What is your impression of martial arts and martial artists? In your mind are they tough fighters? Do you think of MAA (mixed martial arts) competitions, violence and aggression? Are martial artists thugs in your opinion?
Would you shy away from martial arts because of this perspective? Would you be drawn to something that sounded more spiritual, graceful and elegant? Would you consider martial arts if it was more artistic, about self expression and personal development?
If so, then please read on. This blog is designed to dispel some myths about martial arts in general and to high light some of the central and fundamental precepts behind martial arts.
And if you still like the idea of the aggression and competition of martial arts then I invite to read on too. You may not always enjoy this aspect of martial arts, nor may you be aware of its awesome power and potential which opens to you when you train with a different perspective and understanding.
The Great Masters have always been men of Peace
Bruce Lee, Morihei Ueshiba, Myomoto Musashi and Master Tesshu were all violent men in their youth. It was only when they contemplated their mortality that they realised the futility of violence and they began the quest for greater and deeper understanding of The Way or The Tao. Nelson Mandela was essentially a terrorist as a young man and Gandhi used to beat his wife and children before fear and hatred gave way to love and compassion.
Martial arts can show the way to compassion and love if we choose to use the body and mind to explore the connection to self and others and the world at large. It is the cultivation of the spirit, or intuitive energy of our being, that brings this connection and the peace that comes with it. Not all martial arts styles teach this way of peace. I believe it was always the true way it was taught in the past. In the modern world some have discarded these principles in favour of the physical aspects only. In my experience a person needs the mind, body and spirit to be healthy and strong and able to work together to mutually enhance the life experience so a person can live a meaningful and fulfilling existence.
Martial arts is unique I think in offering the potential to cultivate all three aspects of the being. It is not an easy path, yet it offers the chance for true freedom, creativity and self expression, keeping the energy flowing on many levels of the being and creating the opportunity to find real peace.
This is why I have continued martial arts for over a quarter of a century. It was not why I started. It is why I stayed and why I continue to teach-so that others may find their own path to peace and harmony.
Over to you
What is your experience of martial arts? Has it changed with time? Has it changed with teacher or style? What has martial arts taught you about peace and connection….. and about violence? We’d love to hear from you and enter further into this wonderful subject of energy, peace and connection.