Sunday, February 13, 2011

Martial Arts - Meditation for Life

Being a martial artist and an instructor I have often been asked by anxious parents before they enroll their kids if the child will become more aggressive, will he use what he learns in class on his friends at school and so on. This is a very common myth about martial arts. To this my answer has always been a big NO. 

Martial Arts is a science in fact it should always be referred to as martial science rather than martial art, for within its training lies the solution to man's problems related to body, mind and soul. 

When a student enrolls in a dojo (class) he or she may have joined for various reasons to improve health and fitness, to be able to defend one self or sometimes even because they want to be able to fight like their heroes eg - Bruce Lee. What ever may be the reason for enrolling, few months of training at an authentic dojo will change their outlook to life, mindset, health, discipline and much more in a student. Students become very calm and composed as they understand the power they hold within them selves. 

Martial Science starts from the outside making the body strong then moves to the mind developing the will power and character and finally reaches the spirit or soul. Once students get serious in training they are in a meditative state through out their workout. If  they were not in this meditative state to be able to train at the high intensity that a senior session goes to would never be possible. It is a slow and remarkable process transforming  a person completely like a caterpillar turns into a butterfly similarly a student once transformed into a martial artist is liberated and is a totally different person.

The Kiai which seems odd or just sounds to people who do not train in this science is a very powerful meditative tool. Some of the commonly known purposes of kiai is that it helps focus the chi or power into the attack or even scares the attacker a bit. There is a deeper purpose also to kiai which is a meditative one. Kiai helps the practitioner be focused in his workout, when the body is drained and exhausted if a practitioner does kiai he feels charged up and trains harder and better. How does this happen? Kiai is what connects the practitioner to not only his chi but also to his spirit or soul. A martial artist having years of training is connected to his soul and is in a meditative state through out the day even when they are not training and just going about their normal daily activity. It may seem unbelievable to a common man but in my years of training I have personally met a few great masters and you can feel their aura just by being in the same room with them. Their senses of sight, hearing, mind etc are far more tuned and developed than any normal person. They can read what you think and will know what you are going to say even before you do. 
This is the result of Martial Science. It is a process which needs more than a life time. Every second constantly evolving and growing. It is sad that most people feel becoming a black belt means they know all. That is just the base camp to the climb up an ever growing mountain. 

Martial Science is truly a Meditation for life. Having more than two and a half decades of training in martial science I still learn and grow every day it is something which will never come to an end just like the horizon always visible but never reachable.

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