Archive for the ‘Traditional Martial Arts’ category

Martial Artists spend their time doing crazy stuff

April 14, 2014

Things like staff or bo spinning for conditioning and coordination improvement.

In Asia, old men are often respected if not revered.

There’s a reason for that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Qingfu

A martial artist, using certain methods, can grow much more powerful as they age and only the strongest and most capable at survival can survive the numerous challenges and threats to their life into old age. A lot of it is mythology, but there are historical figures you can check to see what was going on back then.

Other countries have their cultural pride and favorite past times as well. Sometimes independent of whatever military or economic power they have.

The Japanese have a saying that hard work can be its own reward. In many ways, what individuals come up with is strange and unique, but hard work is the base of all those skills.

Wing Chun internal review

April 13, 2014

http://wn.com/chinaboxer

This should be Episode 3 Wing Chun Blast with Jin Young

Time for a recap, review, and re-training of old and new material.

Good videos, from a slightly different perspective on conceptual and mechanical concepts and applications for martial arts, not just one martial art.

Target Focus Training’s instructors, Tim Larkin’s group, had a similar effect on me as Jin Young’s instructors had on Young.

This describes more of the things I’m practicing with. More subtle manipulations of power, designed to counter direct line gravity assisted power or bodyweight force.

Dom Izzo is very strong in the upper chest and favors a forward moving mentality, a yang centered application of force. Thus that’s why he doesn’t experience the benefits of yin force (he said so himself one time), which is receding force or absorption. His primary point of power isn’t in moving backwards or indirectly tangent or around a point, but directly straight. That’s why some of the things in the Wing Chun Blast Episode 1 with him looks that way, in the intro chi sau.

Jin Young’s methodology is very strong on the root, so he doesn’t need to quickly bypass a block or attempt to speed eye catch an opponent’s strike, since Jin uses sticking energy. He literally sticks his arm unto an opponent, and controls the incoming attacks that way, by upsetting the opponent’s balance while preserving his own.

Every individual martial artist creates their own art. We wouldn’t call an artist an artist if all they did was sketch stuff overlayed on top of originals, now would we. So every one of these martial artists have learned things and learned how to deconstruct and re-engineer what they have learned: what some call critical thinking or independent judgment. So no matter what their technical differences are, spiritually and mentally their training methodologies are still light years superior than an athlete that has merely copied perfect technical applications and is good at sparring because of it.

One of the neighborhood girls that roam around with their friendship group, stopped by once to talk. This time they didn’t have the boys with them, since the boys didn’t seem like they wanted to get near me or talk to me. I wonder if they know something I don’t. But the girls, one who said she was 15 when some guy in a black car drove up the street and tried to pick her up (yeah), seemed to like talking about the martial arts I was practicing. So I showed her the basic strength against weakness concept where the arm escapes the hand grip by utilizing circular rotation and direct line force against that spot between the index and thumb of the gripping hand. So I gave her a physical demonstration, where her friends watched with interest, and she tried to pull out of my grip using her strength and I merely reset our arm position using my strength. Her face looked like she was really exerting herself, so I focused my eyes at a spot to the right of her head, to avoid pressuring her, and calmly repeated for her to use the technique to escape. She after 2 tries using strength, which didn’t work, finally used the rotation technique and it worked for her. That should have been a good lesson on the difference between attempting to out muscle people who are bigger and stronger than you, vs the efficacy of using physics principles against the human body.

If you watch Episode 2 of Structural Integrity, at around the 70% mark, you’ll see something like that arm rotation escape. A lot of these things I come up with using the base principles and experience working with training partners in dojos. It’s not something instructors specifically taught, it was mostly stuff I re-engineered and tested. Stuff people engineer themselves is very different from stuff people copy from other people.

Spiral Through the Heavens!

