Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Minor Observations

Souce: news.vanderbilt.edu

These are just my ramblings on different items that come up during training and within a class scenario. They’re not meant to be edicts from an all-knowing creature who is quick to inform you about what you ought to be doing about things you already know best.

BOWING – when bowing in the training hall, make the bow effortless in its sincerity. Never pretend. A forced bow is just another layer of deception.

Nor should a bow be perfunctory. A bow is representative of who you are. It is what you have become in the martial arts world and what you hope to be and any deviation from your true and honest self at that special moment in your life. Every bow is special. There are no overlords or underlings in front of you, only other human beings who, like you, are sculpting themselves into people of value. Don’t bow because you’re better than they; bow because the blood of the training hall runs through you as it runs through them.

THE OTHERS – are as passionate about their system of martial arts as you are about your own. Whether they train in Krav Maga or Savate or Southern Mantis, they all have good stories to tell about themselves and their arts, and their voices are worth hearing.

THE TRAINING – doesn’t end at the close of a lesson. The training knows no boundaries; it’s the oxygen you draw in the street, at home, when you’re with friends…or when things go wrong and you find yourself alone.

AGE – doesn’t put an end to training. You just train smarter.

Source: bagnidilucca.wordpress.com
ROOT – first, establish a very deep rootedness while standing still. This applies across the spectrum of the arts from Tai Chi to Moo Duk Kwan. The next – and perhaps more difficult task – is to maintain that same root while in motion.

STRENGTH – some might build strength through push ups or weight lifting; others by filling themselves up with chi. Which method is better for you? Your way.

PATIENCE – if you are unable to show patience toward your training partner, you will be unable to show patience toward yourself.

KATA – following a somewhat modernized prejudice, I tell people that Kata and forms are useless…and then I close the door.

FLIES – flies buzz. That’s their job. Yours is to be your training.  If an errant fly lands on your sleeve, does the summit of all your training lead you suddenly being frayed by your own annoyance…or do you still focus on the big picture of your life’s training.

SYSTEMS – why are the martial arts like the Tower of Babel with all sorts of different systems as though each represented a language among thousands of languages? Experience. Every human being experiences the world in a different way.  After a while, some agree to converse in the same way. But even within any given system, each member expresses herself a little differently from the others. Languages evolve. Systems evolve.  From Karate to Wing Chun Kung Fu, no system stands fast, waiting to die. They continue speaking…with new generations of voices.

THE NOW – if you think about it, there is a group of Judoka right now, somewhere in the world, coming off the mat, sweating and happy; there is a Taekwondo practitioner jogging, building up his cardio for his Black Belt exam; there is a Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan student, polishing her double edge sword; there is an instructor teaching a group of disadvantaged kids; there is an elderly woman practising Kata Kanku Dai at sunrise somewhere on a deserted beach; there is a Iaido practitioner meticulously preparing his mind for the coming class; there is a woman on a bus, her uniform tucked in the bag on the seat beside her, happy…to have felt good about herself during class, to be experiencing an increased sense of personal strength and confidence, to be offered  - as a female – a life with no boundaries, courtesy of the martial arts.

STARTING OUT – we aren’t just starting out now, or a few years ago. We started toward the martial arts the day we were born. The journey itself might have been long.

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