Sunday, November 13, 2016

Knowing yourself

In theory, MAs are a path to self knowledge. I seriously doubt it, very seriously.

I fact, I don't much believe the "Do" part in most martial arts. CAN it be used for such? Oh, sure. But if you think that someone who's raced the Dakkar doesn't know himself, hasn't reached a maturity in "Do" that many martial artists only imagine, then you're seriously off track. Marathon runners have more Zen than most high level dans. Solo mountain climbers risk their lives with samurai abandon. And so on. In non physical endeavors, painters, tea masters... And most of those don't add a "Do" to their name and end up with something useful after several hours of practice. Martial artists don't.

Many (both of those espousing "reality training" and those following the "Do") can't even defend themselves from a wet paper bag.

So , neither spiritual neither practical. What's missing?

That self-knowledge, maybe?

I just saw a video of a Kaju instructor. And I kept thinking... "Well, not quite. She doesn't quite decide what principle of movement she wants to use and keeps wandering around... Moves too much... Well, if she polishes that, then she could be..." And then I found an interview. 6th dan, director of two branches in a federation.

She's not going to get better. Not if she's reached all that at that level of practice and shows, smiling and satisfied, in the interview.

Now, she's an easy target, obvious. But... How many times do martial artists fall into that? A senpai commented to me some years ago that some character flaws were easier in the veryest of "Do" schools, because you wouldn't be hit back. In boxing, however, being a cretin had consequences. For starters, most instructors wouldn't risk you.

So, are MA good for self knowledge? Only as good as you allow them to be. As you invest on them to be. It doesn't come for free.

And, sadly, possibly the majority of those who approach the MA want a free lunch. No such thing, guys.

Which is, of course, why most of those go away. Still many remain. And they reach a teaching certificate.

Sigh... You can only guess at the quality of their instruction, and what loops their pupils will have to go through if they want to surpass the master (and they'll better).

Take care.

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