I also came to similar conclusions that linear and rotational force equals spiral power. Gurren Lagann and Naruto, believe it or not, helped me develop that conceptual framework, as well as the rotational principle in Target Focus Training. Proof positive that it doesn’t really matter where ideas come from, so long as the engineering applications work. So not only does a physics background help martial artists, but also anatomy, medicine, and Japanese entertainment helps as well.

Wrist alignment in power transfer via punching

March 18, 2014

The concept of different wrist alignments was something I discovered through experimentation and re-engineering.

Whenever the hand is palm facing down or vertical fist with the thumb on top, the elbow is no longer in the angle closest to the chest. Thus there may be speed and external power, but no internal acceleration to back up the movement after it has been extended beyond the angle the elbow can sustain the power link.

Developing smooth muscle activations has gotten to the point where I have to use the palm up alignment of the hand/wrist, or else my own power can damage my tissues. This also applies to open palm movements. Brushing off attacks, moving opponent’s limbs around, all requires that the contact surface connects to the wrist, the wrist connects to the elbow, and the elbow to the shoulders.

Like an intricate gear system, the small is attached to the large, and as the small moves with little power, the large ones are affected and move with greater power. But the moment a link or cog is out of alignment, the whole system grinds to a halt or destroys itself trying to work.

It helps to have a basic anatomy understanding of the six ways human joints can be broken, the six degrees of freedom of movement for each human joint. The Ancients such as Aristotle had their essences and the Ancient Chinese had their 5 elements. We are probably talking about the same thing, but in different frameworks. Thus to a Westerner educated in anatomy or physics, we understand the martial skills through that lens.

Rmax international’s training methodology

March 12, 2014

http://www.clubbell.tv/

Found this while looking for the weight of club bells. I was comparing it to the steel swords I use for training, to see what kind of difference in force the circular motion was generating.

If I use fajing, energy projection, with the sword swing, it often tries to lock my elbow out, producing tennis elbow. Otherwise known as one of the six ways a joint can break. That energy must be directed to my core/torso by nailing the shoulder socket down into the seat, allowing smooth energy to pass from hand to shoulder. The shoulder thus acts as my elbow, given the sword creates another joint on my arm. I eventually have to go over my movements in slow motion, to re-correct things via reconstruction.

But going back to the clubs, which weigh about 10-15 pounds starting off, the exercises look interesting and somewhat similar in mechanics to sword training. The circular rotational movements plus chi gong have also healed some joint problems I had before. Ones I thought would never heal.

What the author there calls “fascia” is the same thing as the fat deposit in the gut that stores chi or energy in chi gong and taiji chuan. Martial arts have often spoken about power coming from the guts or the hips. That’s the fascia at work in Western science translation. The bones function much like metal rods, they generate electricity when compressed like piezoelectric crystals. The fascia then is an insulation around the bones, rotation and movement thus produces chi or an electromagnetic field effect. Invisible, but can be felt. The “core” is thus strengthened internally via internal energy as well as externally via blood/muscle and heat. Although technically blood and heat are internal ingredients.

EDIT: Just reconstructed my training for today using the knowledge by author Scott S. I had avoided using the widest potential movement, since I was training with realistic attacks in mind, minimizing my degree of movement and excess energy, blocking the lines that can reach my body. Extremely long forms of curves such as the shoulder and arm going behind my back were avoided, as that would place my defending sword out of line of my center, where my head and organs are. By de-focusing on precision and edge control, I could tax my fingers and relax my shoulder joints far more than I could when training with only the martial movements in mind. This has given me a great workout and I can already feel the forearm and hand muscles I’ve wanted to strengthen, recuperating from fatigue. I acquired an iaito, an unsharpened steel katana, precisely because I wanted to exercise with fatigue in mind, given that hand soreness can produce lack of edge control which can carve out body parts unintentionally with a sharp sword.

The wide angle “club” swings feel very loose and I can additionally add taiji chuan and target focus training slow movement methodology to it as well.

Power and Intent

March 5, 2014

Instructors have mentioned that your power shouldn’t be in front of your intent. The power should come from the hip, not the arm, yet if the arm is weak the hip cannot apply the power to the object.

