The Essence of Martial Arts

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Fu_Bag, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. profesormental

    profesormental Brown Belt

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    Greetings!

    When I read your reply to my post, I thought of the following:

    "The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance."


    "To Preserve the Peace, prepare for War."

    Some buhdist warriors once said that to know the way of peace you must prepare for war... to learn how to fight so as not to fight...

    Interesting ideas.

    Sincerely,

    Juan M. Mercado
     
  2. Shaolinwind

    Shaolinwind 2nd Black Belt

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    I still haven't figured out just what exactly the Essence of Emeril is.. This one is way out of my league.
     
  3. DeLamar.J

    DeLamar.J 3rd Black Belt

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    The way to the essence of martial arts is the combat effectiveness of your art. Only then will you be able to experience any type of real martial essence. You can achieve enlightenment in other ways such as religion, but a martial enlightenment requires real martial techniques. You also must be exposed to those who have reached their full combat potential in the style you are learning, or you will remain stunted and incomplete.
     
  4. BlackCatBonz

    BlackCatBonz Master Black Belt

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    1....in my opinion.
    I think if you study long enough....all paths lead to the same destination.
     
  5. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Blue Belt

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    Shaolinwind,

    Thanks for responding. I haven't yet begun researching the Chinese arts. I'll have to wait on giving you a proper response until I've had the chance to do some research.


    DeLamar.J,

    These are excellent points and I agree 100%. Thanks for pointing out the difference between spiritual enlightenment and martial enlightenment. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts and ideas about how mainstream martial arts teachers can, or would, reach their full combat potential. Personally, I'd think that they'd have to have enough experience killing people in hand to hand combat to be, without a doubt, considered by the martial arts community to have reached their full combat potential.

    I'm not sure of how many martial instructors would be interested in repeated killing for the sake of proving themselves. I would hope that the numbers would be fairly low but, then again, that seems to be what people respect with regards to the "martial" qualification. I'll have to think about this some more but I definitely agree with what you're saying. Great signature by the way!



    BlackCatBonz,

    Thanks for the reply. I honestly don't know what the final destination might be. I definitely don't know how I'd define it. Of course, I haven't been studying that long either. How would you define the final destination?



    Have a great day/night all.

    Fu Bag :)
     
  6. MartialIntent

    MartialIntent Black Belt

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    I'd like to elaborate just briefly if I may - I think sometimes we're inclined to contrive all kinds of wonderful notions of ourselves as martial artists spreading peace, knowledge or enlightenment. In reality, these martial arts "essences" are figments; illusions of grandeur. Generally our martial arts are practiced in a complete vacuum [inside the practice hall]. There's seldom a crossover into the outside world, let alone any kind of evangelism to spread the important tenets that many of the founders of our arts were so inspired by.

    These ideas are nice to read about or discuss but they aren't why anyone practices a martial art today [in my opinion]. There's no great meaningful essence and martial arts now are simply offensive / defensive / fitness / meditative systems.

    Respects!
     
  7. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Blue Belt

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    MartialIntent,

    Thanks for elaborating a little. I was going to get dangerously ponderous. :) I think what you're speaking of is a different definition of "aliveness" than the "popular" definition floating around at the moment. I'd still like to inquire, if I may, as to the essence of what you're speaking of. Do you feel that the important tenets are currently trapped within a complete vacuum and that, due to this, the essence is trapped within either static minds or static practices?

    I think that Kacey had an excellent point with regards to this situation. There are too many people who try to either guard what they think are "the deep dark secrets" because it makes them "special", or there are people who think that they can string people along indefinitely by claiming that they sell "the deep dark secrets". I think that the nicest way to express my feelings about this is that I don't find that these practices are very flattering to the people who engage in such behavior.

    Thankfully, there are forums, MartialTalk especially, where people can come and figure out how to improve the situation without having to deal with the restrictions and limitations which others would impose upon them.

    You have some very interesting thoughts. I look forward to hearing more of them.

    Take care,

    Fu Bag :)
     
  8. SFC JeffJ

    SFC JeffJ Grandmaster

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    I think for but a very few, this has always been the case through out history.

