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
Stillness of the Mind
There is a body of water where the breezes cause a ripple in the water. When this happens you can see only distorted images. If you cause the water to become stilled then you begin to see images in perfect form from the previous distortions caused by the wind. You can then see not only your reflection but all that is around you like the sky, clouds and the trees that are around you. As the water is stilled the clarity sharpens so you can see beneath the surface, what is below the surface of this body of water. You begin to see the "true form" of what was distorted in all those shimmering ripples of moving water.
If you allow the breezes of thought to distort your perceptions you cannot act properly. This is a sense of why sometimes we miss opportunities to avoid or deescalate conflicts and end up in fights. We distort our perceptions with the breezes of monkey chatter allowing our ego's and pride to stir the waters into an every murkier and distorted image - an image of loss of face, to be dissed, to receive perceived slights, etc. all those ripples of distortion that lead to damage.
To still the mind is to reach clarity, to see and hear those things that would lead to damage and allow is to perceive true avoidance and deescalation. A higher road to remove the breezes, the wind, the tsunami that is our monkey thoughts.
When you still the mind/water then you start to see some wonderful forms and patterns with clarity. Reflections of life that change so you identify yourself with true reflections that reflect true, underlying forms.
When the breezes of extraneous thoughts ripple the mind you say to yourself, here I come and here I go and all you see is a broken image of self reflected back by the ripples of mental distortions. When you engage in martial practice to still the mind you are learning to still the water.
Why is it that we use a physical discipline to still the mind? Physical activities like martial systems is a matter of balance while moving in the world - this is key. This is balance; it is the reason that martial artists and things like music performance or tea ceremonies with intense exactness are so helpful is disciplines is because they require one do those things well by doing them then not doing them. What I am trying to say is you have to achieve a kind of positive relaxation that allows you to release the mind from the doing so the body is doing the activity, the body achieves the power and your consciousness simply goes along for the ride.
Stillness of the Mind.
The individuals balance is determined by his or her life along with all the needs and wants he or she desire and when they practice and train in a physical discipline they remove those distractions, i.e. still the mind and let the body lead the way, they find themselves in equilibrium with the system, i.e. this system or that system or another system, and that is what all of these systems are for - still the mind.
"What you get from the system is a function of your own consciousness - your perceived reality." - cejames
Campbell, Joseph. "Myths of Light: Eastern Metaphors of the Eternal." New World Library. Novato, California. 2003.