach the person physical co-ordination, conditioning, technique, mobility, flexibility and agility, and it also teach mind discipline, focus and intent which are essential life skills. Honour, integrity and etiquette should be all central and core values of all martial arts. As a teacher of martial arts I feel that a mutual desire to create an encouraging and nurturing learning environment is vital to students’ progress.
Martial arts can also provide the opportunity for self- expression and encourage the student to create works of art. A good teacher tries to find new and exciting ways and things to teach students to develop their skill in life as well as martial arts. A good school develops the martial arts by creating new forms, new techniques and new concepts that are a product of its passion for the subject.
As a student of martial arts, there is the opportunity for new learning and pushing the boundaries of your own potential which your teacher is qualified to assist you with. Martial arts are a vehicle for unlocking your own innate potential in all things, not just martial arts.
Reiki is a Japanese energy healing therapy. Rei means universal and Ki means energy in Japanese. It is a traditional method of energy healing that has been used for centauries but the understanding and practice became lost to modern man. In recent times it has gained a revival. It was brought to the west by a Lady called Mrs Hawayo Takata who was a Japanese Hawaiian, just before the Second World War. Since that time Reiki has traversed the earth and is now used in many countries. Each country adds something to the practice of Reiki in the way it is performed and passed on. Reiki is passed on from master to student and not just taught in a traditional way, although there is traditional learning as well to master as a Reiki practitioner. The student of Reiki must master how to give a treatment both to them-selves and to others also they must master how to send Reiki energy over long distances to people who may need a treatment. We all have a natural ability to heal. Reiki knowledge brings this ability to the fore for the student of Reiki. To be a Reiki practitioner the ability to connect to other people in a healing capacity on all levels of the person is cultivated, as Reiki itself heals the person on all levels. Reiki heals the practitioner as well as the patient. It heals on the mental, the physical, the spiritual and the emotional level of the person. Reiki can heal or support the healing of very serious illness. It does not harm in any way as subtle universal energy is part of the fabric of our being and so therefore can only be good for us. Reiki heals by flooding the body with universal energy and by doing this the body takes what it needs and replenishes the body to bring about healing of the physical body as well as the other bodies, emotional, mental, and spiritual, of the person. Reiki could be said to almost do it all. Reiki is a very effective healing therapy.
Which do you recommend for what kind of people?
Which you choose depends on you and where you are or what you wish for from your personal journey. You are on your personal path and may choose what is right for yourself. People who wish to explore themselves and their own life and quality of life may wish to choose martial arts. People who are unwell and are looking for solutions to that ill health or people who wish to help others or loved ones manage their ill health or people who are looking to become therapy professionals may choose Reiki.
Your experience of martial arts will depend upon the teachers you choose, the values they hold and the method of their teaching. Find people who are in line with your values. You may also be surprised what martial arts offer. It may well be that when you engage in either practice, Reiki or martial arts, they may shatter preconceived ideas that you may hold about either or both. The key to your personal energy journey is to be open to new ideas and to try things and give them time to unfold.
What are the unique benefits of each?
Both Reiki and martial arts offer people mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health benefits. These benefits are not unique to Reiki and martial arts but are certainly very powerful. Both martial arts and Reiki require mental focus to direct power and energy in certain ways. Once we learn the skill we can be opened up to the natural benefits of these practices , such as better health, reduction in the rate and effects of aging, more vitality and productivity, more creativity not just in the artistic sense but also relating to dealing with life’s problems, stresses and strains.
Martial arts can offer continued physical fitness, as well as an awareness of the body that leads to less injury. Due to the high impact nature of martial arts, it can promote bone density which may reduce the effects of brittle bones later in life. The fact that martial arts demand a range of body movements may promote prolonged mobility and flexibility, as well as coordination, balance and overall body strength.
Reiki has many benefits. Reiki is a quiet non-invasive therapy. It can be given hands off the body or hands on the body depending on what the person prefers. It does not hurt and there are no pills, lotions or potions to take or apply. There are no needles as in acupuncture and only requires the person to lie on a couch and relax whilst the practitioner works. It is very effective and there has been some research done on Reiki that has found the effectiveness of Reiki with regard to many illnesses. It will help most illness to a greater or lesser extent. Reiki always helps, never harms and will work alongside any other form of treatment, giving that other treatment support and help to do its work. It will speed up results gained using other therapies. It can be used alongside conventional medicine and will not interfere at all but will work in harmony with it. As the practitioner gives a Reiki treatment they too will obtain a treatment at the same time. Reiki helps with many of life’s difficulties as it brings about a calmer person and a person much more in tune with others. Reiki helps the practitioner strengthen their feeling of connection to all life and the universe.
“Best wishes from David and Lynette as you continue to nourish the flame within.”
Photo credit: Marc Arnold