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#339158 - 05/03/07 01:28 PM Have we lost the Way
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
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I have been pondering something lately. The question is simply this..."Have we lost the way?" Or sould I say Way?"

I don't ask this to be condescending but as a sincere question. If one is practicing a "Do" suffixed art of any type there is the implication of a philosophical root or foundation built into the name of that system.

In many conversations I read online there is talk about function, utilility, and effectiveness. What could be more practical than the Tao. I get a sense many times that the idea of studying classical texts like the Tao and reflecting deeply on them is seen as maybe quaint and perhaps antiquated. I wonder if those texts are all to easily lumped into the "mystical bull$hit I don't need" catagory.

Do you study a do art?

If you do, have you lost the way?

If you have or haven't you might want to take a look at this link...

Tao

I had a go at fixing the link but there seems to be a problem with the edit function these days!

attempted to fix Reiki's bungling


Edited by MattJ (05/03/07 05:06 PM)

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#339159 - 05/03/07 01:34 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: oldman]
harlan Offline
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Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Does it have to have 'Do' attached to be a 'Way'?

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#339160 - 05/03/07 01:40 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: harlan]
oldman Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Certainly not. Not having "Do" attached doesnt exclude anything from the way, just as having "Do" attached does not mean it reflects the way even remotely.

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#339161 - 05/03/07 01:44 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: oldman]
puffadder Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
Unfortunately you are right. Increasingly few schools are teaching any kind of philosophy behind their skills and techniques. It is a shame as without the underlying philosophies i believe we can become little more than street fighters and in doing so we severely limit the extent of the knowledge we can learn.
Taoism of course is the classic example. So many of the world's martial arts stem from knowledge originally discovered and developed by the taoists. It is easy to forget that the taoists were never concerned with defeat of opponents but learning to gain balance and harmony in their lives and strive to understand the relationships between themselves and the natural world around them.
Their martial arts training enabled them to test knowledge directly on another person and so the various theories of energy flow, sinking, moving like water etc came about and were gradually adopted by other martial arts. By developing these arts they discovered phenomenal amounts about the human potential.
Read the Tao Te Ching and you will learn philosophies that as are applicable in the street or in the ring as they were in the Chinese culture of 2500 years ago.

Real knowledge never goes out of date.

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#339162 - 05/03/07 01:46 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: puffadder]
harlan Offline
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Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I don't think 'the way' is found in philosophy, but in practice.

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#339163 - 05/03/07 01:48 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: harlan]
oldman Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
In the practice of what?

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#339164 - 05/03/07 01:54 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
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Quote:

I don't think 'the way' is found in philosophy, but in practice.




That has been my experience as well. Practice of martial arts, for the purpose of this discussion. I guess it depends on if you agree that philosophy is an intrinsic part of martial arts practice.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#339165 - 05/03/07 01:55 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: oldman]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Not to be coy, but to each his own practice. Been pondering myself this past month, about 'the promise' of martial arts.

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#339166 - 05/03/07 02:05 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: oldman]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Oldman,

Good question. I guess it is as much a personal matter as anything else. When I have asked folk the reason why they embarked on their personal MA adventures, the resounding answer to all whom I have asked was...to learn how to fight, or to learn how to defend oneself. Now, this was regardless of the "do" attached to the end of the art's name. And your reasons may be completely different from those whom I asked.

In a pragmatic sense, if one just wanted to jump into a philosophical pool and not worry about the overtures to violence that a particular martial arts system might have bubbling at its core, why not take up Asian Caligraphy or flower arrangment? This would be the philosophy and "Do" without the connection to utilitarian violence.

If you answer this honestly, I think in this case, you have it: basically, that folk want the use of a martial art with varying degress of utility (that is both with and without consideration of the philosophy behind the art). Otherwise they don't have enter into the MA arena at all.

On the other hand, I have personally waxed and waned with my time in trainging cosidering the merits of what and why I do what I do. This is despite things I find fault with and despite my personal understanding of what might prove more pragmatic.

I will even venture to guess (and my personal experience with a few MMAists bears this out...at least for me) that despite the physicalness of the endeavor, every legitimate martial artist that I have met who has had a whiff of real violence shies away from actively seeking it out. Testosterone filled youth with a dualistic idea of a fight is one thing to outgrow where the ego is concerned. Potential and completely emphatic ending of life is another.

If you read what some MMAist have to say about their training (see Dog Brothers....John Kogas linked a nice website once), you get a picture of philosophy concerning what they do. Pragmatism may shine more completely in certain venues, but doesn't necessarily mean it is outside of "DO" or that it doesn't inform the same philosophical constructs in what it attempts to do.

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#339167 - 05/03/07 02:19 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: butterfly]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote by Butterfly -

Quote:

despite the physicalness of the endeavor, every legitimate martial artist that I have met who has had a whiff of real violence shies away from actively seeking it out. Testosterone filled youth with a dualistic idea of a fight is one thing to outgrow where the ego is concerned. Potential and completely emphatic ending of life is another.




Seems like "The Way" to me.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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