    Jeff
     
  9. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Blue Belt

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    Jeff,

    How would you describe those who went beyond that description in their lives? Will you share some examples of good role models for those who would follow in their footsteps?

    Respectfully,

    Fu Bag
     
  10. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    If by essence you mean the most important ingredient; the crucial element, then in my opinion it is the martial artist. A serious martial artist can make the art however a non-serious practitioner can break it much more easily

    One.

    And I do not know if you would get Universal truth, but you may just get your own truth. (I'm trying desperately not to sound like a fortune cookie or Kwai Chang Kane here)

    Actually I think if you are asking questions like this there is no way you can be a meathead. :asian:
     
  11. Shaolinwind

    Shaolinwind 2nd Black Belt

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    Definately research Emeril a little. He is definately a harsh master of his art, and very loud. His shouting "BAM" all the time unnerves me but inspires me to perform better.
     
  12. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Blue Belt

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    Xue Sheng,

    This part is great!

    "If by essence you mean the most important ingredient; the crucial element, then in my opinion it is the martial artist. A serious martial artist can make the art however a non-serious practitioner can break it much more easily"

    I have this theory, based on what I've been researching lately, that it does have a lot to do with the martial artist. I think that, if you can just become natural enough and remove your own self-imposed limitations, the Way will then be able to come through magnificently in your time of need. Maybe it'll look like really good martial arts, or it might just be the perfect thing said, at the perfect time, to diffuse a situation. So that would definitely be in line with the martial artist either making, or breaking, the art. What do you think about this theory?

    LOL @ "fortune cookie" and thanks for the compliment!

    I'm very curious if what I'm talking about relates well to Tai Chi.

    Looking forward to your reply.


    Fu Bag :)
     
  13. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Blue Belt

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    Shaolinwind,

    Are you a chef? LOL @ BAM! Honestly, I don't think you're the only person that that would unnerve. I'm not sure I'd want to be doing any speed cutting when he was behind my back!
     
  14. SFC JeffJ

    SFC JeffJ Grandmaster

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    I think the best example would be Ushieba Sensei. The way he interwove his brand of Shintoism into Aikido was inspirational. However, many of his followers after his death destroyed the balance between the physical and the spiritual in Aikido in my opinion.

    Me, I'm happy with a good nikkyo. That is the essence of martial training as far as I'm concerned.

    Jeff
     
  15. Thunder Foot

    Thunder Foot Purple Belt

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    Interesting theory. This is a very touchy subject for me, because I personally believe that there is no such thing as realizing the Way. Many comment on it based on previous experiences, but I believe that you can not live by such instances. Its an unttainable goal that we all strive or do not strive for. Whether 20 yrs of practice, or 0 yrs of practice... no one can predict their future reaction 100%. And due to that fact, any prenotions of what a person may believe to be martially essential, must be re-evaluated the moment they have another conflict. And not knowing for sure, is simply wishful thinking. Of course, this is just a matter of my opinion.:asian:
     
  16. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    I agree with the theory. I believe I read once if you do something about 10,000 times (It may have been 2000, I know big discrepancy there but it was about 10 years ago) it becomes habit so if you train something and train it well it should come naturally when needed. Also having to stop and think about something can get you hurt. And in internal MA, particularly Tai Chi, it has been my experience that when I do something right the first time and say “WOW!! Finally I got it right” I am thinking about it too much and it takes what feel like forever to get back to that accomplishment and stop thinking so hard about it.

    What I meant by the martial artists making or breaking the art was that if someone trains their chosen art well with a person that truly knows it and they honor what they have been taught then they can not only help propagate that art to others they can contribute to it as well.

    However if someone does not do anyone of those, particularly the last one, honor what they have been taught, they can dilute and even destroy the art or at best make it something lesser.

    Most unfortunately many that decide to train martial arts, and I feel this applies greatly to Tai Chi, don't really want to work at it, they want to be a master now. They would rather say I do Tai Chi or I'm a Black belt than train hard to actually understand Tai Chi or truly earn the Black belt.

    So the student that did not truly learn the art or didn't have a teacher that understood it or really taught it or if they simply do not honor what they have been taught can very likely go out open a school and have a lot of students. Where the one that truly understands the art and teachers it as they were taught and really trains it has fewer students.

