The Essence of Martial Arts

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

  1. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    You got it.

    I would say more, but I would be very much in danger of sounding like the preverbal fortune cookie
     
  2. DeLamar.J

    DeLamar.J 3rd Black Belt

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    There are people in the military who are qualified in combat martial arts. Also, there are martial arts styles that have a vow of combat only, never to be practiced for sport. Practicing for sport dilutes combat martial arts, because of the rules.
    I am a fan of the sport world of martial arts, however, people need to be very aware of the differences between sport martial arts and combat martial arts.
    Ever heard of iron palm training? Why would someone join a competition to cover up their hands that they have trained for years? There are people out there that can crack open your head with one knife hand technique, people who can blind you with a spear finger before you realize whats going on. You will not see them in UFC, pride, point fighting, ect ect, because they only believe in combat martial arts.
    That type of training will bring you martial enlightenment, training for sport martial arts will bring you very little.
    Ali, the greatest, right? Defeated by a martial artist because he didn't know how to deal with low kicks, or someone laying on the ground right in front of him. Sometimes people in the sport world need a reality check.
     
  3. MartialIntent

    MartialIntent Black Belt

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    Fu Bag, courtesy and polite inquisitiveness are two honorable traits you possess! Don't be worried about getting dangerously ponderous - the world's full of gasbags [I'd not pretend I was anything to the contrary ;)], and it's encouraging that you're doing your bit to pop some "hot air balloons" :).

    To cut to the chase, I think there's a great deal of pretense and snobbery in the arts. You don't have to look too far at all to stumble over some numpty looking to prove they're the best thing around by virtue of their skill, their experience, their rank, who mentored them or the amount of fawning adulation they garner when they open their gobs to speak [or type], LOL.

    My point is that when many of the arts were founded, a great many of those founders had lofty plans for what their art would become; what it would develop into and what benefits would actually be reaped not only by followers and practitioners but also by the community and society as a whole. I can perhaps use my own Aikido as an example - Ueshiba presented the art as a way to harmonize not just folk in the dojo but society in its entirety through a cohesive set of interconnected physical and philosophical concepts both flowing off each other. And there's no clearer example of the abyss between Ueshiba and the Aikido practitioners of today than the fact that hearing talk of "harmony in society" makes us curl up cringing. I mean, what are we doing to pursue such notions today? Shuffling around mats practising techniques on each other? Amazing.

    Anyway, you get my point I'm sure. This scenario isn't the sole preserve of Aikido, most arts aren't a shadow of what they were at their inception. It's the modern disease: more, faster, harder, me, me, me. Hehe.

    So, that's why I believe the essence of the arts is grounded immutably in the mundane, being nothing more than a system of physical [or sometimes internal or meditative] techniques. Unfortunately there are no bigger concepts impelling the arts, where I believe there once were. Practitioners of today are too apathetic, lacking creativity, inspiration, vision, and most of all artistry - present company excepted, naturally ;).

    Good luck yourself, and keep on popping balloons - soon you'll see the sky, hehe :)

    Respects!
     
  4. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Blue Belt

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    Xue Sheng,

    Thanks :) A great game to play with your spouse is to add "in bed" after every fortune cookie message! :D (I, of course, have never done this...)


    DeLamar.J,

    Thank you very much for adding so much to this thread. Your perspective is very welcome. As for the wake up call.....you're quite a good messenger. :)



    MartialIntent,

    Awww shucks... :) I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about... :D Unfortunately, I have to agree with many of your points. I do, however, believe that it's not a hopeless situation. There's a saying that "we are wonderfully and fearfully made". Somewhere along the line, people stopped feeling the wonderful stuff about themselves and, consequently, they seem to have stopped looking for it in others.

    Now, I'm not saying that people don't say "look how wonderful I am!!!". What I'm saying is that people aren't necessarily being provided with the opportunity, and/or training, to shine. A shiny trophy or a flashy patch is a long way from the shining essence of our inner truth. I think that there is a power in our inner truths that can reflect the essence of martial arts out into the world and improve it.

