This week is Grading week, so the daily focus will be Curriculum training. Here is the module schedule for the week.
Wednesday: Self Defence
Kids Grading Modules
Just a reminder of the what we will be grading the kids on this month.
Style Vs Style Pt. 2
Sport, Science or Art
Of course, the longer you study martial arts — any style of martial arts — the longer you practice, the more apparent it becomes that it is so much more than fighting. In fact, the ability to fight effectively is a mere consequence. Let’s analyse it. If the objective of martial arts was just to successfully compete in contests of skill, then wouldn’t it be called martial sport? If the objective was to hone an efficient means of fighting technique, then shouldn’t it be called martial science? Wouldn’t we be martial technicians? But no, this has always been designated and referred to as an art. What does it mean to be an artist? While mastery of technique is necessary; and desire, will and execution are expected, ultimately, artists act to express themselves, to produce or arrange sound, colour, form, movement, or other elements in a creative manner. It may not make for an exciting action movie, but martial arts is about creating something of unique aesthetic value, not about destroying your enemy.
Look at the names of several traditional styles. Judo is translated as the gentle way. Kung Fu means achievement through effort or wisdom through skill. Karate translates as empty hand, although some masters say that the original characters meant using the hand or body to empty the self. Aikido means the way of harmony. All of the great masters, from Tamo Bodidharma (founder of Kung Fu) in the 6th century on, have stressed that martial arts is a path of personal transformation that ultimately leads to self-realization.
Ego Enhancement is the Antithesis of Martial Arts
From this perspective, the question, which style is the most effective? is meaningless. What reason would two martial artists — serious martial artists who practice their art diligently and passionately — have for fighting with one another? Through practice, they develop the discipline and self-control to be able to deal with most situations without resorting to blows. The thrill of competition? If the essence of martial arts is personal transformation that ultimately leads to self-realization, then practice is designed to minimize and ultimately destroy the ego. Entertaining concepts of victory and defeat is counter-productive.
Unfortunately, today there are far too many people claiming to be martial artists who are perpetually training for the enhancement of their egos, for the pride of victory, boasting that they are the toughest or that their style is the best, ready to fight anyone that challenges them. Although these people may be great fighters, they have not yet realized that, in martial arts as in life itself, the real battle is within.
“Even the greatest was once a beginner. Don’t be afraid to take that first step.”
Sensei Matt Thurman – Aikido Nottingham