A Martial Arts Lecture - Part 2

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)


  1. Thank you for the lecture. It is a lot to take in, will be coming back a couple of times more to fully absorb the lesson. Good night to all.

  2. I don't see martial arts guys having a religion, at least most of them don't. Many learn it to know how to fight but I guess the genuine ones do have a religion and follow a philosophy, needed to focus. Great sequel and thanks for the tips to fight our fear.

  3. Mr Stephen, I too enjoyed the lesson. You know, I always use your techniques now and the ones to conquer fear should work too. Will try them. Thank you, sir.

  4. Article needs a bit of tidying up. ‘Haikido’ should be: ‘Hapkido’ as per my original draft. Computer processing seems to spell its own way, overriding us, not being human. ‘the mind follows and controls each movement’ should be: ‘the mind's attention follows as it controls each movement.’

  5. Ok, it may be a stupid question but what's Hapkido? I know Haikido but never heard of Hapkido. Cool lecture.

  6. Stupid question? To NOT question is stupid.
    Hapkido, in short, is the name of the 'modern' Korean martial art that is the equivalent, in general, to the Japanese art of JuJutsu.
    Hapkido draws its roots from native Korean arts and also mainly from the famous old Japanese JuJutsu school of Daito Ryu Aiki JuJutsu, which Korean Grandmaster Choi Yong-Sool studied for many years in Japan pre World War II. Hapkido is very comprehensive and is an effective art of self defence. It is not a sport art like the Korean 'karate' art of Tae Kwan Do has become; Tae Kwon Do is an art which (like many arts) is a blend of arts and its original combat form is still taught by some, mainly Korean masters. Hapkido has a large range of kicks in its art. It is not one of the arts/schools that I teach but I highly recommend it, its standards are high. Actually, the Koreans, to outdo the Japanese with whom they have such a long suffering history, excel in the will to train hard. The great grandmaster of the famous and powerful Japanese-Karate art, whose school is Kyokushin Karate, Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama, was actually a Korean (Choi Yeong-Eui). In martial arts the worth is in the man, not in the style. That is what the martial arts do, or should do: develop the worth and ability of the individual.

    1. Stephen, thanks, dude. I will look for Hapkido in Youtube to have a visual of it. Can anyone learn Hapkido at any age?

    2. Hapkido being of the JuJutsu family is what is called a “Soft” art. Martial arts are vaguely classified into Soft and Hard types. But most are a mixture of the two. “Soft” in English can also mean “weak” and that is incorrect as to the martial arts in translation of the Japanese word “Ju”, as in Judo. So a better English word to understand “Ju” is “Flexible” or “Adaptable”. The Soft martial arts prefer to adapt to any aggressive force; the Hard martial arts tend to contest force with force. The Hard arts require the development of power and so are OK but not really for the very young, the very old, or frail people. However the Soft arts, depending as they do on technique rather than on power, are very suitable for the frail. The Hard arts are easier and faster to learn while the soft arts take much longer to develop subtle awarenesses and skills. The soft arts are suitable for those six years old to sixty. I taught a four year old boy in minutes a Dim Mak technique to throw a combat trained adult male easily and devastatingly, using only two fingers. I have found that Soft art techniques can be taught in a short time, depending on the teacher. All teaching needs to be amended to suit the student’s limitations.

    3. "I taught a four year old boy in minutes a Dim Mak technique to throw a combat trained adult male easily and devastatingly, using only two fingers."

      That is amazing. This is great news for women: after being told for so long they are the weaker sex, your technique shows there's no such thing with the proper training. Cheers, Cheney!

    4. There are a number of effective techniques where you just use your fingers. Your whole natural body is full of weapons, if only trained.
      Sean Connery in his film "Rising Sun" demonstrated defences/ attacks using only the thumb as his instrument. A major consideration in any martial art or Self Defence, where your life may be on the line and where there are no rules restraining the opponent, is not the actual technique, but it is the difficulty of just how to get to actually apply that technique against a vicious, erratic and very uncooperative opponent. As Self Defence requires fast simple effective techniques, the setting up of a technique becomes its most important stage. In the two finger throw in question, for instance, a child has to get close and just by moving in to the adult, the adult can easily counter by a downward strike. So it requires teaching the child to cast a spell to distract the mind of the adult completely and the adult cannot then counter the child’s attack at all. Works every time.