    I've now read written works by Ueshiba, Kano, Funakoshi, and Hatsumi and I can say that I believe that this: "the art as a way to harmonize not just folk in the dojo but society in its entirety through a cohesive set of interconnected physical and philosophical concepts both flowing off each other. " appears to be a universal truth, or wish, perhaps, that has been cast aside as being unimportant by some. Unfortunately, those who've cast aside such wisdom have influenced others to the point to where a new "truth" is being touted.

    If you'd like, let's work on presenting Ueshiba-sensei's ideas. We may get flamed, or maybe ignored, but Martial Talk seems the perfect place to discuss such things. Personally, I think I'll be incredibly fortunate if I can even accomplish a few of the things Ueshiba-sensei wrote about within my lifetime. Maybe, though, if we can tweak people's interest, other people will find value in these things and take up a thing or two themselves.

    Here's to hoping... :)


    Fu Bag
     
  5. matt.m

    matt.m Senior Master

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    I think that MA does many things. It builds camraderie, it builds self confidence, self esteem as helps with self assurance.

    There is no magical essence of MA. Sorry, it is not some kind of magical cosmic thing. It is something that is grown into, and in time will be strongly nurtured.
     
  6. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Blue Belt

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    Matt,

    Great points and I agree with all of them. You're right about it not being "magical". It's actually supposed to be very natural.


    "It is something that is grown into, and in time will be strongly nurtured."

    Perfect!


    Thanks for the reply.

    Fu Bag :)
     
  7. w.kaer

    w.kaer Green Belt

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    I agree. The "essence of martial arts" lies within. It is different for us all, therefore the "essence" is the growth that occurs when studying.
     
  8. King

    King Green Belt

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    Nice topic, informative and entertaining at the same time. lol

    I'd like to throw my lot with the people who mentioned that the essence is in the constant learning and desire to improve oneself. I mean without that drive one doesn't get too far in the MA world. I feel the biggest obstacle is the point when martial artists think they know everything and stop practicing.
     
  9. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Blue Belt

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    Hi w.kaer and King,

    Thanks for the replies :)

    I was just thinking about what King said regarding our biggest obstacle. I think that the biggest hurdles are the dreaded plateaus. When you're climbing, it's easy to feel alive, focused, and hopeful that you're getting somewhere. Then, you climb over the top and find another sheer cliff to climb.

    It's easy to sit a top of the plateau, see people climbing up, and think "Well, at least I got somewhere". All the gear is provided to do the climbing. It's just a matter of doing it. At some point, though, when you're looking down from the plateau, maybe you look down and see that not so many people are interested in climbing higher. Below, people are happy, content, and enjoying each other's company.

    They still look up and wave in friendship and respect though. They encourage you to keep going and for you to come and visit them whenever you can. They even ask if you wouldn't mind bringing back something from your adventures. And as a warrior friend, you gladly do it.

    So, up another sheer cliff you go, and another, and another, and another until you are far from home and seem alone in the world. At this point, those lower plateaus are looking pretty inviting. All the friends, the good company, and the companionship seems like, maybe, is the highest goal afterall and not climbing up some stupid mountain. The higher you climb, the less people you find for company until you are alone, at the peak.

    You've learned many things along the way but, now, have no one to share them with. Was it worth it? Well, yes. You are always welcome with the friends you made along the climb. I was told once that the higher you climb, the lonlier you will become. Friendship and relationships will be redefined, people will look at you differently, and you will be truly alone in the world. And the hardest part, he said, was that you have to be this way, otherwise you'll wind up getting someone killed.

    For me, that is my hurdle. To keep going and learning. My sincere respect and gratitude goes out to the teachers who've chosen this path. They're the ones who have chosen to be students their entire lives, who continue to climb, and who brighten our world by shedding their leaves so that we may enjoy the sunshine. I have to wonder if they even have a choice as to whether or not to keep climbing.

    For those who are chosen to keep climbing, thank you. :)

    Respectfully,


    Fu Bag
     
  10. stabpunch

    stabpunch Orange Belt

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    Couldn't have said it better123
     

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