Sunday, March 18, 2012
The Important Questions About Your Art
I mentioned in a previous post the difference between warriors and gladiators, regarding their reasoning for combat. Today most people will often use the term "warrior" when they are actually describing a gladiator. Gladiators tend to be more aggressive men who enjoy the feeling of combat and the praise that comes along with it. Warriors fight to solve a problem and will more than likely not even be noticed for the victories that they have won.
Gladiators often beat their chest and use intimidation as a way of showing their great strength. Whereas a warrior would more than likely be afraid of being discovered by his enemy because it would hinder his mission. You should not fear an aggressive man, but a careful man. A careful man can plot his enemy's demise without anyone ever knowing he existed. In addition an aggressive man will never know the depth of martial arts because he is too busy thinking about how to attack. By looking at a few simple questions we can see how a gladiator may have a difficult time ever having a real relationship with the martial arts. This is causing martial arts to be strangulated by the media.
The first question being why do we fight? If we are fighting for the entertainment of others then it isn't really a serious fight. To have combat with someone who is unrelated to our life is the same as breaking a break that doesn't hit back. A demonstration of strength, but not a demonstration of purpose. The fight must take place as a means to solve a problem, not just fulfill the satisfaction of lust and rage. The fight taking place must in some way resolve a real objective. Even if you are using your martial arts to rob a bank, you are more useful than the one who fights to entertain.
The next question is when we fight. In a ring it is quite obvious when it is time to begin the fray. In real life there is no bell to let you know when to strike. You must calculate carefully when it is time to seize the advantage. Should you attack while he is talking? Should you attack while you are talking? Attacking at the right time will in most times be an automatic victory. Of course if you are only fighting for a girl in a bar, then you are just a gladiator without the heart to get in the ring.
The next question is where to fight. An open space is the worst place to fight! In my life I have personally found that the more obstacles that lay around in an environment, the more opportunities I will have to lead my enemies into traps. While fighting with groups of skin heads, I never wanted to be in a flat open area where they could easily get to me. In an area that is cluttered or even slightly elevated it is much easier to control the energy that comes at you. In real life jumping off the top rope is quite effective. By keeping objects between you an your opponent you will be able to control the timing of when to attack. Of course you better practice this first or you will be just as vulnerable as anyone in a cluttered area.
We always have the question of who do we fight? It's easy enough when someone has been assigned to you for a title match. Yet you are more than likely just beating on someone like yourself who is just seeking out an opportunity. The real arts are designed to heal or destroy. Why destroy someone who has never even wronged you? It takes decades to perfect your art and you use it to smash someone for a few extra bucks. The reality is the people who promote the fight will be the only winners in the end. The two gladiators are just well fed chickens in a cockfight. All of these healthy evil men walking around and the only thing you can do is attack another good man? Do you even deserve your art?
How we fight will be affected by all of these choices. My master often reminded me that true kung fu is in your weapon. Most times in the past, warriors only fought empty handed when their weapon was dropped or broken. Using a weapon for training will not only enhance your empty hand techniques, it will prepare you for combat with seemingly impossible odds. It's said that Ghengis Khan killed ten thousand people with a sword. Because of the damage the body will naturally sustain through combat a weapon will also preserve your lively hood. If a 300 pound man attacks a little girl with a baton, the baton will even the odds if she is trained. Remember we are not fighting to show our skills. In a sense a fight is doing something terrible to prevent something even worse.
The truth is in these days there are many types of warriors who use trades that are not solely based in martial arts. A warriors fight will always first take place in the mind, which means can't limited to just kung fu. I have come to understand that the mind is a computer and the arts are much like the internet which can be used to obtain an endless amount of information and enhance your every idea. You can use your martial arts to fix a car or even build a house. The other day I learned a technique that made me a better singer. The problem is that people continue to give misinformation to the mind on what martial arts is. It will limit the reasons you train and how you train. They are attempting to make you believe that the best thing you can do with your art and your talent is help them make more money. I don't want to get into "they" in this particular blog because there is already enough information to digest. For now lets focus on you and the purpose of your own art.
If you are reading my blog then I assume you are someone who is able to perceive more deeply than the masses that have been brainwashed by fickle an meaningless ideas. By training for REAL reasons you will not only become a true warrior, you will also find the key that leads to TRUE freedom. If you think of the techniques of the martial arts (talent) as colors or musical notes, then you begin to understand that you can use it to paint and design whatever you want. The problem being that we have been educated from such an early age about "what we want". It is only because of my culture shock that I am able to see through what was always there. Old sitcoms have cue an audience to laugh at the "funny parts" of the show. Watching this as a child it shows us when something is funny. After thirty years of television and commercials do you even know what you really like or want anymore?
Finally I would like to say that just because you are a ring fighter, doesn't mean you are a gladiator. If you have chosen to use this method to help you resolve a problem, then you are still classified as a warrior. Just remember that the priority for a warrior is to be able to think before he/she fights. When people start thinking for you, you are not a warrior or a gladiator. You are a slave.