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TMA UnderGround >> Zen in the Martial Arts


4/10/04 5:11 PM
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1groovyunit
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Edited: 10-Apr-04 05:35 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 4322
 
I love this book. I just read it again. Interestingly, most martial artists that I know (then again alot of them train in TMA's) swear that arts like BJJ and JKD do not have a spiritual benefit to them. Others claim that arts without ranking systems do not have quite the same spiritual benefits. I have always believed that the 'zen' aspect of martial arts comes from learning about oneself through trials and hard experiences in the gym/dojo/kwoon. Does zen really have anything to do with rank? Does zen really have to be taught? Isn't zen a point along a journey where self-reckoning takes place? Isn't rank merely a way of placing milestones along the journey for spotting progress, or a signpost that says 'you are here'? It is always said that if you seek it you cannot find it. That said, isn't it the greatest futility to seek the man on the mountain? Wouldn't enlightenment come from experience and introspection, experience and introspection, and on and on? Is a traditional art necessary to discipline the body? The mind? The spirit? Is rank necessary to integrate these parts? Does wisdom, knowledge and experience not come from a constant testing of oneself under graduating amounts of pressure? There is no lesson greater than that lesson which has been learned through experience, no? Exactly what is the essence of martial arts that lets the pratitioner reap collateral benefits beyond a superficial fighting ability?
4/18/04 2:32 AM
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pustak
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Edited: 18-Apr-04
Member Since: 08/13/2002
Posts: 2626
i own that book. it's not very well written.
4/20/04 2:28 PM
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Samatikan
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Edited: 20-Apr-04
Member Since: 09/18/2002
Posts: 151
You can link Zen to anything. Even growing tomatoes. "Exactly what is the essence of martial arts that lets the pratitioner reap collateral benefits beyond a superficial fighting ability?" Nothing that you can't get from any of life's pursuits. MA has nothing to do with your character development, other than it's association with your sum total of experiences. If you associate with asshole martial artists, there is the same chance you will become an asshole as if you associated with asshole baseball players. So, not WHAT you do but WHOM you do it with. In other words, "the company you keep...".

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