Author Topic: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?  (Read 27898 times)

Offline badsifu

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #60 on: February 26, 2007, 02:38:50 PM »
No difference really in personal training philosophy and public presentation.  I should explain further.  The quote when looked at puts you mentally on a path.  What that path is determined by the reader.  Class is no different.  I lay it out like a buffet.  You take this or that depending on what tastes you prefer having that evening.  When someone calls and really doesn't seem like a fit for my program, then I can send them to someone who would be better suited to teach them.  However, I get the call first which gives me the option to turn them down or accept them as a student.
Dan Tyrrell

Offline KajuJKDFighter

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #61 on: February 26, 2007, 02:46:27 PM »
..and it is nice to give potential students that opportunity....otherwise they may never continue their search into the arts.
  Sometimes people only look once and give up.....
GM John E Bono DC
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Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them a desire,a dream,a vision

Offline Gints Klimanis

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« Reply #62 on: February 26, 2007, 02:49:01 PM »
The best definition of the true meaning of martial arts that I have heard yet is, "Martial arts is about....... self-improvement."

Thanks for igniting this topic.   It's a chance to periodically revise our personal views on an important part of our lives.

Please post the author of that quote.   If he is not known, we can look to a similar body of work found in Master Gichin Funakoshi's _Karate Jutsu_, an English translation of the Funakoshi's book printed in 1925.  Since I've read many paraphrases of his words, I'll quote a short excerpt (without permission) that is relevant to this discussion.  I am assuming that the Japanese->English translation is to the liking of the author.

p. 30 "The Value of Karate in Building Spirit and Cultivating Character

If one seeks out its true meaning, there is probably no martial art that does not lead to the cultivation of mental and moral strength. Thus karate does not not stand along in this respect

... (Some sentences on practicality of training facilities, equipment, cost and longetivity deleted)

And especially since karate training has stressed humility and overcoming oneself as fundamental principles from ancient times, even though one may not be aware of the development, it contributes substantially to the polishing of character."



"We do not condone the use of a toilet seat as a deadly weapon"
Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo, 3rd Degree Black Belt Prof. Richard Lewis
Bono JKD/Kajukenbo, Prof. John Bono, San Jose, CA
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TEricksen

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #63 on: February 26, 2007, 02:59:15 PM »
This topic seems to have strayed on many different paths, but the two main paths that I see are personal and external perception.

Dan Millman, in the Warrior/Inner Athlete books, makes a topic appropriate analogy:  He states that when a baby is learning to walk and falls down, the baby doesn't criticize himself for falling down, he simply attempts to stand back up and walk again. 

The baby, in the babies mind, is not fighting to get up; he is simply getting up.

The baby, from the perspective of others, may very well be fighting to get up.

Whos perspective are we debating?

"Martial Arts is just about fighting, war and violence," in context of the original post, comes from the standpoint of a personal thought, but it is being looked at from an external perspective.


TEricksen

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Re: Gichin Funakoshi
« Reply #64 on: February 26, 2007, 03:25:35 PM »
The best definition of the true meaning of martial arts that I have heard yet is, "Martial arts is about....... self-improvement."

Thanks for igniting this topic.   It's a chance to periodically revise our personal views on an important part of our lives.

Please post the author of that quote.   If he is not known, we can look to a similar body of work found in Master Gichin Funakoshi's _Karate Jutsu_, an English translation of the Funakoshi's book printed in 1925.  Since I've read many paraphrases of his words, I'll quote a short excerpt (without permission) that is relevant to this discussion.  I am assuming that the Japanese->English translation is to the liking of the author.

p. 30 "The Value of Karate in Building Spirit and Cultivating Character

If one seeks out its true meaning, there is probably no martial art that does not lead to the cultivation of mental and moral strength. Thus karate does not not stand along in this respect

... (Some sentences on practicality of training facilities, equipment, cost and longetivity deleted)

And especially since karate training has stressed humility and overcoming oneself as fundamental principles from ancient times, even though one may not be aware of the development, it contributes substantially to the polishing of character."




The quote was part of a private conversation with another member:  Mark it anonymous at this time.

............ and you are welcome :)   Like I said, I like a good debate!  Someone posted something to the effect that if I like to debate, I like to fight...... I like a challenge.  You probably won't catch me walking the fence very often.  I'm one to pick a side.

