mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

A forum for those wishing to discuss Buddhist history and teachings in the Western academic manner, referencing appropriate sources.
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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Grigoris » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:08 pm

I think the "trend" for Aikido dojo to "promote" Zen comes, in part, from the lack of Omoto Kyo representatives in the West. Useshiba definitely injected a dose of his adopted spirituality into Aikido, but the prerequisite training in Omoto Kyo did not exist for Aikido sensei, so they had to turn elsewhere (Japanese) to "fill the gap".

Muay Thai, even though the martial art of a Theravada Buddhist country, draws heavily from the mythology and symbolism of the "Hindu" Ramayana.

Of course it is "easier" for martial artists to turn to "Hindu" spirituality to support their practice since stories like the Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, etc... have an open acceptance of war and warfare, whereas the life of the Buddha...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Meido » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:25 pm

jkarlins wrote:For me, it was a big first step in terms of seeing the possibilities of humility and devotion. Of course, like you said, whitewashing can be a big part of this too. And if you want historical fact, or something approaching it, this is a problem.
Definitely. I certainly hold the Founder and his abilities in high esteem. It's rather interesting to see how Aikido has spread and enriched the lives of many folks internationally, largely due to the second Doshu's work; in that sense, whitewashed or not, it has transmitted much of value. It will continue to evolve naturally, and to my mind the most enthusiastic and strongest practitioners, and those exploring the technical side most deeply, are outside of Japan. Pranin's work is really useful for, among other things, reminding that much can also be lost during such an expansion and evolution. Apologies, sort of off topic here with Aikido nerd talk.

My Aikido teachers happened also to be Zen practitioners, which is what attracted me to them. I am sympathetic to anyone who aspires to follow a Zen and Budo path, severe as that is. Check out the Tesshu book if you get a chance, it's pretty interesting.
Grigoris wrote:Useshiba definitely injected a dose of his adopted spirituality into Aikido, but the prerequisite training in Omoto Kyo did not exist for Aikido sensei, so they had to turn elsewhere (Japanese) to "fill the gap".
Actually both of my teachers said exactly that: in essence, "We couldn't understand what the Founder was talking about, with his references to Shinto gods and the Kojiki...so we did Zen."

~ Meido
Even though you have attained insight into the True Nature (kensho), there is yet the barrier of differentiation, and there is the One Path of Advanced Practice. If you have not yet even seen into the True Nature, what a lot there is yet to do! - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by jkarlins » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:35 pm

Grigoris wrote:I think the "trend" for Aikido dojo to "promote" Zen comes, in part, from the lack of Omoto Kyo representatives in the West. Useshiba definitely injected a dose of his adopted spirituality into Aikido, but the prerequisite training in Omoto Kyo did not exist for Aikido sensei, so they had to turn elsewhere (Japanese) to "fill the gap".

Muay Thai, even though the martial art of a Theravada Buddhist country, draws heavily from the mythology and symbolism of the "Hindu" Ramayana.

Of course it is "easier" for martial artists to turn to "Hindu" spirituality to support their practice since stories like the Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, etc... have an open acceptance of war and warfare, whereas the life of the Buddha...
Thai culture is a really interesting mix of, among other things, spirit worship/animism, Buddhism, and Hindu culture. They have their own Ramayana, the Ramakien. Never read it, but I've heard of it.

(I knew you were a Muay Thai guy, glad you jumped in, I was waiting!)

Jake

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Grigoris » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:43 pm

jkarlins wrote:Thai culture is a really interesting mix of, among other things, spirit worship/animism, Buddhism, and Hindu culture. They have their own Ramayana, the Ramakien. Never read it, but I've heard of it.
It is not all that different to the Ramayana. There are some sections of the Ramayana left out of the Ramakien and there is the addition of Hanuman's romantic fling with a mermaid added in, but all-in-all...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Mantrik » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:28 pm

Meido wrote:
Actually both of my teachers said exactly that: in essence, "We couldn't understand what the Founder was talking about, with his references to Shinto gods and the Kojiki...so we did Zen."

