Martial Arts Philosophy/Religion

bushidomartialarts

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hey all. i'm reading 'jesus & buddha as brothers', a book about the similarities in christian and buddhist thought.

so the question for the week is:

as martial artists, we've been exposed to buddhist thought.

as westerners (mostly), we grew up immersed in a judeo-christian culture.

what insights/struggles/wisdoms/foibles/anecdotes do we have from the melding of these two philosophies?
 
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bushidomartialarts

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frinstance...

the first one for me was looking hard at the ten commandments and the code of bushido. both are good lists of how to behave. i really liked that bushido was a list of 'thou shalts' as opposed to the mostly 'thou shalt nots' in the ten commandments. more empowering and places greater responsibility on us.
 

shesulsa

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~Moderator Note:
~Moved to Philosophy and Spirituality Section
~G Ketchmark / shesulsa, MT Senior Moderator
 

Xue Sheng

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I promise to try and stay out of this after this because I a big proponent of not applying religion to martial arts since they were originally based on philosophies not religion and they were made for war unless of course you are discussing a Japanese "do" style then they were for self cultivation, but are still quite efficient at the martial side of martial arts.

But there are other philosophies that influence other martial arts, Taoism comes to mind. And different types of Buddhist philosophy, Chan and Zen and then there is Shinto, and you can't forget Confucianism either, it was a major influence on bushido.

And I will admit there has been a blending between eastern and western thought as Martial Arts moved to the west.

OK, I'm done now.

 

Martial Tucker

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Xue Sheng said:
I promise to try and stay out of this after this because I a big proponent of not applying religion to martial arts since they were originally based on philosophies not religion and they were made for war unless of course you are discussing a Japanese "do" style then they were for self cultivation, but are still quite efficient at the martial side of martial arts.

But there are other philosophies that influence other martial arts, Taoism comes to mind. And different types of Buddhist philosophy, Chan and Zen and then there is Shinto, and you can't forget Confucianism either, it was a major influence on bushido.

And I will admit there has been a blending between eastern and western thought as Martial Arts moved to the west.

OK, I'm done now.

Hmmm.....I'm often wrong, but I interpreted the purpose of the thread as simply a discussion of Buddhism/Christianity. The application to martial arts was not the point or the primary purpose of the the thread, as I understood it.
 

Xue Sheng

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Martial Tucker said:
Hmmm.....I'm often wrong, but I interpreted the purpose of the thread as simply a discussion of Buddhism/Christianity. The application to martial arts was not the point or the primary purpose of the the thread, as I understood it.

I apologize for the intrusion.

But you are talking from the point of view of a martial artist exposure to religious concepts which imply martial arts.

Bushido was mentioned, that is heavily influenced by Confusion theory and I saw no "Hmmm" response to that. So I added Taoism and various types of Buddhism as well. And just as a point of reference if you are talking strictly Japanese styles you also have a Shinto influence. So a martial artist can be exposed to various things in the martial arts, not just Buddhism, which is not Bushido. But if you are restricting it to Christianity and Buddhism then forget the rest.

And yes, there are a lot of similarities between the two, more than most people are willing to admit.

Sorry for the intrusion, I will stay out of you post, even if I am again quoted
 

shesulsa

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It appears to me to be an open-ended question, folks. Let's just discuss it now, eh?
 

Martial Tucker

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Xue Sheng said:
I apologize for the intrusion.

But you are talking from the point of view of a martial artist exposure to religious concepts which imply martial arts.

Bushido was mentioned, that is heavily influenced by Confusion theory and I saw no "Hmmm" response to that. So I added Taoism and various types of Buddhism as well. And just as a point of reference if you are talking strictly Japanese styles you also have a Shinto influence. So a martial artist can be exposed to various things in the martial arts, not just Buddhism, which is not Bushido. But if you are restricting it to Christianity and Buddhism then forget the rest.

And yes, there are a lot of similarities between the two, more than most people are willing to admit.