Offline Wado

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #65 on: February 26, 2007, 04:00:25 PM »
This topic seems to have strayed on many different paths, but the two main paths that I see are personal and external perception.

Dan Millman, in the Warrior/Inner Athlete books, makes a topic appropriate analogy:  He states that when a baby is learning to walk and falls down, the baby doesn't criticize himself for falling down, he simply attempts to stand back up and walk again. 

The baby, in the babies mind, is not fighting to get up; he is simply getting up.

The baby, from the perspective of others, may very well be fighting to get up.

Whos perspective are we debating?

"Martial Arts is just about fighting, war and violence," in context of the original post, comes from the standpoint of a personal thought, but it is being looked at from an external perspective.

I would not say it is external or personal perspective as much as the difference of an educated philosophy verse an uneducated philosophy.

An educated philosophy is one that comes about through doing research and gaining experience, for the most part an educated philosophy about martial arts comes from real world experience, knowledge, and from hard sincere training.

Right or wrong, an educated philosophy as generally considered good. Right or wrong, an uneducated philosphy is generally considered to lack in foundation.

I could say that martial arts is about "falling seven times but rising eight." Badsifu could say that is all about "fighting". Toby you could say it is about "self development."

Guess what... if all these philosphies came about as being educated ones, then they are all right even if they appear to completely contradict each other. At some level, the underlying principles are the same across all martial arts.

The only way that something could be considered wrong is if it actually violated principles (that which is proven to be how things work).

An uneducated philosophy isn't necessarily wrong or right it simply is premature because the person does not know and understand the principles and how to apply those principles in real world.

Here is another famous quote from a high ranking martial artist, I don't know who used it first, but many have said it:

"Don't change the art, let the art change you."

This is an interpretation of a principle. What does it mean? Most likely it means that you must be willing to change yourself through sincere training. Someone else, however, might interpret it to mean that the martial art is static and should never change. How would any person know which is correct and in what way are they BOTH correct?

Yes, both interpretations are correct.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2007, 04:04:40 PM by Wado »
W. Yamauchi
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Seattle, Washington

TEricksen

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #66 on: February 26, 2007, 04:17:36 PM »
This topic seems to have strayed on many different paths, but the two main paths that I see are personal and external perception.

Dan Millman, in the Warrior/Inner Athlete books, makes a topic appropriate analogy:  He states that when a baby is learning to walk and falls down, the baby doesn't criticize himself for falling down, he simply attempts to stand back up and walk again. 

The baby, in the babies mind, is not fighting to get up; he is simply getting up.

The baby, from the perspective of others, may very well be fighting to get up.

Whos perspective are we debating?

"Martial Arts is just about fighting, war and violence," in context of the original post, comes from the standpoint of a personal thought, but it is being looked at from an external perspective.

I would not say it is external or personal perspective as much as the difference of an educated philosophy verse an uneducated philosophy.

An educated philosophy is one that comes about through doing research and gaining experience, for the most part an educated philosophy about martial arts comes from real world experience, knowledge, and from hard sincere training.

Right or wrong, an educated philosophy as generally considered good. Right or wrong, an uneducated philosphy is generally considered to lack in foundation.

I could say that martial arts is about "falling seven times but rising eight." Badsifu could say that is all about "fighting". Toby you could say it is about "self development."

Guess what... if all these philosphies came about as being educated ones, then they are all right even if they appear to completely contradict each other. At some level, the underlying principles are the same across all martial arts.

The only way that something could be considered wrong is if it actually violated principles (that which is proven to be how things work).

An uneducated philosophy isn't necessarily wrong or right it simply is premature because the person does not know and understand the principles and how to apply those principles in real world.

Here is another famous quote from a high ranking martial artist, I don't know who used it first, but many have said it:

"Don't change the art, let the art change you."

This is an interpretation of a principle. What does it mean? Most likely it means that you must be willing to change yourself through sincere training. Someone else, however, might interpret it to mean that the martial art is static and should never change. How would any person know which is correct and in what way are they BOTH correct?

Yes, both interpretations are correct.

Bruce Lee said "empty your cup".

Miyamoto Musashi says the same thing in "The Book Of Void."

Is the true meaning of martial arts about what we think we know, or is it about emptying the mind of what we think we know so we can get back to the learning ability of the baby?  Self-Improvement isn't possible in the mind of someone who thinks they already have all of the answers.

Maybe the true meaning of martial arts is more about living the journey from white belt to white belt, than about fighting, war and violence.


Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #67 on: February 26, 2007, 04:50:08 PM »
Bruce Lee said "empty your cup".

Miyamoto Musashi says the same thing in "The Book Of Void."

Is the true meaning of martial arts about what we think we know, or is it about emptying the mind of what we think we know so we can get back to the learning ability of the baby?  Self-Improvement isn't possible in the mind of someone who thinks they already have all of the answers.

Maybe the true meaning of martial arts is more about living the journey from white belt to white belt, than about fighting, war and violence.


I would guess that Bruce Lee wasn't the first to utter words about the cup, although no doubt, he has impacted the world at large by confidently uttering that memorable phrase during his filmed interviews. 

When considering the words of this famous martial artist and this legendary swordsman, it's important to realize that they chose to pursue a life of perfecting fighting techniques :  self-perfection through learning to fight or fighting.     We cycle through the phases of realization over and over, and admittedly, I couldn't resolve the apparent contradictions of peace through fighting . There are many reasons for martial artists to practice, but I think experience brings us full-circle (perhaps several times) to our initial draw to the martial arts :  I want to learn how to fight.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2007, 08:37:11 PM by Gints Klimanis »
"We do not condone the use of a toilet seat as a deadly weapon"
Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo, 3rd Degree Black Belt Prof. Richard Lewis
Bono JKD/Kajukenbo, Prof. John Bono, San Jose, CA
Baltic Dog, Dog Brothers Martial Arts

Offline Wado

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #68 on: February 26, 2007, 04:59:32 PM »
...Maybe the true meaning of martial arts is more about living the journey from white belt to white belt, than about fighting, war and violence.

Now we are getting somewhere quickly ;D

If the true meaning is in the journey, in the learning... then can we remove the fighting from the journey and still call it martial arts?

Martial arts training should take one through the path through understanding the fighting principles. Funny that you mention void and emptying the cup... etc. This is indeed related to having a "beginner's mind". Professor Scott told me that a person can learn the same from a white belt as from a grandmaster. In other words, you can learn from anyone if you are willing to have a beginner's mind. He added though, that the difference is that at the end of the day, the grandmaster is still a grandmaster and the white belt is still a whitebelt.

This, contrary to what some may interpret, a beginner's mind does not mean to empty the mind and be like a baby. It means to free yourself from attachment and preconceived ideals. In otherwords, be in a state of awareness and focus without becoming fixated on anything.

Bruce Lee also said something like this in regards to pointing a finger at the moon... "don't look at the finger, or you will miss all the heavenly glory beyond." Not the exact quote but it still gets the point across.

The danger is in becoming too attached to things that they become a fixation in martial arts.  Let go, detach!!! This is the fighting mind without attachment.

If I must say, I would say it is a circular argument. In simplest form, it is all about fighting. It is the start and the end... it is the principles that make everything else work. If one forgets this and thinks there is some more true meaning... that is up to them... we have choice... but was it not Musashi that said something like, "The path that leads to truth is littered with the bodies of the ignorant".

W. Yamauchi
Mateo Kajukenbo
Seattle, Washington

Vala Au

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #69 on: February 26, 2007, 06:15:37 PM »
EricM,

Boy, you opened up a can with this one.  Enjoyed sparring with you Sunday at GM Al's class.  Hopefully it was as deep and meaningful for you as it was for me.  Thanks.

Offline Wado

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #70 on: February 26, 2007, 08:01:01 PM »
Tell it how it is Professor Harper.

I'm feeling too caught up in this also. Martial arts is first about being a warrior, having a strong fighting spirit. Some don't have this and must work very hard to get it, others are almost born with it.

Martial arts turns this warrior art into a science. Teaching fighting principles and testing them out in training and in real world.

For those that gain self development through such sincere training... they are training to be warriors, at least on the inside. For those that are already warriors, the training is in dealing with the violence and war in this world and in themselves.

I'm at a loss to say it any more directly. Keep things simple.
W. Yamauchi
Mateo Kajukenbo
Seattle, Washington

TEricksen

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #71 on: February 27, 2007, 12:27:43 AM »
This is kind of an off topic question, but it is part of the equation:  How much training does a person need to be able to defend ones self and/or family?  How many average people ever get into a fight after high school?  I started an informal poll today of people that I know in my age group (avg 30-50 years old), and I haven't found a single person who's been in a fist fight or needed to physically defend themselves in the past 10-20 years.  The ones who were (past tense) bar/street fighters in their younger years didn't have any training in particular and they all claim to have been able to beat their opponents.  This being an online community, I'm sure I'll hear all kinds of stories of street fights and the need for the physical skills learned in martial arts training.  That said, how much training was/is needed to reliably defend against an attack? 

