08-18-2005, 07:27 #1
Ive never considered the Spiritual Side of MA until now.
Its been a LONG time since I've even visited this place, alone posted !
I've not been involved in any MA for a long time about 4 years now, but various sequence of events in my recent life have brought me around in an almost full circle, to the point where I have started looking at MA again, but from a totally different perspective.
When I last practised MA, I was a regular, was more interested in the Fun and Fitness, the SD was an added benefit.
3 years ago to this month, I ask my girl friend to marry me. We got a house together, we spilt a year later. I got depressed, accumulated a debt. We got back together 6 months later, about 18 months ago. We set a date for the wedding for May just gone. Started regularly going to church (both catholic families, quite a few members regular church goers). I eventually told my Fiance about the debt. The Priest upset my fiance as he basically said that she should stay with her husband even if he abused her, this touched a nerve as she had been raped when she was at College (before I knew her).
We got married in May, had a great honey-moon in Scotland (decided against Florida as we wanted somewhere quiet). Sometime around then we decided to try for a baby.
When we got back, we decided that we wanted to be as debt free for the baby, so first plan was getting rid of the credit card bills from the wedding and a chunk of my debt, which was done by selling our sports bikes(yeah my wife is a biker chick )). We cut back on stuff like mobile phones, cable TV packages reducing our monthly outgoings, and in 12 months time this debt will be payed off and still have enough money to enjoy ourselves, as long as we are careful.
This happened about last month, and ever since I've been pondering about my life, where its going, especially with the recent change of marriage, money situation and wanting to start a family, even the fact I've lost faith in my religion, whats important in life, my life, what I actually put value and importance on.
One of the things I need is a new hobby and I thought about talking up Martial Arts again, especially as a few guys in my office have started Kung Fu.
So after a conversation with the other week at lunch, I hit google with a renewed interest in Martial Arts.
I ended up reading about Bushido and Shintoism (correct spelling ?) and I liked some of the ideas and ideals. This time around realised that I should be considering the spiritual side of Martial Arts, which last time had little interest to me. Now, I'm not saying I'm going to become a Kung-Fu-***-kickin-buddhist-monk (joke), but I thought I definitely would at-least like to read about the religious and spiritual side of martial arts.
So, if anyone has any info, stories, books or links they would like to share with me about the religious and spiritual side Martial Arts, I would genuinely be grateful.
Last edited by NickR; 08-18-2005 at 07:43. Reason: SpellingsNick.
08-18-2005, 08:08 #2
I believe that there is no spiritual aspect, that martial arts is spiritual in it's own content. Here's a link that explained it well for me.
Martial Arts Spirituality"Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." - Sun Tzu
08-18-2005, 08:27 #3
it all depends on you, if you enjoy the martial arts, and you learn to see it as a lifestyle, it will come, what i mean by lifestyle, practice a lot, remember the virtues, most dojangs have a set of virtues, follow them, practice often, have fun, and the spiritual side of martial arts will come to you, i cannot explain it, but it is like a connection, and it developes over time. for now, justhave fun in the martial arts and get to know your instructors.Your are only a true martial artist when you see the martial arts as a way of life.
08-18-2005, 08:42 #4
If you are looking for the spiritual satisfaction that comes from hard work and concentration, and pushing youself past previous stumbling blocks then MA's are about that.
If you are are looking for philosopical or religious enlightenment I think you'll be disapointed.
Most of the instructors I've met who claim to teach this sort of thing are cult leader wanna be's. You'll recognise them by their awestuck students who will tell you endless stories of their near supernatural powers.
I think church/temple/place to meditate is the best way to go....
I also think yoga does a good job of the mind/body/spirit thing depending on the instructor.
My 2 cents
Best of luck!!
08-18-2005, 08:48 #5
Originally Posted by Aikido_Girl918
08-18-2005, 08:51 #6
Originally Posted by jakmak52
Ta for the link. NickNick.
08-18-2005, 09:04 #7
Originally Posted by Musubi Dojo
Originally Posted by Musubi Dojo
I just want to learn about it out of interest, more than put into practice at this moment in time, curiosity if you understand ?
