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#339168 - 05/03/07 02:31 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: oldman]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
If I'm absolutely honest about this, I have certainly lost the way, and on purpose.

Maybe it has something to do with being agnostic, but I lump Eastern mysticism into the same category as western faith healing, homeopathy and palm reading. There are certainly some valuable lessons to be learnt in antiquarian books like the tao te ching, the confucian texts, the art of war and others, however, I treat them exactly as I would treat a book written today: they are there to be analysed and disagreed with. The people who wrote them were nor super-humans, so why should we treat their culture as in any way superior to our own.

I personally like the Oxbridge way of looking at great philosophers in the UK, which is to treat Hume, Aquinas or Wittgenstein like a well-meaning, but misguided young undergraduate!

#339169 - 05/03/07 02:31 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: butterfly]
Leonine Offline

Registered: 07/23/05
Posts: 191
TO answer such a question, I'd really need a more specific explanation of what the Way is. Personally, I'd define it as a oneness between mind, body and spirit. We've all had those moments, where the soul of you and whatever it is you do become one.
My personal Way is the attainment and mastery of this very moment, and to further experience the moment of fighting with another who has done the same. So to me, there is no such loss of the way in the arts, simply fewer and fewer people are actively seeking it.
In any case, before I start the rambling, I'll need a somewhat clearer definition of what you consider the Way before I could even attempt to answer your question.

#339170 - 05/03/07 02:47 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: Leonine]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
To quote (or misquote) the Tao Te Ching, "The Way which can be spoken, is NOT the Way".

To which I must add.... "
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#339171 - 05/03/07 03:01 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: oldman]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
I have said before I found Aikido to be the most relaxing and rewarding of any martial art I have studied. I beleive this to be down to the reading about the philisophy of O Sensei and his many great students, and indeed, his teachers.

I concur that the Way is found through physical training. But I would add that the training should be a manifestation of a philosophy. When in Aikido, I do not attack. If I were to lose my temper or perform a movement in anger, this, to me wouldn't be Aikido, and I would be violating my physical training. Physical training must have an aim. I find this through philosophy. My movements gain meaning, and in return, my mind and outlook are altered by my movements.

As I said, a persons training should have an aim derived from something. Be it a personal philiosophy (e.g. self-improvement) or philosophy from sages of a long past age, you need something. Otherwise your physical endeavour would be aimless. As such, your physical activity, without any given purpose, would be interchangeable with any other physical activity: E.g. Why not run instead of grapple? If you have no aim, no Way, then both will give you equally meaningless results. Not that they aren't meaningful, but if you don't have a reason for doing them, then what is the point? The reason is the Do. It is the who, what, why, how, when, where. Just my ramblings. Please excuse me!

I concur that the Way is found through physical training. But I would add that the training should be a manifestation of a philosophy.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#339172 - 05/03/07 03:28 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: Prizewriter]
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
"I concur that the Way is found through physical training. But I would add that the training should be a manifestation of a philosophy"

Couldn't have said it better. Personally for me "the way" is a combination of both as you stated. And as a person stays long enough in MA it is a natual process to think about "the way" more often. I suppose the spiritual side of MA arises later in life? I try to talk about this subject to student now and then but kids these day just want to play games and the teenagers and young adults seem to be more interested in MMA vs the spiritual and traditional aspect of the arts....sigh....oh well.
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

#339173 - 05/03/07 03:32 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: oldman]
Cord Offline

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Searching for or agonising over if you are still on 'the way' or whatever, is a surefire method of losing it. Train hard, with commitment and life balance and be open to any lessons that that act sees fit to teach you. there may have been much written about fighting in all its forms, there are treatise' aplenty on cause, motivation, strategy and morality involved; but before the intellectual and spiritual dissection of 'the way', there was just the ability to fight, and the mercy to walk away.
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'

#339174 - 05/03/07 03:38 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: Cord]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
Is just fighting a 'Way'? I think there is a 'high' and 'low' road encapsulated in MA training. One is just fighting, and surviving, and the other is the possibility of encountering one's true nature.


but before the intellectual and spiritual dissection of 'the way', there was just the ability to fight, and the mercy to walk away.


#339175 - 05/03/07 04:45 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: harlan]
WuXing Offline

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
"Karate and Zen are One"

Everything is what you make it.

"A child's rhyme stuck in my head; It says that life is but a dream. I've spent so many years in question, to find I've known this all along..."

#339176 - 05/03/07 04:59 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: Cord]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
I have to agree with Cord on this.
The chasing of the way often takes you the wrong way.

Some of the most spiritual people I've known were ones who didn't think about it (often didn't think hey had any)and some of the least were the ones who agonised and measured it.Funnily enough, some of the most stressed out people I've ever met were practicing Buddhists (heaven knows how stressed they'd have been if they WEREN'T Buddhists!)

While I thoroughly believe that it is beneficial to study an art within some kind of philosophical framework (eligious/spiritual or whatever) I've also wondered if it is necessary for some individuals to study MA rather than something else. I noticed a while ago that once people used to get into spirituality to get something out of it. Now they seem to get into something to get the spirituality out of it.

How often have we heard the old line;" MA gives you a union of body, mind and spirit"? So does dancing. I know a few dancers and actors whose training and practice is often harder physically, emotionally and psychologically than most MA practitioners. Interestingly enough they are often people who are aware of their 'way' through their work. Others seem to read a lot and talk a lot about 'the way of the actor' but would do better to forget the text and sweat a bit more.

I also feel some people need to feel they are doing a 'spiritual' art. To this end some arts are 'sold' and 'marketed' with this in mind. I've long been bemused by those people who felt they were more spiritual because they, for example, did lovely, spiritual Tai Chi (non-martial and with pretty clothes) rather than nasty, horrible, violent TKD or smelly sweaty wrestling (even though in some Islamic cultures and Hindu culture it has strong links with religion and spirituality).

Sometimes the best way is one which life itself presents to you.
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

#339177 - 05/03/07 05:17 PM Re: Have we lost the Way [Re: oldman]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina

I have been pondering something lately. The question is simply this..."Have we lost the way?" Or should I say Way?"

Have we ever really found the way to BEGIN with?

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