The True Quest of the Martial Arts

The Truth of the Martial Arts

I was watching an old movie, ‘Excaliber,’ by John Boorman, which had to do with truth, honor, and the quest of mankind.

The knights run around in shining armor, truth is forced by the sword, and Lancelot is pure because he stays true to ‘The Quest.’

As I recall, ‘The Quest’ was the seeking of the Holy Grail, which was the cup Christ was said to have drunk from at the last supper.

Of course, the Holy Grail is a mythological sort of thing. It could be the vessel which holds the spirit, or it could be the bloodline of Christ, or any other number of things. It’s a matter of what you believe in.

So what do you believe in?

You have a big choice. You could be a religious fanatic, an atheist, or anything in between. You could believe in sex or the dollar, or the sanctity of books.

And that brings us to the martial arts.

In the martial arts you learn how to defend yourself, but that just opens the door to new realms.

Through the practice of weapons you pierce to the realm of honor and virtue and compassion…and it is this that is the true ‘Quest.’

To subdue your animalistic rages, and find the self that seeks to understand, that helps people, that enables you to raise yourself to a higher level of existence.

Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t claim that one should give up alcohol and sex, subject oneself to daily self excoriations, lock oneself in a cell and pray, or any of the other things commonly associated with fanaticism.

I merely ask that you work out every day, that you never miss a day.

Heck, a beer among friends will not betray you, else Christ would not have drunk wine.

And sex, unless one happens to be at Monkeyland, is necessary, and can even be fun.

But these things are temporary compared to the benefits gained from the daily work out.

A strong body, a clear mind, a spirit that stays young even unto old age. These are the rewards of the true Quest. These are what I would have you have. These are the things that would benefit mankind, and exalt even the entire race to a higher existence.

To beat people up? Ha. That is the devil.

To lift oneself up, and thereby to lift others up, that is the Quest, and that is the truth of the daily work out.
monkey gung fu

3 thoughts on “The True Quest of the Martial Arts

  1. LewisM

    I want others to read this. ABSOLUTELY TRUE. Mastery of art is not about getting into the fight or fighting. It’s about ENDING the fight for the good of all involved. A reminder of Sun Tzu…

  2. Lewis Miranda

    As I said in the comments section, a beautiful presentation on how the ART is not about fighting but about ending the fight for all involved. it is SO hard, at times, to get people to understand COMPETENCE…

    Thank you again, Al. These newsletters ARE cups of water in a barren desert…


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