A friend wrote critically of codes and creeds in martial arts schools. He feels people just want fitness and self-defense and do not sign up for what he calls “Boy Scouts or Sunday School”.
He has a valid point. But what of people who want more than fitness and fighting from their martial arts study? What of those who want a program for handling well all types of “enemies” that could try to stop us?
No, MMA ring champions do not seem to live by codes, but the samurai have a code, the Jedi have a code, the American fighting military has a code. The wilder and wider your range of possibilities, the more you will need a philosophical guide to prevent you from falling into the enemy’s control.
We created our “3-part Seekers Creed”, and then our “14-Point Code of Mindful Action” ethics code, and then “8 Aspects of Self Actualization”, and then “6 Parameters of Heroic Living”, and “9 Cuts of Personal Power Activation” all based on translating 2,500-year-old Asian spiritual codes. Code overload, we have!
But… adult businesspeople and young schoolchildren love to tell us stories of how some aspect of the code helped them score a victory of some sort in life. Codes work for us as an integral irreplaceable key component of our gutter-honest self-defense philosophical martial art of “intelligence in action”.
10 thoughts on “Spirituality in Martial Arts Class?”
Martial arts without some sort of code for discipline and instruction is simply unrestrained barbaric violence.
If a student is not willing to accept the principles of the code that accompanies martial arts, then they should not be given access to the added lethality they receive from studying the art. The masters of the artform have an obligation to protect the integrity of their artform, regardless of what their students are requesting or paying for.
It’s an ethical obligation.
Martial Arts without spirituality are not true martial arts….merely a shallow counterfeit. Too many are merely looking to learn how to fight…to dominate…..they attempt to grasp the tip of an iceberg. There is a whole larger dimension that is hidden beneath the sea of their perception.
Well done to Stephen Hayes and Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu 🙂
Would you care to share what you have created?
Balance is the key.
A) I know of schools ( and their masters ) that are really close to being the next Jonestown or David Koresh’s Branch Dividians from Waco Texas, they’re nothing more than cult leaders with ‘black belts’, where “everything I say goes or leave, how dare you doubt my ‘omnipresent super-galactic oneness’!!”
And then there’s the MMA thugs, they’re nothing more than Neanderthals that want to ground-and-pound, snap-or-tap and wear T-shirts with other cutesy rhyming phrases while they still live at home with mom, I say, “yeah… alright tough guy.”
Come on man. both of these extreme examples however sad do in fact exist and more commonly than you might think… I see the points made before mine.
Bottom line, balance is the key.
There are many who seek just to protect themselves or learn how to fight. However, just learning to protect yourself or how to fight is just on the surface, the Martial Arts is so much more. For those who study the Arts do so with passion. Just as the American Military, MMA, or whatever the Art may be, for there are all types of the Martial Arts. Having said that, everyone who does study realize that as you train and acquire great skills there comes an understand that with these skills comes a great responsibility. There is a responsibility of the preservation of life. There is also a responsibility to others. They become brothers and sisters. So to say that there are no codes is a misunderstanding of what the Masters passed down. Any Martial Arts that is without a code of ethnics or conduct is just like anyone with a loaded gun pointed at society with no regard for life. Whatever Martial Art that you chose to study, as you grow the things that you will learn will help you become a better person. You are able to understand yourself better as well as others. You no longer are just one being but a part of many.
If people just want fitness why study the martial arts? That’s not at all what martial arts are for; fitness may be a by-product, but it’s not the point. By the same logic it’s like becoming an ambulance driver because I really want a job that allows me to sit down. It’s somewhat related, but it – foolishly – misses the point in such a way as to question the motives and/or intelligence of the person who makes such a decision. There are plenty of ways to get in shape that does not require calling undue attention to yourself by disrupting a system that was functioning just fine before you arrived. Seems there is some lack of respect or an overactive ego involved. THAT may be one of the reasons for a code…
My advice to anyone would be, if you won’t submit yourself to a process, find another one. In this case, take up jogging…
I don’t understand how schools can claim complete self defense training without some level of spiritual training. Complete to me means mind, body and spirit. Not only fighting techniques but also nutrition, fitness, and spiritual. I’ve seen people with serious physical skill but no spiritual practice. They usually end up hurting someone just to prove how tough they are because they lack control and compassion.
Interested in lessons learned by Stephen K. Hayes.