Thursday, June 5, 2014

Martial Arts Without Zen

I would like to shared something that I read in the past which was in the book: "Zen in the martial arts by Joe Hyams." It is a great book for starters in the martial arts. My biology teacher gave it to me when she founded out that I practiced martial arts. She is at a high spiritual level of understanding in the martial arts as she loves reading the spirituality and/or the philosophy in the martial arts. But that's is just something for me to remember as I first met someone face to face for the first time, who knows the way. So I recommend beginners to read the book.

So what I like to share is about martial arts without zen. To me without zen in the martial arts it wouldn't be true art. Without it in the martial arts there would be disharmony or unbalanced which wouldn't look good(I don't know the right word). So anyway I'll try to summarize what the author said. He said that he observed a dispute between two martial artists of the first rank. One of them was an instructor  and the other was his best friend until he decided to open up a martial artist school. In the process the instructor took with him several students from his friend's school. He discovered between both men their irrational hostility towards one another. There was talk of vendettas between the schools, personal confrontations, recriminations and vows of enmity. They displayed all the behavior one might expect of misbehaved children, indicating that it is possible to be a martial arts master without mastering the spirit of zen.

That's all there is and then he talks about zen how it changed his life and how it frees an individual from concern, tension and anxiety about winning or losing.

Zen is important in the martial arts as it express harmony and balance. That's why when people ask Freddie question about "is this person a real martial artist?", his response most of the time is no, as the majority of the people who claim themselves as martial artist do not know or express the spirit (of zen), or have the spirit as those people only focus on the techniques of combats and the fitness (like getting a good physiques and being fit). So there is no balance between the body, mind and spirit, as they are all interconnected.

I don't know about you guys but I just know or feel what Freddie's response to that question is when he makes those videos. I don't have to watch it as I would normally know his response but I just watch it anyway to make sure what I was thinking and feeling is right.

What do you guys think about martial arts(or martial artist) without the spirit of zen?


  1. I have Joe Hyams' book in my collection as well, it really is a great read. Thanks for sharing!

    Some spend their days sharpening only the body and mind, but who leave ''Zen'' to the monks and yogis to ponder up in their caves. Zen is only a metaphor to them because they identify completely with their thoughts, and are caught in the illusion of their pride. Thoughts are another sense in the body, similar to smell or taste... but you are not your thoughts.

    1. True, I just had a discussion not long ago about thoughts. (which reminds me when you said you are not your thoughts) I think I said that to a friend at school?

  2. Many people who train in the Martial Arts in regards to the physical and combative technique aspect of it do not put the same energies into the reading, writing, and inner reflection for spiritual growth. This blog and the philosia videos are ways of helping people achieve that balance that they lack. I thank you very much for taking the time to write and share your experiences of how you first learned about Zen or Meditation and how important that is for the growth of an individual in the Martial Arts.


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