This being 2007, why not learn to use a handgun for self defense?  It's a much better deterrent, will stop an attacker who fails to flee at the sight of the gun and attempts physical harm, can be employed by an experienced firearms expert without ever being seen, can be used in close quarters combat, or self defense with a safe distance.  Why train for 10/20/30 years in unarmed defensive tactics to protect yourself or family when a handgun is much more effective of a defense, and in the hands of even a semi-proficient bad guy will defeat all that training? 

I've only been training in unarmed defensive tactics/martial arts for about 9 years now.  I've been training in firearms defensive tactics and have carried a concealed firearm for over 15 years.  I can say with certainty that the firearm is a much better choice than unarmed defense.  I fired, on average, about 5,000 rounds per month for many years in U.S.P.S.A., Speed Steel, and armed defensive tactics courses.  I won the stock gun class points race in U.S.P.S.A. in Oregon in 1996 along with the 1996 state championship.  I've won the stock gun class in the Oregon State Man of Steel speed steel championship numerous times.  I was involved in firearms self defense before I.D.P.A. became a sport.  Through it all, my main goal in firearms competition and training was self defense.

Very few dedicated and focused people need more than five years of martial arts training to be able to defend against the great majority of unarmed attackers.  Many need much less, and a few will never be proficient enough no matter how long they train.  Of those, only a small percentage will ever use the skills in an actual physical defense situation.

Does a person really need to train for 10/20/30 years in martial arts in order to defend his/her self or family?...............or is there more to martial arts than just fighting?


Vala Au

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #72 on: February 27, 2007, 12:45:43 AM »
Empty hand, firearm, blunt, or bladed weapon all warrior craft in my mind.  What's the difference? I haven't done any fancy shooting competitions but have fired at and been fired on.  Objective still the same.

Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #73 on: February 27, 2007, 01:29:53 AM »
Hello Prof. Harper,

Reading Mr. Erickson's words, I didn't get the sense that he was bringing his firearms up against anyone.  I got the sense that he was asking about the most effective methods of self-defense and how others feel firearms fit into the situation.   Given most of your posts, I also get the feeling that you still find unarmed combat very important even with weapons in the mix.   Given that I don't carry a gun and have only few shooting sessions of experience, it's good to know that those experienced in real situations with guns in the mix still value unarmed self-defense. 
"We do not condone the use of a toilet seat as a deadly weapon"
Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo, 3rd Degree Black Belt Prof. Richard Lewis
Bono JKD/Kajukenbo, Prof. John Bono, San Jose, CA
Baltic Dog, Dog Brothers Martial Arts

Offline Wado

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Re: Explaining the deeper side.... what is the true meaning?
« Reply #74 on: February 27, 2007, 01:41:23 AM »
...I've been training in firearms defensive tactics and have carried a concealed firearm for over 15 years...


I stopped carrying a concealed firearm over fifteen years ago.

I'm a bit surprised after spending literally hundreds of dollars just in ammo every month that you haven't considered cost into your self-defense philosophy. Real world self-defense isn't ever a sure thing, all one can do is stack the odds in your favor as much as possible. Awareness, superior attitude, tactics, weapons, numbers, smoke and mirrors, etc. all just help to stack the odds in your favor.

Just do the math, unarmed self-defense is cheap compared to weapons training and maintenance. You spend hundreds a month in weapons training, but you question the value of spending a fraction of that for ensuring equal or better proficiency in unarmed should you not be able to deploy your weapons. A weapon is only as good as your ability to deploy and use it.

Some people play the lottery, some people train in martial arts, some people do both... it is just a numbers game... you do the best with what you have.

To answer your question about when is it enough for self defense... no one really knows when their number is up, so you don't really ever know when enough is going to be enough until after the fact.

There are some significant milestones in martial arts for self defense that one can use as a sanity check... the first is having enough experience and skill to subjugate someone that is a lot bigger and stronger than you are. Another one is to be able to survive against multiple attackers.

Consider these milestones are independent of whether it is unarmed or weapons.

W. Yamauchi
Mateo Kajukenbo
Seattle, Washington