So a Western reconstruction would be the simple sliding of the window panel. To make things harder, people should use a horizontal sliding window panel. The one with the grooves on the bottom. A vertical one is easy when going down due to gravity, but somewhat more difficult when going upwards. To practice the use of hips with arm strength, the horizontal one is more applicable.

When powering through the motion, most people if they are strong use the arms and the weight of the body mass to serve as an anchor/lever. However, pretend the window is sort of stuck and your arm/hand strength is insufficient by itself. Now instead of directing power to the arms first, line up the hand, arm, shoulder, and hips in synch. Then start the movement from the foot, to the legs, to the hips, and then on down to the hands touching the window panel.

Use less strength, go slower, for a better challenge. Better yet, find a way to increase the window’s resistance level via either a partner or put something in the groove that provides friction. It also may matter whether your arm is above the groove or near the groove when applying force/leverage.

After a few exercises and visualizations, the internal art student should be able to gauge a difference in effort and acceleration from the two methods: internal and external. The internal is the lining up of bones and muscle ligaments in the right order and in the right shape. The external is generating large force from outside to affect an object’s internal workings. If friction and the various equations having to do with normal force counts as internal, at least. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friction

As for what people should find out about acceleration and force, I leave that up to the person to discover themselves via the experimental method (what used to be called science before science became a religion about divinity).

A Martial Arts Randori

February 2, 2014

Once upon a time, I was the training partner of one particular individual in aikijutsu or aikido. I believe he had been a student for 6-12 months longer than me. The condition for the spar was very simple. I, as the uke, would extend my hand towards him (initiation of drawing his sword, disarming him, attacking him, knifing him), and he as tori would execute a basic lock technique and then throw.

So I extended my hand out, not even at half attack speed, and he grabbed it as if we were doing individual drills at our own pace. I gave him .5 seconds to figure out what he was going to do with my arm, then I retracted my arm as the tori couldn’t decide what the next move in the sequence was that he wanted (maybe he was waiting for an instructor to phone him the technique steps when he was fighting on the streets, I don’t know). What I found interesting and worrisome later on, was that the instructor watching us said “no tricks” in reaction to my pulling my hand back. Of course, next time I tried it, the tori got an automatically tighter grip on my arm and immediately proceeded with a technique lock and throw the moment he obtained contact.

That wasn’t due to the specialness of the instructor or instruction, that was due solely to the fact that the uke, me, actually conducted a movement somewhat close to “realistic” context. That moment of learning, was far superior to the lectures and drills the instructor had given us, since it obviously had yet to penetrate my training partner’s head until he felt it for real. In all the times before, he had expected the uke/opponent to merely extend the hand as if in handshake greeting, and then wait for the tori to execute the technique. In some ways, that might be said to be a good way to learn how to get killed, if you do this long enough.

That was the good news. The bad news is that the instructor seemed to frown upon this or actually thought I was “feinting” when I extended my hand. At less than 50% speed, so that what takes me .75 seconds takes 1.5 seconds to do. If the instructor thought that was a feint, fake, or “trick”, they should have seen me at maximum effectiveness.

As time goes on, I come to empathize, understand, and agree with how ancient masters used to hide their techniques and full potential from public view or even from the view of their non inner circle pupils. There are people in this world that have no idea how to visually recognize a real martial movement done with intent and body-mind harmony. And it is often best not to clue them in, for their own good. They may start a conflict and argue about it. It’s not necessary to prove it or convince other people. Their training will be permanently crippled by working with training partners that do not know a real attack from a training exercise attack. Their training will be permanently crippled by drilling in movements that can defeat slow, methodical, predictable randori and drills; with nothing better to compare it against for improvement, the hard work will have been wasted.

