Use Martial Arts to Polish the Spirit
Had an interesting conversation about polishing the spirit in the martial arts.
So many people think that the martial arts are about beating people up. They search through youtube for the latest beat down, they buy the internet marketing junk that promises them shaolin ninja powers as taught by a secret monk who instructed the Spetznatz in their secret CIA beating skills, and they miss the whole thing.
The martial arts are not about beating people up, they are about becoming a better human being. Go ahead, examine the japanese hieroglyphics for Budo…they mean ‘putting down the spear.’ You learn the art of fighting so that you never have to fight again; so that you have peace in the soul and don’t create a life filled with combat and unhappiness.
Now, how, exactly does it all work? It works in the beginning by taking the young turks and giving them a place to vent their fears and anger. It keeps them busy, ‘cooks them on the fire,’ all while keeping them in the training hall and out of trouble.
Eventually, if it is a good school, the student loses the desire to fight, and manifests the desire to learn, and this is where the true polishing of the spirit really begins.
In the beginning, one is swinging a sword, hitting people, trying to win. In the end, one is measuring his sword stroke by millimeters, searching for finer and finer control. He is not hitting people, but seeing how gently he can touch them, and create more and more effect. He is not trying to win…he is trying to learn.
The difference here is animal to spirit. The difference here is raw raging emotion vs an appreciation for life. And the difference is measured by how well you can control your body.
It takes control of mind to control the body, and the degree to which somebody can control, to that degree he is polishing the spirit.