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#267388 - 06/29/06 08:37 PM Re: Zen – Not a Martial Philosophy [Re: Victor Smith]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
There are many different sects of Zen Buddhism, each with their own set of rituals, methods, and practices - some with an unusual mix of Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian philosophies. I think it is important to note that Zen, of itself, has no religious or spiritual underpinnings. And that the association of the ritualistic trimmings with the practice of Zen is as far from the path of Zen, insofar as the attachment to such things is counter to ideal of Zen.

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#267389 - 06/29/06 10:26 PM Re: Zen – Not a Martial Philosophy [Re: eyrie]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
I always thought that the "cool" thing about zen was that it had no goals... it is "for the moment" thinking, so if you have a goal in the practice of zen, you're not practicing zen... if you think about that, it makes your head explode...


Let's see... if I'm practicing without goals, I'm "zenning", but if I'm practicing zen with a goal in mind of not having a goal, I'm not doing zen...

Time for kryptonite....

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#267390 - 06/29/06 10:37 PM Re: Zen – Not a Martial Philosophy [Re: wristtwister]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Much ado about (doing) nothing!

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#267391 - 06/29/06 10:54 PM Re: Zen – Not a Martial Philosophy [Re: eyrie]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
Is there any other religion, other than buddhism, that claims a connection/co-existence/merge (whichever is the proper term) with Zen philosophy? sure there are individuals either thinking they are, or are essentially in spirit doing so...but is there anyone making the claim of "Zen Confucianism" for example?

If not, then why the distiction by combining terms 'Zen + Buddhism' ? The reason is in the popularity of the combination, such that the combo 'required' definition. It's just a label to describe what a bunch of people believe/practice. and I suppose like any other philosophy/reality it often isn't sought...it finds you....and I'd also suppose that if it did, the label would no longer have meaning.

As far as a named philosophy and martial arts, I see many more connections to Dao. The philosophies in Dao relate (if only in metaphor) to physical philosophies of combat. They seem to be better suited to strategical/method philosophy. Whereas Zen philosophies seem to relate more to the state of mind during such practice, preparation and/or AFTER such practice. If you are thinking Zen DURING the act, then you missed it's point.

It's almost like a conditioning of the mind before and after. whereas Dao/Tao addresses wisdom WITHIN the action.


practicle example: you are sparing in class against an opponent you know has more skill...you are bunched up, stiff and nervous. you take a moment between 'rounds' ; close your eyes, tell yourself to breath easy, tell yourself to relax, tell yourself to think no thoughts...you fancy yourself as incorporating Zen philosophy 'mushin', or another word you learned/were taught. It's not Zen. What you just did was a relaxation technique using visualization and self-suggestion. which is good stuff, it works. but from what I understand about Zen is that it just is a state of mind. To train for that 'just is' state is subject to debate, and I certainly don't have the answer. It's a non-way that everyone finds for themselves I suppose.

another example: 'the last samurai' movie. when Cruise has that practice drill with his instructor and then end in a draw. just before that it shows Cruise relaxing, visualizing, then 'letting go'. enabling him to allow his head to process more information in real-time due to the fact it's not bogging itself down with details. It has the effect of time slowing down since your brain is able to keep up and surpass the moment. ...it's not Zen. 'Zen' is just one type of elusive training to be ABLE to enter the stream....once there it's non-Zen.

The reason Zen and Martial Arts are not inseparably linked is because there are other ways (for the purposes of MA) to get the same effect....and many DO choose other ways. hours upon years of physically practicing what you wish to be able to do without thought is another way, 'second nature', 'in the zone', etc. people who do that and never meditate or speak in terms of 'Zen', are still able to enter the non-Zen state. Therefore your philosophy and whatever MA you practice is your own link and does not require a term....but put it there if you like...just don't assume it's the 'right' way or only way or best way...it's just A way - and it's certainly not tied to MA by definition. from where I'm standing today anyway - I'll probably evolve how I look at that.

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#267392 - 06/29/06 11:27 PM Re: Zen – Not a Martial Philosophy [Re: Ed_Morris]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
What wristtwister said...

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#267393 - 06/30/06 06:27 AM Re: Zen – Not a Martial Philosophy [Re: wristtwister]
andy4 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 53
This is confusing mind state perhaps some where some one teaches it?. what?

A bit like another thread where the instrucor said the technique doesnt exist yet ?

A mind state has to exist in self defence.Label or name is irrelevent.

A person who is attacked will either run or panic or fight back. Training a mind state might help in a self defence situation when the attacked has just been struck very hard , hurt but is not yet down and able to continue and their natural reaction would normaly be to give up or not fight back with maximum abilities

Very early Japanese instructors would check this mind state on students. Call it bullying in this day and age but it did condition a student for a self defence situation.


I agree with Ed in this one


Edited by andy4 (06/30/06 07:04 AM)

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#267394 - 06/30/06 06:28 AM Re: Zen – Not a Martial Philosophy [Re: Ed_Morris]
andy4 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 53
Yep

I agree

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#267395 - 06/30/06 07:01 AM Re: Zen – Not a Martial Philosophy [Re: eric235u]
andy4 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 53


Hi I’m no academic or historian but wasn’t the execercise routine Bodhidharma invented also to include self defence?

Because the monks for some reason got mugged?
Although given they were poor monks there wouldn’t be much to mug for. Maybe in that day and age they were that poor that even the monks clothes were of value or some other strange reason such as Cannibalism?

Monk stew?


And to the best of my very limited none confused state of mind(brough about by constant maki wari practice)

doesn’t the buddist/zen religion allow their students to defend them selves if attacked?

So all told with some kung fu styles having seemingly exercise as well as fighting methods in their system perhaps this might add up.


Pacifists perhaps who following a path who needed exercise/self defence(because Bodhidharma was tired of looking at beaten un fit monks) or he figured they might no longer be able to practice their religion because they are not around any more.

I don’t know I am only speculating

I still think a mind state of clarity while being under pressure needs to exist in the martial arts

The name or label Im not sure of.

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#267396 - 06/30/06 07:39 AM Re: Zen – Not a Martial Philosophy [Re: andy4]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Personally, I am not interested in speculation. I have not spent any time researching this....perhaps someone learn'ed in this topic could 'enlighten' us at some point (plenty has been written on it).

The question is: is Zen a martial philosophy. All ancillary, and interesting aspects aside, the answer is probably 'no' on various levels.

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#267397 - 06/30/06 06:00 PM Re: Zen – Not a Martial Philosophy [Re: Ed_Morris]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Quote:

practicle example: you are sparing in class against an opponent you know has more skill...you are bunched up, stiff and nervous. you take a moment between 'rounds' ; close your eyes, tell yourself to breath easy, tell yourself to relax, tell yourself to think no thoughts...you fancy yourself as incorporating Zen philosophy 'mushin', or another word you learned/were taught. It's not Zen. What you just did was a relaxation technique using visualization and self-suggestion. which is good stuff, it works. but from what I understand about Zen is that it just is a state of mind. To train for that 'just is' state is subject to debate, and I certainly don't have the answer. It's a non-way that everyone finds for themselves I suppose.




Ed, if you replace "philosophy" with "practice" to reach "mushin" you'll be about right. Zen has no philosophy other than "now", but it has different methods of reaching differing states of mind, such as breathing exercises, self-meditation, contemplation of riddles, and self-hypnosis.

Some people relax by breathing exercises, others by physical drills they might have, or just by mental "coagulation"... but the end result is what's the goal (which you can't have and it be zen)...

Uh oh... time for the head to explode again...



_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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