~ Meido
I sometimes wonder if those who followed Morihei were embarrassed about the very spirituality which was integral to the efficacy of HIS Aikido. The Tengu and Kami were a part of his path. I do find a lot of modern day instructors are all about the 'Harmony' and lack all 'Spirit'.

The fact that after decades of training O Sensei could deal with attackers with very little effort created a whole raft of idiocy with people believing and teaching that as very inexperienced Aikidoka, they could use 'Ki' to knock down lines of people and make others fly through the air'.
Sorry, but in the context of the thread, a 'martial' art with some fighting application describes very very little of the Aikido I have seen in the UK.

Fushin, Mushin and Fudoshin are not even examined.............just some fannying about in a hakama and never a fear faced and overcome.

Of course, I've seen your own Aikido and it is good, strong and effective (courtesy Youtube).
My own teachers were also very powerful practitioners, which I am certainly not. The Shudokan style does not really exist any more, but Joe Thambu's Yoshinkan and the Cullerne brothers show some good examples.

But if we cut through the 'meditation' references and examine the crux, I do wonder how many senior Aikido grades would have stillness of mind and strength of spirit when faced with a street knife attack, and actually be able to do something effective. If not, Morihei Ueshiba's synthesising of all those techniques and training minds for combat in his early days would seem to have been wasted, except perhaps as personal spiritual advancement.

Oomoto Kyo did/does have Western representatives, but turning to Zen was easier, especially as Shinto does not 'travel well'.
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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Meido » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:45 pm

Mantrik wrote:The fact that after decades of training O Sensei could deal with attackers with very little effort created a whole raft of idiocy with people believing and teaching that as very inexperienced Aikidoka, they could use 'Ki' to knock down lines of people and make others fly through the air'.
It's a problem when people imitate the movements - spontaneous and transcending of all kata (form) - in a high level teacher, without themselves going through the exhaustive study of and adherence to kata for many years that such a teacher has done. The result is indeed nonsense: people attempting to do very sophisticated movements, and express the principles of profound forms that encode pre-modern body usage, using the modern, gross body mechanics of everyday life that they've unconsciously picked up since birth.

To my mind, the same thing is easily observed in dance. Classically trained dancers who exhaustively master demanding forms, embody the principles encoded within such, and then are able to break/transcend forms to realize a new level of creativity and freedom, are very different from dancers who try to express such freedom from form without such prior training. In other words: to be free of form in these disciplines, one must pass completely through forms, not avoid and negate them out of conceptual conceit (unless one is the very rare naturally gifted genius).
Mantrik wrote:But if we cut through the 'meditation' references and examine the crux, I do wonder how many senior Aikido grades would have stillness of mind and strength of spirit when faced with a street knife attack, and actually be able to do something effective. If not, Morihei Ueshiba's synthesising of all those techniques and training minds for combat in his early days would seem to have been wasted, except perhaps as personal spiritual advancement.
Mastering martial arts means that these qualities are embodied in situations of extreme duress. To be able to do this requires a great deal of severe training, ideally starting in late teens or early 20's when one is able to practice 4 or so hours a day, every day, for some years as a foundation. That kind of training is something not many people do anymore, so most martial art teachers are essentially hobbyists. They may practice a few hours a week for many years, but unless they are particularly gifted it is unlikely they will ever penetrate to a great depth. So our expectations may be tempered. This is an issue in all martial arts, not just Aikido. There is a tremendous amount of low-level Karate, Taekwondo, Taiji, etc. out there; it may look good, fast, effective, etc., but to a trained eye it is lacking.

Something along these lines can be an issue in Zen, and perhaps other Buddhist practice traditions, as well.

