By Stephen Cheney
The Martial Arts deal with the subjects of: BODY, MIND, and SPIRIT
The arts of course are good for the health and the protection of the body.
Many Martial Arts have turned into sports such as Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Boxing and Karate Do. There focus is on the body and the enjoyment of competitive fighting. There are rules imposed for safety, though because of a need to win, there are injuries. Those rules exist in the regulation of an arena, but do not exist out in the street. In Sport you have many contests and if you lose you live again for the next bout.
Therefore, although a Sport Martial Artist may be fit and strong and fast and have advantages in a street fight, they have not actually trained for the dangers of a street fight where the attacker has no rules of restriction. In the Street if you lose the contest you might not live again for any next fight. In good Sports Martial Arts Schools they often include a Self Defence program, using the schools’ style of fighting, but more street-practical teaching.
The Combat types of Martial Arts such as JuJutsu, Hapkido, Wing Chun and others specialize in survival when under vicious attack. In the Street when your friend, mother, child is attacked, are you to just walk away because you have no combat training? The combat arts deal with ultimate realities. The methods designed from ancient times by wonderful masters, are methods that work when the attacker is stronger than you. The Sport arts measure and match equals to clash together, but the Street does not. The Sport arts fight one against one, but the Street does not, two or more on one is not uncommon. There is no fairness in a vicious attack in the real world. One must respond with effective measures or be hurt, mutilated or even die.
The Martial Arts provide numerous techniques which through constant practice make one a warrior whether you are a child, female or a man. The level of your ability as a warrior is only dependent on your training and how much you practice. That is what is easily seen in the Martial Arts. But that is the lower level, the Martial Arts provide more.
What is not often considered is that the Martial Arts also train and develop the mind. The student does not only get a fighting ability, they gain confidence in themselves. Even if naked, their body is still a weapon and they can be dangerous against any attacker. With practice under the kind discipline of a teacher, the student learns to control their actions and their emotions. The mind controls the body. They learn to cope much better with Fear. Fear eats at the mind, makes life miserable, freezes you when you need to move, Fear arises in every sudden or fearsome attack. Bullies will in their manner, shouting, swearing, glaring, and posturing threaten the stability of their victim’s mind, often long before they even hit or grab their victim. Through training a student can look through that behaviour and deal with the attacker.
But if the mind is the second level, the Martial Arts provide even more.
Martial arts masters have always been interested in philosophy and religion. Their focus though is not so much on worship, but on insight.
The Mind remembers, collects information, thinks, analyses, but it is one’s SPIRIT or Will that decides. We as people feel incomplete. We seek something to fill the gap, but we are uncertain as to what it is, for we do not Have it to Know it. The animals do not ask who they are: they just Are and Be. We humans are a complexity overdone, our lives are complex with too much to learn and too much to do. We are in search of a Simplicity that will contain our scattered thoughts and bring us into a wholeness. Thus we meditate, dwell on philosophy, on religion, or at a less thinking-level simply seek some calmness and peace to gather ourselves together.
When you are taught in the Martial Arts, your body benefits, you can survive attacks by stronger people, your mind is calmer in a crisis, you can cope with daily problems better, withstand problems that you cannot change, for you are more than what you were. You become in touch with your SPIRIT, a willingness to face the world, and all its Good you take in and protect, and all its Bad you withstand.
Coming, I don’t enter at the gate,
Going, I don’t leave by the door.
This very body
Is the land of tranquil light. Gyokko (1315-1395 AD)
Fear is a normal reaction to DANGER. It is an emotion that shows that you are awake and have perceived DANGER and are projecting the future damage the DANGER can do to you if you do nothing. But FEAR fills your mind with unpleasant thoughts and possibilities, so it clouds your mind and blocks quick decisions to act.
You cannot change a MONSTER who is attacking you into a kitten. But you can change your mind from being a sociable person who is no fighter, into being as a DRAGON who can fight in spirit and action.
Pleasant sociable persons do not fight; they are seen as victims and get destroyed.
What are the common restrictions FEAR, a chemical-emotional overload, imposes?
In FEAR you:
1.. Think that you face Danger alone, near helplessly, with little power.
2.. Tense your muscles on your bones so you end up stiff and not flexible.
3.. Tend to hold your breath.
4.. Tend to think too much about your impending future of Hell, instead of Acting to avoid
You need to unlock the hold that FEAR already has on you before your Attacker even gets to you.
How do you change yourself when you notice a state of FEAR arising?:
1..Drop your hips a little, bend your knees a little. This helps you to relax and become like a spring that can move fast instead of like a stiff and slow dummy. FEEL your feet press into the ground; ground is Mother Earth, a levering force that is Always present, will Always help you, but you have to connect through your bent pressing legs. A Jedi Knight knows where FORCE is for the taking: The Earth always, and also the incoming force of your Opponent. You are a Child of the Mother Earth, press down to draw its power. When stiff, your body is telling your mind that it is helpless; when relaxed, your body is telling your mind that it is ready for direction.
2..Drop your shoulders onto your torso. This helps you to relax and your arms to become loose and fast, ready to be swung upwards into a protective guarding fence. Your arms, at least one, always guard your vertical centre line. Your Open hands keep always moving, they show that you intend no threat. They also say that you are in charge of your own space not Him, and you know that, your guard arms kindly tell Him that. Body language.
3..Breathe out slowly a little from your mouth. This moves you internally, revs up your motor so that you can instantly and smoothly move when required. In FEAR it is hard to initiate movement, but by breathing out as your Attacker moves towards you, you are already moving although the Attacker cannot see that. It is now far easier to move your body out of harm’s way when a strike or grab comes at you. Overwrite your FEAR with COOLNESS: At the extent of your arms, HAPPILY meet and greet the Incoming limb and bring it in and passed you. Do not obstruct a Force, angle to guide it. When given a gift, it is rude to reject it. So when an Attacker sends his force to you, accept it gladly and play with it. Take what is given you. Change a FEAR mind into a WELCOMING mind.
4..Don’t think. Instead just observe what is happening. Absorb what is outside into you, instead of sending out your thoughts, as that blocks information input. Observe the speed of the incoming attack and flow in harmony with it.
5..Swing your loose soft arms upward from the hip and from your shoulder tips. Happily greet his incoming limbs and deflect them passed you. It is that Accepting attitude that will help to dissipate your fear. Mentally accepting the outcome, whatever it be, win or lose, helps the mind to dissipate Fear. The Samurai accepted that they may die any day, such as today; and in accepting that, dispelled the alarm of Fear; and being fully in control of themselves, moved forward to change the outcome of battle in their favour.
(Image: Martial Arts Silhouettes - Google Images)