Intention

Recently I read a book and also watched a movie called “127 Hours”. The storyline is a harrowing account of Aron Ralston, a mountaineer who got his right arm trapped under a boulder in a remote canyon in Utah. This is a story of a man who was trapped and frightened. He was frightened to stay where he was, knowing the chances of any rescue finding him alive to be slim; he was frightened to free himself by cutting through his own trapped limb with a dull blade of his multi-tool.

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Alpha Male

Watching my students go over their patterns in my Taekwondo class one would give me a tentative glance another would let out a cursory ‘err... ’ as they would perform the exercise. I advised my students that martial arts are not a team sport, to never worry about what anybody else thinks but focus purely on the execution of their flow. Glancing at a judge in a patterns competition is almost always an indication of uncertainty; likewise when facing an adversary in sparring the winner is the one who focuses on his own attacking strategy and dictates the pace of the bout. Martial arts are one of those activities which are all about you, where the focus of the training is on enhancement of the self.

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Tools of Battle

This week one of my Maori friends came to visit and was playing on my computer when we got into a heated conversation about which civilization invented the Special Forces. My friend told me that way before the white man even conceived the use of Special Forces his people used key warriors tasked with eliminating enemy chiefs and messengers. These men would attack using a flexible and independent command infrastructure. There were also Maori berserker units, matataki-a-whiro, who would carry out suicide missions with no regard for their own personal safety.

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Providence

  • Life

“It is not because things are difficult that we dare not. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” – Seneca

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E-Motion

It is important to identify the purpose of the training in the martial arts in order to ascertain what really drives and motivates us to train. It is not really the antagonism of combat or the sweat of the training routine rather it is about the emotions that the practice of martial arts elicits. To delve into the Zen philosophical purpose of why we train we have to look at the factors that drive us emotionally on our journey. It could be the feeling of security, health and wellbeing, personal growth and development, comradeship or maybe status or recognition; it all varies from one individual to the other.

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