The ancient martial artists didn’t have the NSA, IRS, Facebook, MySpace, and Google search bots breathing down their neck, but they did have these youngins roaming around looking for a “knockout game” on the closest and highest ranked martial arts practitioner. Defeat the boss and you’ll earn national “respect”!

Years ago, I also years ago wanted to test myself after my self enclosed individual training. I wanted to see the benefits or product of my labor and hard work. While the dojo or dojos I’ve went to had good to average instructors with years or decades of experience, I was extremely disappointed at the level of readiness on the part of the individual students. Given the time I spent, I had an equivalent of 1-5 years in a dojo, 4 hour per week schedule, translated from my individual training regimen before I entered a formal dojo for the first time. The students I saw were at least at the 12 month mark, if not greater. Yet only a few dedicated and talented individuals were what I might call near ready to start benefiting from realistic scenario, randori, sparring, and drill deconstruction training.

I was disappointed. Most of them didn’t even know to defend the center line and could not even see a simple jab, straight line linear acceleration strike. Of course a straight attack is designed not to let the eyes catch it, but even still, these individuals flinched after my fist reached the end of my range in front of their face, for range control drilling. We told them exactly what was going to happen and they blocked all kinds of attacks to the face (distance is made far away) from their fellow students, yet could only react via the superfast reflex of flinching without moving their hands to block at all. I write this not to disrespect their hard work and training, but to merely illustrate how absolutely disillusioned I was. Certainly competition teams and dojos would have had better physical athletes, and I certainly look forward to seeing how they do, but I had always thought the formal dojos had standards far superior than my own. It’s hard work finding a quality instructor in the US. The bell curve, that 5% at the top being the best quality, is still with us.

The Eastern knight errants and warrior philosophers often noted that once a student finds their master, they stick to that master via loyalty and fidelity. I always thought that was strange, to pick your own master and then become obedient. Since often the “picking” part involved fighting the master and being beat senseless by them. Because many warriors had life and death experience already, they weren’t going to trust their life and time to some old guy that didn’t even fight as well as the warrior. That makes a lot of sense now to me. Before, though, it made no sense.

Obedience to authority, obeying a master or instructor, should only be done when the individual knows absolutely that the authority is worthy of it. Not before. That has lessons for war and politics as well as martial arts hobbies/sports.

Independence of Will in Martial Arts

December 27, 2013

http://www.matthewschuler.co/why-creative-people-sometimes-make-no-sense/

A lot of this applies to martial arts, at least at the higher levels of cognitive development. You don’t necessarily need independence of will, creativity, or free will to improve your physical conditions. You just do what you are told and you can grow stronger, faster.

I.

I see the world in my own conceptual framework, of the contest between yin and yang or what I would like to call Individual free will and Authoritarian power.

A single human or person attempts to develop a sense of self identity and an ability to exercise free will, around puberty. Before that period, there’s little to no instinct to want to make decisions or judgments yourself, as your cognitive development is solid but still perfectly capable of accepting authority as the determination of your reality and ethics (Santa’s metaphysical reality for example).

In order to distinguish yourself from other people, so that you can distinguish your own will from what other people tell you to do, generally people try to find a subject matter that they have knowledge on or special expertise in. This is reinforced when society praises the individual for attempting to master a complicated and productive field. If society does not praise but instead condemns, then you get what might be called “sub-cultures”. It’s still obedience to societal norms and thoughts (because people are not yet free), but it’s obedience to a society of people like yourself: a sub culture.

Until a person is able to accept themselves, trying to get society to accept them may or may not work. Creative people or those with a burning internal desire for something, have to not only create a self contained identity that is able to control and make use of these burning desires but must also cooperate or adhere to community standards to function as a normal human being (herd or pack).

Many people have found success by finding a societal niche or role where they can put their energies to creative and productive use. So they benefit not only personally by having an outlet for their drives, but also recognition from society for being a productive member.