~ Meido
Even though you have attained insight into the True Nature (kensho), there is yet the barrier of differentiation, and there is the One Path of Advanced Practice. If you have not yet even seen into the True Nature, what a lot there is yet to do! - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Nemo » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:27 pm

You can be a good fighter or a good Buddhist. You can't do both. Eventually you have to choose one. Many martial arts are gloirified acrobatics. Contrarily a life of violence is not a right livelihood. Catching bad guys gets old and generally more dangerous as you age. Why waste your time on this when you could learn something useful like medicine or acupuncture? Fighing carries so much baggage and not much financial security. In retrospect for the majority it was a bad life choice.

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Mantrik » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:30 pm

Meido wrote:
Mantrik wrote:The fact that after decades of training O Sensei could deal with attackers with very little effort created a whole raft of idiocy with people believing and teaching that as very inexperienced Aikidoka, they could use 'Ki' to knock down lines of people and make others fly through the air'.
It's a problem when people imitate the movements - spontaneous and transcending of all kata (form) - in a high level teacher, without themselves going through the exhaustive study of and adherence to kata for many years that such a teacher has done. The result is indeed nonsense: people attempting to do very sophisticated movements, and express the principles of profound forms that encode pre-modern body usage, using the modern, gross body mechanics of everyday life that they've unconsciously picked up since birth.

To my mind, the same thing is easily observed in dance. Classically trained dancers who exhaustively master demanding forms, embody the principles encoded within such, and then are able to break/transcend forms to realize a new level of creativity and freedom, are very different from dancers who try to express such freedom from form without such prior training. In other words: to be free of form in these disciplines, one must pass completely through forms, not avoid and negate them out of conceptual conceit (unless one is the very rare naturally gifted genius).
Mantrik wrote:But if we cut through the 'meditation' references and examine the crux, I do wonder how many senior Aikido grades would have stillness of mind and strength of spirit when faced with a street knife attack, and actually be able to do something effective. If not, Morihei Ueshiba's synthesising of all those techniques and training minds for combat in his early days would seem to have been wasted, except perhaps as personal spiritual advancement.
Mastering martial arts means that these qualities are embodied in situations of extreme duress. To be able to do this requires a great deal of severe training, ideally starting in late teens or early 20's when one is able to practice 4 or so hours a day, every day, for some years as a foundation. That kind of training is something not many people do anymore, so most martial art teachers are essentially hobbyists. They may practice a few hours a week for many years, but unless they are particularly gifted it is unlikely they will ever penetrate to a great depth. So our expectations may be tempered. This is an issue in all martial arts, not just Aikido. There is a tremendous amount of low-level Karate, Taekwondo, Taiji, etc. out there; it may look good, fast, effective, etc., but to a trained eye it is lacking.

Something along these lines can be an issue in Zen, and perhaps other Buddhist practice traditions, as well.

~ Meido

Very wise words.:)

I think the generation of practitioners in the 'Hell Dojo' days were probably already skilled in striking and weapons arts, whereas modern day exponents of Aikido have no such background and face the additonal problem that as well aslearning Aikido they may well not face someone who knows how to punch, kick, use weapons ourside of a narrow curriculum. It is also true to say that most cannot really risk serious injury as they have jobs, families etc. so in many schools weapons are blunt, punches are pulled or feints.

To return to the topic, this seems to apply to meditational aspects. I have seen so many examples of the separation or linear approach. There may be a quick session of meditation or misogi and then the martial practice begins. In a perfect world, there would be a seamless integration, but I've only seen this very rarely. It is akin to swimming without water.

I wonder, is this true of other martial arts? A nod to the spiritual and then ditch it and dive into the physical?
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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Mantrik » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:35 pm

Nemo wrote:You can be a good fighter or a good Buddhist. You can't do both. Eventually you have to choose one. Many martial arts are gloirified acrobatics. Contrarily a life of violence is not a right livelihood. Catching bad guys gets old and generally more dangerous as you age. Why waste your time on this when you could learn something useful like medicine or acupuncture? Fighing carries so much baggage and not much financial security. In retrospect for the majority it was a bad life choice.
Not always true, methinks.
If we consider compassion, should we ignore violence against others and not fight to protect against a greater harm? If we have vows, is that not our duty?