      A trained woman can be as deadly as a man. Against strength, in JuJutsu you use leverage, pain, suffering and agony; except when practicing with your partner. Yes, obviously men naturally have more muscle. But a woman will only lose a strength contest if she fights strength with strength. If a man wields a huge heavy club, should a woman search for and grab for her own club to defend, using what lesser force she can muster against a greater force? No. She can pull out a gun and shoot the man with a tiny bullet, an instrument of but minor mass, and win. An attacker will always attack using superior strength against those whom he perceives as physically weaker. No bully attacks with the expectation of getting hurt themselves. In strength contests, a heavy bowling ball always crushes a light ping pong ball. That is understandable physics, that any child unhappily accepts. However, you can only be hurt by a greater force if you clash with it. No clash, no damage. You do not stay in the path of a truck and expect to push it back. No. You avoid the path of force and jump in the truck cab from the side and take over the wheel. This avoidance and circling is seen in many techniques, such as the avoid and wheeling in Judo’s O-Goshi major hip throw, or Koshi Guruma. JuJutsu excels at the avoidance of force and then the manipulation of it. Any woman, or child, can be a warrior. She just has to be determined to be a warrior, to train; and find a suitable teacher. A teacher who is willing to explain just why something will work and also when it isn’t suitable to use: so the student when in danger can make the correct judgement calls and flow from one technique to another. Masters who keep mysteries never fully pass on their art; they leave an emptiness when they are gone.

    5. Cheney, thank you for this great explanation. I defend that women should learn self-defence since they're kids (ballet is nice but it won't save them when attacked) so your words mean a lot. Cheers

  7. I had never heard of hapkido either, I only knew about haikido. Very good lesson, obrigada.

  8. Hapkido is an art that draws its teachings from ancient Korean arts and a lot from JuJutsu and from Aikido. Perhaps that is why some have spelled it as haikido. Aikido is a martial art of its own and you will find on YouTube videos of Haikido that are actually Aikido.

    Hapkido means the Art of Coordinated Power. Do is Art, Ki is spiritual coordination and Hap means Power in Korean. Hapkido's philosophical or strategy teachings focus on the Water principle of non-resistance, force redirection and Circular movements. These are highly prominent in Aikido also. As you blend with a Force and do not clash with it you do not have to be stronger than your opponent to win.

    ‘Haikido’ in Japanese means to dispose. Koreans use Korean, not Japanese words, some are the same. 'Hai' in Japanese means 'Yes' in English, amongst other meanings, and is clearly not the word 'Ai' as authorised by Aikido’s founder, Grandmaster Morihei Uyeshiba, one of the greatest masters of all time. In Asian languages a word can have many meanings as the concept is more prominent and expansive than is seen in European languages. This is why Chinese and Japanese excel at poetry as with just a few words many different worlds of understanding are opened. In English poetry the poet often provides two or more meanings in the use of words, saying one thing, meaning another, expanding, flowering the mind. In Chinese and Japanese there may be numerous meanings entangled in just a few words, making the languages saturated, and saying far more in a few words than English ever can. Thus when writing Haiku poems in English you can use more syllables than the Japanese formally use.

    Masters of the numerous old Samurai combat schools used poetry to explain martial art movements and concepts to students. I do the same. Some of the masters of calligraphy or painting or poetry were also masters of martial arts, such as the famous Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō.

    Samurai fighting style differs from that of the Chinese with their energy consuming, flowing Kung Fu movements. The Samurai needs to do nothing, conserving energy, waiting for his attacker to close the distance, then he moves and strikes.
    As in the Bashō Haiku poem which I translate simply as:
    “A still pond,
    a frog suddenly leaps,
    a splash in water.”

    Stillness, movement then Sound and waves rippling in circles.

    Teaching: You wait still; when you detect movement you harmoniously move; Strike with power from your spiritual centre. Ring the bell. Shatter the moment. In NinJutsu hand movements it is horizontal flat hand; uplifted curved hand; striking Heel-palm.

    The largest governing body of the art spells it as Hapkido: The Korean Hapkido Federation.

    Hapkido is composed of the words (concepts) of Hap-ki-do, and is also correctly known as Hap Ki Do (as Aikido is composed of Ai-Ki-Do, the way of spiritual harmony). The use of 'Do' is found in the modern martial arts since the 1800's, such as Judo or Karate-do. Do means 'Way', that is, the art of life, a philosophy is taught, as clearly seen in the principles of Judo and Karate-do. An old traditional classical martial art in Japan would normally have the word 'Ryu' instead in its name, meaning a stream, that is, the school is an authentic stream traceable and branching from the larger river of an older art. 'Ai' means the universal principle of Harmony; Ki means spirit or the flow within you of internal energy ('Chi' in Chinese, as in TaiChi). So Aikido means the Way of Spiritual Harmony and is an advanced art taking years to learn as it is not just techniques that are the focus but How you do those techniques: by blending in Harmony with both the force and body of the attacker. To do that you need to tune your senses to detect and begin subtly reacting before you even contact with your opponent. This takes a lot of training and practice; so it is an advanced art.

  9. Mr Stephen, when can we expect another article from you? Sorry, but I like to read your pieces.


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