Philosophy

Fred Claus

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I was talking with a retired cop who is beginning to train in Taekwondo and he was talking about the philosophy and his personal philosophy of the martial art. From what I can gather the art of Taekwondo has a philosophy that stems from Korean religious beliefs but ultimately it says

"the philosophy of Tae Kwon Do seeks to bring students to a level of consciousness known as Present Time. This occurs when one is completely in tune with oneself and nature to the degree that ones actions and reactions are always perfectly coordinated with the forces in life whether that be in the sparring ring, in a social setting or even when alone. Such a person cannot be made upset by anything it encounters in life. True masters of Tae Kwon Do are noted for their serene personalities, which stem from their living in Present Time."

Is there a overall philosophy for Krav Maga like this? What do you all say is your martial arts philosophy?
 
I would need a while to find the right words. But this Present Time philosophy is very close, if not the same, to what I am (or was) looking to achieve in martial arts.

This is nothing esoteric. You think, youre in the past, you slow down, youre hit. The future is yet to come, and unpredictable. Only the present matters in martial stuff (eventually the same for other sports, but in a war [mindset] loosing is [potentially] dying, there is no next game).

In the centre of the war (read fast sparring or fight) I find peace of mind. No thoughts, only observing myself moving, if I can follow the pace.
 
I was thinking about a philosophy for when I train people in my future school. My goal is to help people stay in shape and to be able to defend themselves. From what I see here I like the philosophical approach they say here but I think mine would be in plain English and say something like.

"To empower my students to feel self confident in everything they do. To feel like they can accomplish any task set before them, no matter if that is academic, social, or physical. To not be intimidated by any situation. The student will know that they can not control the world around them, but only how they let the world around control them. Students will also know that they have the power to end any confrontation by voice or force, whichever is required."
 
Krav Maga philosophy is. If you feel in danger run, if you can't run fight. If you fight make sure they can't fight again
 
Or to quote my favourite book character right now jack reacher "hit them hard, hit them fast, hit them often
 
My goal is to help people stay in shape and to be able to defend themselves.
To help your students to defend themselves, you can teach them:

- avoid,
- escape,
- ...

To help your students to protect their family members, friends, strangers, ... you have to teach them how to fight.
 
From Imi Lichtenfeld (Krav Maga): "So that one may walk in peace."
 
Love it. Yeah am right into this stuff, and I mainly train for these deeper reasons.

I don't do Krav, but it seems every martial art has a slightly (or majorly) different emphasis. Some far more strictly self defense related, some more physical/sports related, others more spiritual..

Wouldn't say I have a specific philosophy, all the stuff I read, study and meditate on flows right into my training, but any training you do that brings you out of conceptual thinking and into being/presence is good stuff. And it's definitely more of an experiential thing, you can't figure it out, but it's right in the training. I wouldn't even say it's concentration as such, but a particular focus of attention that brings about a different way of being. It's incredible what you learn in that place, and training becomes totally effortless.

It's a deep awareness and sinking into the present moment, which is all there is. A total acceptance/surrender. And funnily enough, even thinking about the past/future doesn't take you out of the present moment, because it's only IN the present that you're doing so! There's no escape haha. So the more you deny presence is how suffering comes about.

Not many schools openly teach this stuff (not any that I've come across anyways), so I just try and apply it in my training.
 
I was thinking about a philosophy for when I train people in my future school. My goal is to help people stay in shape and to be able to defend themselves. From what I see here I like the philosophical approach they say here but I think mine would be in plain English and say something like.

"To empower my students to feel self confident in everything they do. To feel like they can accomplish any task set before them, no matter if that is academic, social, or physical. To not be intimidated by any situation. The student will know that they can not control the world around them, but only how they let the world around control them. Students will also know that they have the power to end any confrontation by voice or force, whichever is required."
Seems more like a mission statement to me than anything else.
 
Love it. Yeah am right into this stuff, and I mainly train for these deeper reasons.

I don't do Krav, but it seems every martial art has a slightly (or majorly) different emphasis. Some far more strictly self defense related, some more physical/sports related, others more spiritual..