I recently read this comment elsewhere:
'' Shakyamuni Buddha told a sea captain that an act of murder he committed was not negative as, having overheard the victim plotting to kill all the others on the boat the captain’s motivation was compassionate in wishing to save the lives of his five hundred other voyagers. Pacifism should not detract from one’s kindness. If the avoidance of killing is merely cowardice and lack of deep concern for others, then failure to act is a breakage of one’s vows. ''

It's an interesting point.
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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:46 pm

But if we cut through the 'meditation' references and examine the crux, I do wonder how many senior Aikido grades would have stillness of mind and strength of spirit when faced with a street knife attack, and actually be able to do something effective. If not, Morihei Ueshiba's synthesising of all those techniques and training minds for combat in his early days would seem to have been wasted, except perhaps as personal spiritual advancement.
This isn't just a question of mental preparedness though.

By and large a huge number of martial arts (including much combat sport, though not all) wouldn't prepare one for a mugging or knife attack. It has less to do with philosophy and mental stillness and more with the fact that they simply aren't training for that, whether they want to claim they are or not. You actually have to look pretty hard for people who teach -any- traditional art ( and plenty of non-traditional ones too) as a viable form of self-defense. It makes sense, most people train for fun, and eventually their idea of what violence is like becomes a fantasy of one kind or another, and that's what they end up training for.

No cultivation of stillness can make up for ignorance of the basic facts of violence.

I have taught a couple of self defense seminars and run a small class where we occasionally delve into knife violence, people have some crazy ideas about what's feasible and what isn't. Most don't even know how people get attacked with knives, watch a video of a prison shanking or "grab and stab" knife attack and ask yourself how most martial arts training would stack up. The only people who get anywhere are those that first learn to be clear about what they are actually training for, otherwise they are still in the dark. I wish mental cultivation changed that, but it doesn't. You simply have to know what violence is like, enough to understand that things like grabbing a wrist in the air, predicting someone else's movement, dancing around to size someone up etc.. are off the table. So it's not just the tone or attitude of Aikidoka that makes it less than effective in most hands, it's that it's evolved into something that can't be effective anyway, without being moved and taught in a different context. A few people do that, but it's just a few.
You can be a good fighter or a good Buddhist. You can't do both. Eventually you have to choose one. Many martial arts are gloirified acrobatics. Contrarily a life of violence is not a right livelihood. Catching bad guys gets old and generally more dangerous as you age. Why waste your time on this when you could learn something useful like medicine or acupuncture? Fighing carries so much baggage and not much financial security. In retrospect for the majority it was a bad life choice.
It's more complicated than this. Some martial artists have histories with violence, they can't renounce their way out of their conditioning immediately. The ones that end up on the good side of things process and transform past behaviors through martial arts. The ones on the bad side of things are usually puffed up kids anyway, frankly. You do not find many martial arts "lifers" that are what you would think of as violent, in my experience. You can't compare the experience of someone who does martial arts for a few years (of any stripe, including glorified gymnastics) with people who have half a lifetime or more in it. For starters, no matter how good you are, if you continue to train into middle aged you see real quick how much "fighting" has to do with testosterone and youth, and you realize it's not your world, which makes you ask "why am I doing this". I know many people with something like 40 to 50 years in various arts, and they are some of the best people I know ethically.