Sorry for the intrusion, I will stay out of you post, even if I am again quoted
Xue Sheng, You misunderstood my post. In no way do I consider your post an intrusion, and it shouldn't matter if I did, this is not my thread. You have nothing to apologize for, and I was not upset or offended by your post, in particular your mention of belief systems other than Buddhism and Christianity. My post was a reaction to your first post saying that you didn't like to relate religion to martial arts. All I was saying was that I interpreted the thread to be solely about reconciling two religious belief systems, and having little or nothing to do about relating any religion to martial arts. I was hoping that my sentiment might make you more inclined to post your thoughts on reconciling different religious belief systems.

I meant no more than that, and I apologize to you if I came across as domineering or critical. That was not at all my intent. :asian:
 

Xue Sheng

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Martial Tucker said:
Xue Sheng, You misunderstood my post. In no way do I consider your post an intrusion, and it shouldn't matter if I did, this is not my thread. You have nothing to apologize for, and I was not upset or offended by your post, in particular your mention of belief systems other than Buddhism and Christianity. My post was a reaction to your first post saying that you didn't like to relate religion to martial arts. All I was saying was that I interpreted the thread to be solely about reconciling two religious belief systems, and having little or nothing to do about relating any religion to martial arts. I was hoping that my sentiment might make you more inclined to post your thoughts on reconciling different religious belief systems.

I meant no more than that, and I apologize to you if I came across as domineering or critical. That was not at all my intent. :asian:

Not angry, not upset, not offended..ok probably was a little. I have seen the over use of Hmmm by many on the boards and although it was not your intent it always comes off as condescending to me. And I need to lighten up a bit too on this whole religion/spirituality/martial arts thing. It is probably because I am currently way to close to the issue.

And I am certain there has been some melding of the to philosophies, but there are major similarities to begin with the Golden rule is a good one

Buddha - How can I inflict upon others what is unpleasant to me?
Christianity - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

But there are also major differences, more than similarities, particularly in the core beliefs of Christianity. But that would probably be a different post.

But a discussion about any melding could be rather interesting.

I have said this before and I will probably say it again, so if anyone is sick of it, sorry, Western religions such as Christianity tend to be exclusive where eastern religions tend to be inclusive so I would expect you may see more acceptance of Christian philosophies from a Buddhist than you would see acceptance of Buddhist philosophies from a Christian.

Is this book "Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers" by "Thich Nhat Hanh"?

If it is I have not read this, but I may just have to pick up a copy. I have read some of his other books. And just as a side note Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen Buddhist
 

Martial Tucker

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Xue Sheng said:
I have said this before and I will probably say it again, so if anyone is sick of it, sorry, Western religions such as Christianity tend to be exclusive where eastern religions tend to be inclusive so I would expect you may see more acceptance of Christian philosophies from a Buddhist than you would see acceptance of Buddhist philosophies from a Christian.

I am in complete agreement with you on this. I was brought up in a devout Catholic family, but I quit going to Mass years ago, well before the
Church's total mis-management of the priest/sex abuse situation became
apparent.

I don't believe that there is "one true religion". I don't believe our Creator plays favorites. And, I grew tired of the guilt and hypocracy that I saw every Sunday. I am still a Christian, but I choose to focus daily on what is GOOD within me and try to see the good in others, rather than feel badly about my mistakes, and judging other people for their mistakes.
 

SAVAGE

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It hasnt bothered me, because I ignore the bhuddist concepts and jut focus on my religious aspect...that is the worship of christ! I do train spiritual aspects, just physical, I know the spiritual side...but for ME if it didnt come out of the bible it is not what I want in my life! Because I agree with xue shen...MA is about philosophy not religion...philosophies are easy enough to follow, but I cannot follow another religion, no matter how similar!
 

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Martial Tucker said:
I am in complete agreement with you on this. I was brought up in a devout Catholic family, but I quit going to Mass years ago, well before the
Church's total mis-management of the priest/sex abuse situation became
apparent.

I don't believe that there is "one true religion". I don't believe our Creator plays favorites. And, I grew tired of the guilt and hypocracy that I saw every Sunday. I am still a Christian, but I choose to focus daily on what is GOOD within me and try to see the good in others, rather than feel badly about my mistakes, and judging other people for their mistakes.

The Catholic Church has had its share of problems lately and in the past as well. What I do find interesting is the history of intolerance it has, The Crusades were in the name of religion against Muslims and if you read the Koran there really are not that many differences in core belief, but this is getting off post.