Originally Posted by Musubi Dojo
Originally Posted by Musubi Dojo
08-19-2005, 15:18 #8
well, if you are wanting to learn about it out of interest, your not alone, i am wanting to know more about this but the only things i have ever found, other than the pages given to me by my dojo, are about people with superhuman powers, or about some stupid idea that being a martial artist makes you better than everyone else. i have no idea where to find that kind of info, but, i stand by what i said in my last post, it will come, i started to feel addicted and connected to the martial arts about 5 months after i started.Your are only a true martial artist when you see the martial arts as a way of life.
08-19-2005, 20:57 #9
08-19-2005, 21:09 #10
- Elizabeth Seuferling
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It sounds like you are going through HUGE changes in your life right now. About the only major "stresser" you did not mention is "job change." As you are now laying the foundations of a new marriage and family, have you considered taking on an activity that both you and your wife are interested in?
Maintaining individual activities is important too, but you are specifically speaking of taking a mental, physical, spiritual journey. Not exactly the same language as 18 holes of golf with the boys. If you are to undergo such a journey, it might be nice if all parties involved are traveling the same route.
Just a little word of advice from a 15 year happy veteran.Elizabeth
"Relying on the government to safeguard your retirement money is like relying on a pothead to safeguard your Fritos." - Unknown pot head
08-24-2005, 10:03 #11
Thanks for all your comments.
Eliz, I spend all my freetime with my wife at the moment, this isnt as bad as its sounds though... she works saturdays, and she has mondays off instead, so I get a free day that way, plus we have a close group of mutual friends (thats how we met in first place), so when we go for beer, walking, days out or movies we ALWAYS invite our friends along, so though I spend almost all my spare time with her, we are also half the time with friends.
When I first met my wife I was training in Tae Kwon Do, she had no interest then, and I have mentioned it recently, and shes not the slightest bit interested in training in a Martial Art.
Chris, I like what you said.
I don't worry about conflict of religous beliefs anyhow, as I personally believe that we should be allowed to choose and reject any part of any religion/idea, live by our own set of ideals and goals, its one of the things that makes us individuals.
Also as life changes, we must be open to adjust in our ideals and goals so that they relflect one another, and this is the crossroad I am at. Its more an adjustment, realignment, than a throwing out and starting again.
I must say, that Im not upset, distressed, mentally ill even, just a bit confused and lacking in focus of where my life is going, as day to day I am very mellow and content (as I usually am).
From what I have read, though it can be useful to read/understand the spiritual side of different MA, it seems better that it is part of the phyiscal training, as a complete system ?
I am strongly considering Hapkido, as this will fit in with my background of TKD, which always suited my long legged-athletic build. I am also looking at Juijitsu.
Have a weeks holiday next week, so I have time to phone/visit local schools.
Last edited by NickR; 08-24-2005 at 10:06.Nick.
08-27-2005, 04:23 #12
Religious issues are tough to deal with. Everyone has negative reactions about ~Anything~ religious. The market is saturated with people that feel that religion has faulted them. No body wants to touch the stuff. Why? Because it is scary as hell!
Unfortunately science and philosophy can't explain "why" we exist, let alone why we die. Our purpose on earth is mystery.
Spirituality in martial arts for me has always been about piercing reality. What I mean by this is seeing and being aware of what is really happening without being deluded by cultural/philosophic/societal/etc beliefs and perceptions. With a clear mind actions happen spontaneously.
Western civilization tends to think of the mind as separate from the body or the spirit. In Goju ryu karate the kata "Sanchin" or "three battles" could refer to these.
Unfortunately secularism is rampant in our media because we are consumer cash cows that willingly go out and buy products/services that are supposed to make us happy. As if anyone needs a reason to be happy, as if that is mankind's general goal...
Here is a good excercise for meditation and sampling the world of the abstract. It takes one day or about 8 hours of sunlight.
Go to a public place where there is a lot of traffic and people walking around. I use a coffee house because I like coffee. Sit outside. Don't read a paper, or book, or magazine. Don't bring a cellphone or a friend. Be utterly alone and anonymous. Sit and watch the people, the clouds go by, the cars go by, birds flying. Listen to people talk or order a drink. Scrutinize every detail. Spend an hour looking at a sewer grate if it has recently rained. Watch the leaves get clustered around the metal gridding. Be open and aware of everything that is taking place around you but Do Not Move. More importantly, do not attach any Value to what you see. Don't see a red car as RED, just see the car. Don't see a Maple tree as a Maple tree, it is just a tree. Remove the inventory of names for things you see. After awhile you may notice that your unconscious tries to name everything you see. ignore it. focus on the flower or the table or the rock sitting by the curb.