However, that’s not always the case. There are many individuals exercising free will or dissidents, where the state or high authority does not accept the existence of. If you say something you shouldn’t against Hussein or North Korea’s leadership, you may not find yourself as warmly accepted as a “creative thinker” as you might in the United States of America. That’s because it is not in the interests of authority to cultivate competition or rebels. The American system allows leaders and authorities to make bank on cultivating products and services, but that is only in the sense that they are tending livestock. It is not a system that makes you have free will. It just assumes you do have free will and lets you use it without dropping you into the river with concrete attached to your legs.

A popular phrase that might provide for easy visualization is: the nail that stands out is hammered flat.

II.

Martial arts has its own unique combination of authority, authoritarian views, community standards (black belts), and individual will (technique deconstruction, construction, philosophy, and teaching).

Question your teacher, to see whether you are doing what your teacher tells you to do or whether you are learning from the teacher and learning how to do things on your own by your own judgment. It’s not very complicated. But that very simplicity masks the utter difficulty in the task of learning how to be your own person, act on your own judgment, become your own authority.

Speed and partner drills in the dojo

December 15, 2013

Doesn’t need to be a dojo, call it what you wish. It’s just a catchall phrase for training done in a structured and safe building, expressly designed for the purpose of training for battle, without being a battle or war. It’s like learning surgery from medical texts and lectures, with some practice on medical dolls and models.

There are two types of speed as I’ve seen in the dojo. Quick extension of the pulley muscles and quick withdraw, with no power projection at the end (touch karate competitions). Quick extension and relaxed withdrawal, but with energy projection. The types beside this aren’t speed, but more like slowness or unpredictable melodies.

When doing partner drills, always be aware that the quality of what you are picking up is partially based on the attack level of your partner. If he doesn’t know how to use lightning quick attacks and they aren’t actually dangerous, you learn to defend against fake attacks or incompetent attacks. So if you try to use that stuff against an enemy, they aren’t going to “fake” it for you. So that is sometimes why skills learned in the dojo don’t translate out in the real world, because when you notice the other guy isn’t acting like your partner did, you start to freeze up and begin an internal debate of “why”. That debate should have been started and ended in the dojo. There’s no point having a practice place if you don’t get quality out of it. Might as well enter the battlefield immediately for experience then.

Also when doing drills such as fixed distance and fixed position sparring, where two people stand at the same distance without closing the gap, and using their techniques at either full power or speed, be careful of allowing an opponent to read your attack patterns and rhythms. A lot of people who are fast, have one timing or melody. People at a higher level, or just people with good reflexes, can adapt to this and start to block or react to your attacks even though they can’t see them or predict them. They notice your telegraphs or they just notice your rhythm. So break up your rhythm and produce telegraphs that are fake, to ensure they can’t figure out where what you are doing based upon their eyesight. Of course if your are incredibly fast and have solid muscle control, they shouldn’t see your moves to begin with and can only see your telegraphs. But if they can’t see your moves to react to them, they aren’t learning much. They learn how to get hit over and over without being able to respond, I guess. Don’t think that’s a good thing from a reflex stand point.

There are a lot of things you can do that will benefit your training partner and vice a versa. For one thing, don’t pose your hand strikes. People are used to this stuff in aikido or other arts like it, where you offer a hand and they take it and then do the technique. Punch towards them and use your hips to pulley back the strike. Don’t let them grab it. Tear out of the grip. If they are new, add a delay to your withdrawal. Increase or decrease the delay based upon how good you think they are and what speed they can safely do the techniques. You may notice that after some time, your partner “stops” just grabbing your hand for a few seconds, and then applying the technique. They apply the technique right as they grab your body, because to do otherwise means you slip out of it.