Wouldn't say I have a specific philosophy, all the stuff I read, study and meditate on flows right into my training, but any training you do that brings you out of conceptual thinking and into being/presence is good stuff. And it's definitely more of an experiential thing, you can't figure it out, but it's right in the training. I wouldn't even say it's concentration as such, but a particular focus of attention that brings about a different way of being. It's incredible what you learn in that place, and training becomes totally effortless.

It's a deep awareness and sinking into the present moment, which is all there is. A total acceptance/surrender. And funnily enough, even thinking about the past/future doesn't take you out of the present moment, because it's only IN the present that you're doing so! There's no escape haha. So the more you deny presence is how suffering comes about.

Not many schools openly teach this stuff (not any that I've come across anyways), so I just try and apply it in my training.
The martial arts were my introduction to philosophical thinking. Not the clubs and dojos in which I trained so much. Well, not overtly. Some instructors spoke about the deeper aspects of studying the martial arts, others kept things more superficial and concentrated solely on the fighting applications - I much preferred instructors who encouraged us to investigate the various philosophies and suggested reading materials along with spiritual exercises.

There is a lot of value in experiencing different styles and learning from all kinds of teachers and as a teacher I enjoy sharing thinking from various arts with my students.

Staying stuck in one tradition or style is not something I encourage and with a beginner's mind there is so much we can learn by stepping into new areas and staying curious about what we see, hear and experience.
 
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Or to quote my favourite book character right now jack reacher "hit them hard, hit them fast, hit them often
I think this comes closest to krav maga "philosophy." It is not a TMA or a sport. It has little history and does not seek to enrich one's life. It is a tool against an attacker trying to kill you. Even calling it an "art" is debatable. Devised primarily for the Israeli military and clandestine services, it is simple, direct, aggressive, fast, efficient and has the goal to kill/disable the opponent ASAP. Of course, thru time and commercialization, it has morphed some to take on additional trappings not originally intended.
 
The martial arts were my introduction to philosophical thinking. Not the clubs and dojos in which I trained so much. Well, not overtly. Some instructors spoke about the deeper aspects of studying the martial arts, others kept things more superficial and concentrated solely on the fighting applications - I much preferred instructors who encouraged us to investigate the various philosophies and suggested reading materials along with spiritual exercises.

There is a lot of value in experiencing different styles and learning from all kinds of teachers and as a teacher I enjoy sharing thinking from various arts with my students.

Staying stuck in one tradition or style is not something I encourage and with a beginner's mind there is so much we can learn by stepping into new areas and staying curious about what we see, hear and experience.
Yeah for sure man! I'm the same, but it can be rare to come across teachers who will weave the deeper aspects in a more overt way, well it is rare around here. But then many say it's taught more through the process of training and shouldn't be explicitly taught. I am lucky that I've come across a couple of teachers who do so, and it's has completely changed my approach to training..

Then I remember one of my fellow students and instructor in my old dojo said once which stuck with me.... "Sometimes it's good to stop talking philosophy and just train hard." I totally get what he was communicating with that haha. There's a simplicity to that and a way of delving directly into the experiential.

But I am still very much on the path of seeing how training and the spiritual merge and inform each other... I think intention plays a key role in it all, and the quality of questions you ask yourself in training.

That's a good reminder what you said... staying curious, thank you.
 
For me personally, my vision and goal of the MA journey, is to attain a level where I feel confident about the optimal actions in a combat situation, and I am trained so the come naturally without thinking, with minimal effort. That would mean some state of harmony of mind and body in a combat scenario.

It's this feeling that I search for also when training techniques and sparring.
It's as with many other things, if you are not sure if you got it right, and need to ask others, you do not understand the topic.

Similarly as long as I feel something is difficult or out of balance, having not power etc, then it's an indication that I don't master it.

It's something that strikes me when I watch a very high rank, sometihng that I struggle with both in my mind and with my body control - they make it seemingly with minimal effort and it even LOOKS easy.