No special breathing technique. No mantra. Just reality without perception of it.
08-27-2005, 20:59 #13
Martial Arts is not spiritual. It is a comabt art, the furthest thing from spirituality. However it is philisophical.
The best book that I have found is "Living The Martial Way" by Forest Morgan.
08-28-2005, 12:19 #14
Chris is right.
All discipline is spiritual. Anything to do with life and death has its roots in spirit.
08-28-2005, 12:45 #15
I think that a person who believes in a "spiritual" dimension of reality no longer separates the physical from the spiritual. Whether it's the concept of dharma/karma of the eastern and nature faiths or the final judgement of the Judeo/Christian religions- the spiritually minded person must contemplate the purpose/and motivation for every action they take.Legitimate use of violence can only be that which is required in self-defense. - Ron Paul
"...it ain't about how hard you hit... it's about how hard you can get hit and keep movin' forward..." - Rocky Balboa
"I am just absolutely convinced that the best formula for giving us peace and preserving the American way of life is freedom, limited government, and minding our own business overseas." - Ron Paul
08-28-2005, 17:52 #16
"the spiritually minded person must contemplate the purpose/and motivation for every action they take."
Jason, I totally agree... I tend to follow that group of thinking. One thing that really ticks me off in our global society is that so many people act like sheep, and coperate advertising and PR is big culprit.
Its also the reason I refuse to wear any clothing with a brand label on (apart from discreet).
Also another big culprit in the UK is the sensationalised news and media.
I take most things I read in the News or on the internet with a pinch of salt until I find out collabirtive or verifed information.
But I also think this really reduces peoples ability to question, justify and reason, because they are "told" the choices by the advertising/PR/News/Media.Nick.
08-28-2005, 19:05 #17
Spiritually oriented arts
As a hapkido-ist who values the aspects of the spiritual in my practise I am somewhat hesitant to say this but I think most hapkido and jujutsu practitioners tend to be more 'practical/technique' oriented and less spiritually oriented than those that practise other arts.
My own hapkido teacher definitely has a spiritual aspect integrated into his system so it really isn't good to generalize but generally speaking I think Japanese aikido, tai chi, iaido and the like seem to attract the more spiritually oriented than the two arts you mentioned, which seem to attract the more pragmatic and self defense oriented.
If the main focus of your desire to study an art is spiritual I think you should probably study an art which puts this aspect at the forefront rather than an art in which it plays an important but smaller role.Matthew Rogers
Scarborough Martial Arts Training Group
08-28-2005, 20:40 #18
to live your life without fear. quite a challenge.
08-29-2005, 17:48 #19
A warrior is spiritual, war isn't.
Spirituality and war do not mix. War is chaos, spirituality is order.
Your training in Ma and the philosophical side, and in some cases the spiritual side, will prepare you for the chaos of combat and vilolence, but they do not mix.
Spirituality prevents us from causing harm and destruction. It creates a harmony. The opposite is true of combat. Combat, for reasons good,bad, honorably or cowardly cause us to hurt, maime & kill.
I understand that many warriors are spiritual, this does not mean that war is.
It is dangerous to confuse the two. If you look at them one and the same then you make the warrior accept the responsibility of war. You make them responsible for death and carnage, which in most cases is not the nature of the warrior. Most soldiers hate what they have to do, but accept a greater responsibility for the good of humankind and our nation(s). This does not make them killers, it makes them heros.
I agree that spirituality and warriors often go hand and hand, but the wtwo can NEVER be interchangable.
Last edited by Right To Defend; 08-29-2005 at 17:52.
08-29-2005, 19:28 #20
interesting post, steven, but i don't agree with every point.
"Spirituality and war do not mix. War is chaos, spirituality is order."
if you find peace, then you will be at peace, even at war.
martial arts is about controlling one's environment, at first. you learn at what range an attacker can hit you; then you learn to control that range. after you become proficient, you realize that the real element that has to be controlled is not your environment, but yourself. only once you control yourself, control your fear, do you have true control.
this is the true challenge of the MA. simply punching and kicking is for neophytes.