For people that can read your rhythm, but can’t see your hand strikes, set a 80% max limiter on your speed and keep it at that power and mobility. Here’s a sign that they cannot “see it”, the jab usually. When you stand in front of them at beyond arm’s length, for either side, and you ask them “are you ready to start the punch and defend exercise” and they say “Yes”. Then you do a jab in front of their nose, and they blink and back away like they were surprised, that is a sign they didn’t see your fist coming or moving. That it just “teleported”. Intellectually they know what’s going to happen, but physically they don’t expect it and they don’t see it. If you can maintain this pace without damaging your cold shoulder muscles (this is like air punches in kata, there is no resistance and thus you need to sink the energy somewhere where it doesn’t damage your joints), you can lead your partner into developing a defense rhythm in their reactions. But once you change your attacking rhythm and your speed is no longer exactly at 80%, they will start missing again. Their reactions will be either too fast or too slow. This is the result of the usage of their eyes. A sustained speed is good for training a person’s reflexes and physical coordination. An unpredictable tempo forces them to stick to their center line defense and avoid using their eyes.

There are 8 lines a sword attack can come from and 1 point attack, in the center. The human eye should be looking within the circle, but not directly at any of the lines, instead using movement to detect what kind of attack it is and where it will come from. It is relatively easy to test whether your opponent is using their eyes. Just go at your full 100% speed, using a direct line of attack like a stab or a jab. They won’t be able to see it in time or react, and will be surprised. If they are using center line and motion detection, they will react as soon as movement is detected. They may not deflect your line attack, but they will react in time.

If your 100% speed is slow, meaning when you do a jab in mid air and you cannot pull your finger out using the force at the end, then you can’t produce the results necessary for your partner to be tested. Same is true vice a versa. Hence, in partner drills, the quality of your “partner” and their control or lack of control, directly affects your rate of growth and your quality.

You can develop the various types of timings in a simple two man drill between one fixed defender and one fixed attacking using a limited assortment of techniques or attack lines. If you attack them, they have to time their defense against the specific attack. Because if they move to defend against Attack A, while you’re still moving, you can merely change Attack A to Attack B and thus evade or avoid their defense at a time when you are too close for them to change their position. So a first strike or attack launched before your opponent realizes it, is when you are so fast that you attack without a telegraph and the defender can’t defend react and use a defense at all. Second timing might be called act second, arrive first. Meaning you wait for the defender to pick a defense, and then you change your attack line/direction so that even though you acted late, your response time was shorter than theirs and your attack arrived before their defense arrived. Often times the defender has to learn to time their defenses, not just their attacks, to be explosive. They have to wait until the last millisecond to dodge or move or use a defensive posture.

Very high level defenders can adapt their timing and their defenses to a millisecond level if their body coordination is good. The same is true of high level attackers. In a dojo without any high level defenders or attackers… you can’t really get much out of two partner drills. And certainly not if it is two partners sparring or doing a pattern in a kata. If you can’t even do it while standing still or in empty air, how are you going to do it when two people are moving around randomly? It gets too complicated and people waste time practicing at a level they aren’t ready for yet. They don’t have any partners with the sufficient skill or competence or ability, to use the training format to its fullest potential.

To give one solid example that Rory Miller used, a jodan strike from high above can be deflected at the last moment and countered with a 45 degree evasion and using the defending sword’s deflected momentum to counter attack using a jodan strike. But if the attacker notices that your sword is getting ready for that deflection, he’ll just pull the blow and stab you with a direct line attack as you move your sword to a jodan high counter. That’s because the only reason the defender has the time for the counter is because the 45 degree deflection for a jodan strike does not stop it, it just lets it slide off into the ground. And trying to recover your sword line after doing a powerful strike using gravity, takes awhile. But it doesn’t take very long if the attacker notices what you are doing and pulls his blow to his hara and doesn’t just slice down with his upper torso. Now the attacker is ready on his counter, or second attack, before your counter can hit.

Video for visual awareness. Starts at :47 seconds.