    However regardless of the number of students or how long it takes to learn it is always better to take the time to truly learn it and teach honestly.

    I have used these examples way to much on MT but here I go again.

    A TDK school near me use to promise a black belt in a year. This is one of the biggest schools I have ever seen. And now there are at least 3 of them belonging to the same guy.

    There was also a TDK school in my area that taught they owner of the previously mentioned schools. This TDK master was just that a master and he never gave this person permission to teach. He could do nothing about it however and became disgusted, closed his school and left the area. TDK is worse off because of this.

    There is also a CMA school that teaches you multiple forms, and they are not even demanding the forms be correct and some of those students have gone off and started teaching too and there are a lot of people going there. Yet the Wing Chun School down the street from there is very small has fewer students and in my opinion if you want a true CMA in my area you should go to the Wing Chun School.

    I have tried to get people to go there and some have, but most are afraid to get hit and they won’t get hit at the forms school and besides what do they get if the go to Wing Chun? A couple of years from now they can say I do Wing Chun. But if they go to the other CMA school a couple of years from now they can say I do Chen style Tai Chi, Yang Style Tai Chi, Shaolin Kung fu, Northern mantis, and Wudang too.

    Can they do any of these? No. Are they destroying those styles? Yes and there are a lot of them, far more than the Wing Chun School has.

    Damn there I go ranting again and I may be off post… sorry about that.
     
  17. SFC JeffJ

    SFC JeffJ Grandmaster

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    Since it's come up a few times:


    2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
    2 tablespoons salt
    2 tablespoons garlic powder
    1 tablespoon black pepper (freshly ground)
    1 tablespoon onion powder
    1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
    1 tablespoon dried thyme

    Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container

    Much better than the crap you buy at the grocery.

    JeffJ
     
  18. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    DAMN!!!

    Who would have thought that the essence of martial arts required freshly ground pepper :)
     
  19. SFC JeffJ

    SFC JeffJ Grandmaster

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    You find wisdom in the oddest places.

    Jeff
     
  20. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Blue Belt

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    Jeff,

    ROFL @ ingredient list!!! That was awesome. You did forget one very important ingredient though, gunpowder!! What would the essence be without gunpowder? It adds that extra * BAM *!!

    Ahem, so anyway...... :) One of the things Ueshiba-sensei wrote about the Way of the Warrior is that its purpose was to prevent slaughter. I was thinking about some of the comments over in the "No Enemies" thread and decided that the best way to prevent slaughter is to refine yourself to the point to where you don't need to slaughter people or to be slaughtered by an army of pissed off friends and family of whomever you slaughtered.



    Xue Sheng,

    This is where your idea of it all boiling down to the martial artist comes into play. Considering what the Bagua master and Sun Tzu wrote about the cost of war and killing, it's amazing to think that even one person doing their best to live a life without enemies can go a long way toward preventing the slaughter of many. I was thinking about "Swiss Cheese Man" and decided that being a Swiss Cheese Man can be a very good thing.

    I think that the reason I'm absorbing and learning a little easier right now is because all of these holes help me to see through my facade and start to learn about my own truth and essence. It's similar to the way you aerate (punch holes in) your lawn so that its roots can get the water and nutrients it needs. That's where Dr. Jeff's Essence of Martial Arts comes into play.... ;)

    That's why I need to find the right art for me. I want to be able to study an art that I can respect, that my family can respect, and that will strengthen my bond with them instead of tearing it apart. If I can do this, then I will have no problems honoring the art, growing in the art, and, possibly, even helping to continue and improve the art. Otherwise, I'd rather not add to the overall problems which you speak of.



    Thunder Foot,

    Thank you for the reply. By pointing these things out you've shown me that I'm actually contributing to the problem by maintaining an idea or definition that's very static in nature. Actually, re-evaluating all of my prenotions would be a very good idea and I'd much rather work on that before a conflict so that I can move more naturally when it's hitting the fan. Great opinion and I thank you for sharing it with me. :)

    Respectfully,

    Fu Bag123
     

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