When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:
I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me
I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me
I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull
I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death
I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed
I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes
I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados
I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers
The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn
Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung
WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE
The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.
Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.
“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated.” - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources
“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames
“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne
Dual Practice: Mind & Body
Musashi Sensei even with a larger than life reputation/legend was admired for his art of fighting and as a seeker of the Way. Once again his writings show the need to balance out martial arts with academia.
If this is not enough to sway a person on the path then once again in the opening of the book he states, "A samurai must have both literary and martial skills. To be versed in the two is his duty."
In a recent post where I ask someone to explain what is meant by spirit of karate I find that "the true spirit of martial arts (karate) requires you train in ways to be useful at any moment and teach men so that they may be useful in everything." To me this is practicing "wholeheartedly!"
Element One, Water: Turn our mind into water. The reference explains how water forms to the square and the round which if you study the ancient classic of the I Ching you find the square and round to represent both Heaven (round) and Earth (square). It is thus explained that water is representative of supreme good. It benefits everything for life is composed mostly of water. Water does not compete and its noncompetitive nature is evident due to its nature in fitting and forming into any shape, i.e. container be round, square, etc.
Those who know of the ken-po goku-i from Tatsuo Sensei will recognize the Wind chapter saying, "Without knowing the others well, you can hardly know what you are."
Element Air: He professes a truism that to master the art of fighting you must seek its true nature. Once you can comprehend the true nature of the fighting arts you must then let it go; it has its own freedom as air is free to go everywhere and water seeks all in any place it goes. The true way is to take hold of the true nature then let it go. This is like kata. Know it exactly to discover its true nature then let it go to find the true way.
As has been spoken all martial arts through the knowledge of its fundamental principles will find that it has a rhythm. As he speaks of a variety of rhythms we can extrapolate that to mean each technique also has its own.
Many speak of taking on other martial systems yet Musashi does speak of this but in a manner that one must have knowledge (familiarity) of various professions. He simply wrote, "Try all the arts to experience what is sought in each field." To me he states one must become familiar with all systems to ensure that the one system is capable of dominating all systems in fighting. I understand this to mean, in conjunction with the above statements, that one must first gain a full understanding of the systems, primary system of training, true nature and then let it go to assimilate/familiarize other systems to make the one true personal system complete.
This is my understanding as to the Gorin-no-sho in a fundamental fashion in understanding all the fundamentals of the martial arts.