The Japanese split pants is very good at hiding the movements of the legs, so enemies can’t read your next movement by where your legs are going. But it’s horrible to teach students with, because they have no idea where your feet are, so they often have huge problems synchronizing upper body movements with lower body. A swordsman or hand to hand user that keeps stumbling over their legs, there’s no point to them learning hand techniques at the time. They need to fix upper with lower together first, at least so they can figure out what is correct synchronization for feet + arms in one technique. It doesn’t matter what technique we’re talking about, could be aikido, Taiji, kenjutsu, kendo, or boxing. One technique first. Start with that as the base. A lot of schools teach this form and then another form, and then 15 forms later, what has the students been spending their time on? Practicing the wrong thing, at the wrong time, looking at the wrong things on the instructor. The ancient karate lines always did try to reduce the amount of forms learned. One form, one year, after 1st dan (black belt). There was a reason for that, since a form or kata has several dozens of techniques in it and maybe even hundreds of variations and applications. There wasn’t any point teaching a person a technique, when their foundation was cracked. Even if you build a house on a cracked foundation, you’re just going to have to tear it down and fix the foundation eventually after the house starts tilting.

Well, that’s enough text for people who like martial arts that are also attention deficit labeled.

Martial Arts: Healing Aspects

October 24, 2013

A list of various techniques or methods I use to deal with problems in life trying to kill me. But instead of martial arts “boom” techniques, this is the other side of things. You know how in League of Legends you can specialize in dps (damage per second) or healing? Yeah, similar concept.

1. Huge pain in the neck, left or right, due to muscle cramps that also reach the side side of the ocular nerves: Shoulder and neck stretches via extending the fingers straight to the left and tilting the head to the right and chin up.

2. Nervousness or anxiety: with the hand held on the stomach, breath in starting the expansion there first, then when it feels full slowly relax to exhale.

3. Being cold on a windy day: focus the mind on the extremities, pull in air, heat it up inside the belly, and then crunch the abdomen as you exhale and visualize the blood flow to your extremities. Also helped by using your hands to touch the channels on your skin to better connect mind to body.

4. Take pride in doing something well, for yourself, by yourself: disconnect your sense of reliance on society and others via independent resources and identity. All the common fears and anxieties, including worries about the future are attached to people’s sense of survival, rooted in human instincts.

5. Watch sunrises, sun sets, the sky change color, and various other aspects of your environment that is growing or alive. Update, maintain, and increase your microbiome symbiotes.

Ancient Master Archer techniques

October 12, 2013

http://benotdefeatedbytherain.blogspot.com/2012/11/rediscovering-old-way-of-archery.html

What is a master of an art? The question is often asked internally and quietly by those on the martial journey. Is a master someone with 5 black belts, or 1 black belt at 10th dan rank? Is a master someone who has spent 30 years, 50 years, 60 years practicing non stop their particular “school” or “techniques”? Is a master someone who has spent 10,000 man hours working a technique so that soul, mind, and body is as one?

I believe mastery is about figuring things out for yourself and making the body, mind, and soul connections necessary to control tools and your own body.

In the article linked above, it speaks of ancient techniques lost due to changes in environment and technology. This is true of empty hand martial arts as well. Yet, with no lineage to inherit from, with no master to teach him, the video is in itself proof that humans can develop high level martial arts by themselves. They just need the motivation, time, and food to do it with.

Martial + Art = Inventor + Originality

An artist that can only copy somebody else’s drawings by sketching over them, isn’t a real artist yet. An artist that can only copy somebody else’s paintings by looking at them, generating a copy/forgery, is not yet an artist. An artist is only an artist when they can generate an original concept and then create a physical manifestation of that concept in this reality. This invention or originality is not “shared”, it isn’t “voted on”, and it sure isn’t debated in a “committee”.

A martial artist must be able to do the same thing. Visualize the end result for your human opponent, create it in reality. No argument, internal debate about “technique” need apply for a master. In the past I’ve written a more extensive amount on how martial arts should be taught to facilitate this goal. Having the right goal is certainly critical and important. If your goal is to get fit, impress girls, or make the sensei shower you with awards, accolades, and social promotions, you haven’t even put one foot on the Warrior’s Way.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.