So to sum up, my philosophy is the search for the feeling and confidence in handling any combat scenario with minmal effort. As long as that feeling is absent, I have more to learn. It is the same "philosophy" I apply also to science, I seek deep understanding, not just "skills", or "learning tools". When you get it right, you just know it and you nog longer need your teachers advice.
 
"Sometimes it's good to stop talking philosophy and just train hard."

But I am still very much on the path of seeing how training and the spiritual merge and inform each other.
This is an excellent point, Simon. Sometimes spiritual/philosophical enlightenment can be achieved through the process of striving for perfect physical execution by hard, dedicated training. As the body learns, the concepts are absorbed by the mind and spirit, kind of like osmosis.

I can't explain the process, but I think it happens. By the same token, understanding the spiritual and intellectual concepts can help one master the physical techniques.

This kind of transfer between elements (mind, body and spirit) is not common as few really understand (or believe) that these elements are all related. They are not 3 unrelated, distinctly separated things but can influence and flow between themselves and "merge," as you say (maybe like quantum's entangled particles?).

Now that I've just read what I've written, it does, I admit, sound like gobblygook (or to put it bluntly, BS). But then, so does quantum theory, at least to me. Stay on your path with an open mind - never know what you'll find.
 
Mine would be "learn the techniques, then learn to improvise."
 
This is an excellent point, Simon. Sometimes spiritual/philosophical enlightenment can be achieved through the process of striving for perfect physical execution by hard, dedicated training. As the body learns, the concepts are absorbed by the mind and spirit, kind of like osmosis.

I can't explain the process, but I think it happens. By the same token, understanding the spiritual and intellectual concepts can help one master the physical techniques.

This kind of transfer between elements (mind, body and spirit) is not common as few really understand (or believe) that these elements are all related. They are not 3 unrelated, distinctly separated things but can influence and flow between themselves and "merge," as you say (maybe like quantum's entangled particles?).

Now that I've just read what I've written, it does, I admit, sound like gobblygook (or to put it bluntly, BS). But then, so does quantum theory, at least to me. Stay on your path with an open mind - never know what you'll find.
Very well said! It's within the realm of direct experience that you open to certain realities, but having the philosophical framework really helps to accelerate that, and helps when that aspect is addressed alongside the physical/mental training.

You took the words out of mouth haha, I was literally just about to comment on the mind/body/spirit connection. Alot of martial artists say they believe the training is to unify mind, body and spirit, as though they were distinct, separate components, but I've always felt training presents the conditions to allow us to see how they are already connected, and to realise that deeply. Not to rejoin them, but see that it was already the case. You then can operate from a different framework or perspective upon recognising the interrelatedness, and can use that to explore training deeper. And this obviously flows on to your everyday life, understanding the connectedness.

Not gobbledygook, you make perfect sense :)
 
Is there a overall philosophy for Krav Maga like this? What do you all say is your martial arts philosophy?

Martial arts shares common philosophies or not, some common philosophies like where you put the mind you put your fist, mind and body like one, empty mind, dont be in the past or future, live the present, time and effort, self control, higher consciousness, seek eternal life or health improvement, inner peace, balance, self defense, etc.

I think Krav Maga is for self defense and save the life, of course it needs a fast destruction, if you are searching for a deeper philosophy of the martial art, you should focus in effectiveness, quick actions in short time and counter movements, actually it is a very amazing martial art only for his philosophy beacuse it follows the principles of yin yang, act (destroy) and protec.

My MA philosophy is to fight everyone and protec everyone, starting with myself, light grows in darkness.
 
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, but I've always felt training presents the conditions to allow us to see how they are already connected, and to realise that deeply. Not to rejoin them, but see that it was already the case. You then can operate from a different framework or perspective upon recognising the interrelatedness, and can use that to explore training deeper. And this obviously flows on to your everyday life, understanding the connectedness.

Not gobbledygook, you make perfect sense :)
This sounds a little like the Buddhist idea that we all already have Buddha nature安e are awake but just havent realised it yet.
 

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