But yet the martial arts appear to be at least in the beginning influenced by philosophies that were very tolerant. I have not yet read about a Taoist or Buddhist Crusade against anyone.

And I agree with focusing on the good in yourself and not judging people by their mistakes is the way to go but most unfortunately most people do not think that way. I am glad to hear you do, I try to as well.

My mother-in-law is a Chan Buddhist (I would say devout) and I have never seen that woman get upset, she seems to always be happy.

And as for the Buddhist influence on Martial arts I know they are there, but I have been so focused on the Taoist side of things the Buddhist side currently escapes me. But, I believe the whole idea of respect in at least Japanese martial arts comes from Buddhism and I believe it has influenced some of the Chinese martial arts in this way as well.

SAVAGE said:
It hasnt bothered me, because I ignore the bhuddist concepts and jut focus on my religious aspect...that is the worship of christ! I do train spiritual aspects, just physical, I know the spiritual side...but for ME if it didnt come out of the bible it is not what I want in my life! Because I agree with xue shen...MA is about philosophy not religion...philosophies are easy enough to follow, but I cannot follow another religion, no matter how similar!

This is, in my opinion commendable. There are many who run from martial arts because they see them as trying to force another foreign religion on them, that is not really there, and they see the bowing as a religious thing instead of respect. And still others go on a crusade to change the martial arts philosophies to something they understand or force their religion upon them where one really does not exist in the first place. But I am once again getting off post.
 

DeLamar.J

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My martial arts philosophy is JKD, and my religion is Satanism(Anton LaVeys version). Both are about breaking away from the herd, being who you are, using what fits you best.
There are some contradictions in these two ways. Such as removing the ego in JKD, and pumping it up in Satanism. But both are parts of a universal whole.
JKD is the style with no style, and Satanism is the religion for athiests. I enjoy both of them very much.
 

Kacey

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I don't see any particular conflict between Judeo-Christian values and the Buddhist values that appear in many martial arts. They both espouse respect, morality, integrity, and many other similar concepts. The presentation may be different, but the intent is the same.

Some instructors use MA as a vehicle for spreading their particular religious belief, true - but that can be said of many other activities as well. If that is a concern for you, or something you are looking for - great, there is a class out there that can build religious values into the practice of MA. If not, there is a class out there that will totally avoid religious values in the practice of MA... and a broad range of intermediate positions as well.
 
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bushidomartialarts

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lavey satanism has some interesting points. i sort of wish he hadn't called it satanism -- there's wisdom in the philosophy and just choosing that name meant closing literally millions of minds to that wisdom. it's not as though satan is an important figure in that 'religion for atheists' (excellent description, by the way).

do you find any parallels between lavey satanism and buddhism? i haven't read lavey deeply enough to be entitled to an opinion there, but would be interested to hear yours.
 

MartialIntent

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bushidomartialarts said:
lavey satanism has some interesting points. i sort of wish he hadn't called it satanism -- there's wisdom in the philosophy and just choosing that name meant closing literally millions of minds to that wisdom. it's not as though satan is an important figure in that 'religion for atheists' (excellent description, by the way).

do you find any parallels between lavey satanism and buddhism? i haven't read lavey deeply enough to be entitled to an opinion there, but would be interested to hear yours.
I think to be fair, LaVey could have referenced his teaching as nothing but satanism, being as it is in it's entirety opposed to the teachings of the Christ. LaVey proposes not just an eye for an eye but a tenfold payback. He proposes that we as humans are nothing but animals [and no better than] and most importantly in this arguement, proposes that we ourselves are the only god.

I agree that this precludes many raised within christian-based religions from contact with LaVey's teaching but I don't believe satanic evangelism was his intent and to quote Matthew [albeit somewhat inversely: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many." ;)

Respects!
 

Xue Sheng

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DeLamar.J said:
Satanism is the religion for athiests.

No disrespect intended, but I am a bit confused here.

I admittedly no nothing about LeVey and little about Satanism. But my understanding of Atheism is that there is no god or gods therefore nothing to worship.

Satanism at least implies the worship of Satan, am I right or wrong?
 

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