A view on the deeper side of the martial arts by Andy Moorhouse.
In the martial art world we talk a lot about 'reality'. There are several parts to this, firstly the 'reality' of combat. Will the art, method or techniques work under realistic distance of violent combat, threats, assaults, criminal actions, and 'street fights'? This is an area I will not touch on here.
So what is the reality of the martial arts? Simply put, the reality of the martial arts is its training. No matter what your aim in training in the martial arts, be it self-defence, fitness, sporting competition etc.. from Krav Maga, and the other ‘reality based’ combat systems, to the outer reaches of some Aikido or Tai-Chi ‘hippie’, or to preserve, in unaltered detail an ancient Samurai style, the physical nature of the art is irrelevant.
The core, the central thing that unites us all is the training, the turning up and performing the actions that are your art.
Again, distracted reality looks at the sword and mistakes the sword for the art of using the sword. The art only exists in its performance. Possessing the sword does not mean you possess the art, anyone can possess a sword, that just takes money. Only through the effort of training do you possess the art. Yet within the training we confront another aspect, reality itself.
Reality, moment by moment existence. Generally, we go through life distracted, thinking about either something that has happened before or something that will happen later.
We do not focus on what is happening around us, at this moment, because it may be tedious. I’m just the same, I work long and hard at an unrewarding job, for a firm I despise, hardly enjoyable. It takes a deliberate act of will to focus on the miserable reality of my dull and boring working life, distracted reality becomes an escape from boredom, but in the Dojo training, if you are in this normal ‘distracted reality’, thinking of something before or later, you will get nailed! You have to face reality; reality is the focus on this moment of action, this moment of reality. You focus on what is really going on and not allow yourself to be distracted by peripheral or trivial things, especially with-in yourself.
Reality is a constant flow, as it passes, either through you or by you. (An important distinction)
THE HOUR GLASS
The old hourglass analogy is the best to quickly grasp the point I am trying to get across.
In the base of the hourglass is the past. The top is the future. In the narrow centre, where the ‘sands of time’ run through, is now. Only by correctly focusing on now can we act or react to events correctly. This is the central principle that all the martial arts are trying to teach.
This does not mean a hedonistic ‘live for today, tomorrow doesn’t count’, attitude.
The future is there and it is coming. You need to understand and learn from the past, this helps you to be able to plan and use the oncoming future. By focusing on the now, you can make the best use of the past and the future. This is what is learned, only by the experience of training and practise. Ancient or modern, armed or unarmed, art, way, combat or sport is irrelevant.
This, in my opinion, is the central, all embracing principle of reality carried by the martial arts. Do not think that I am getting overly philosophical, that this is abstract and does not apply to combat - it does. The martial arts, to be effective, must focus on the events of the ‘NOW’, what is going on around the martial artist. What an opponent, or possible attacker, is doing; where could this lead?
A simple example - That person is a threat, what are they going behind me? The martial artist needs to act now, simply turn and face, rather than when something bounces off the back of their head.
I believe that it is this focus on the moment of reality that attracted Zen and Taoist philosophers to the martial arts or martial artists to Zen and Taoist philosophy.
Written by - Mr A. Moorhouse.
> SHE DOES NOT NEED TO LEARN MARTIAL ARTS <
> RELIGION - THE OLD GODS <
> SO MANY YEARS HAVE PASSED <
> REALITY <