Beyond this, we should clarify some terms here:

"Fighting" is different from self defense, which is different from warfare, etc. "Martial arts" runs the gamut in terms of what different arts are created for, and how they function. Unless someone is consensually engaging in martial sport bouts, or going out and getting into bar brawls..they are not a "fighter" in any real sense, let's be clear on that, and not confuse categories.
Fighing carries so much baggage and not much financial security. In retrospect for the majority it was a bad life choice.
Again, given the range of stuff under the heading "martial arts", this statement is absurd. The experience of a person doing a self defense seminar, a person doing strip mall Tae Kwon Do, a person doing Ki Society AIkido, a person competing in Brazilian Jujitsu, are all very different. Compare them to actual soldiering, Law Enforcement, violent criminal enterprise etc. (which I assume is what you are talking about) and there is no real comparison whatsoever, just vague moralizing.
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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by odysseus » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:53 pm

Nemo wrote:In retrospect for the majority it was a bad life choice.
Well, you did it anyway. You are military man, but Buddha does not condemn you either way so no need to repent.
Let a man not seek for the respect of his peers, but let him seek wisdom.

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Grigoris » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:47 pm

Mantrik wrote:I recently read this comment elsewhere:
'' Shakyamuni Buddha told a sea captain that an act of murder he committed was not negative as, having overheard the victim plotting to kill all the others on the boat the captain’s motivation was compassionate in wishing to save the lives of his five hundred other voyagers. Pacifism should not detract from one’s kindness. If the avoidance of killing is merely cowardice and lack of deep concern for others, then failure to act is a breakage of one’s vows. ''
Why is it that this same tired (and single) example is regurgitated every time whenever Buddhism and violence are mentioned? It is one insignificant story from the Jataka Tales for crying out loud. Is there another more valid example out there?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by HandsomeMonkeyking » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:51 pm

Meido wrote: On the Japanese martial arts side, those interested in Zen/bujutsu connections from a practice standpoint may read Takuan Soho's Fudochi Shimmyo Roku, as well as the writings of eminent martial artists who also practiced Zen such as Yagyu Munenori, Musashi, etc. in early Edo, Yamaoka Tesshu in early Meiji. In the modern era, read up on Omori Sogen (he wrote a book called Ken to Zen - The Sword and Zen - but it has not been translated that I know of). The records of Kamakura Zen translated by Trevor Leggett are also invaluable (Samurai Zen: The Warrior Koans), as is his Zen and the Ways.
Unfortunately I have not found any of these books in english (or german, my native language), except the books by Trevor Leggett.
Meido wrote: The former of those last two is especially interesting, consisting as it does of anecdotes centered on the practice done by often uncultured Japanese warrior disciples under Chinese and Japanese masters of the Linji/Rinzai school. From these one may get a sense of the psycho-physical similarities between Zen cultivation (at least, within those lineages that arrived in Japan in late Song) and the training undertaken by warriors of the time. One wishing to grasp the occasional historical intersection of Zen and Japanese martial culture might do well to start with that time period, i.e. the encounter - and mutually beneficial relationship - between Chinese Chan teachers fleeing the Mongols and the newly ascendant Japanese warrior class.
This sounds very much to what I am looking for.

Thank you!

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by HandsomeMonkeyking » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:54 pm

humble.student wrote:On Shaolin, read Meir Shahar's academic tome, which covers the history and historiography quite thoroughly. There are a bunch of books on the legends and what not, as well as other works dealing with the martial arts-meditation connection, but nothing very serious springs to mind.
Yes, I have this one on my list already.
From skimming through it on Google Docs I am not sure it answers what I want to know though. But I think it will give me more interesting puzzle pieces to understand everything.

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Mantrik » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:56 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mantrik wrote:I recently read this comment elsewhere:
'' Shakyamuni Buddha told a sea captain that an act of murder he committed was not negative as, having overheard the victim plotting to kill all the others on the boat the captain’s motivation was compassionate in wishing to save the lives of his five hundred other voyagers. Pacifism should not detract from one’s kindness. If the avoidance of killing is merely cowardice and lack of deep concern for others, then failure to act is a breakage of one’s vows. ''
Why is it that this same tired (and single) example is regurgitated every time whenever Buddhism and violence are mentioned? It is one insignificant story from the Jataka Tales for crying out loud. Is there another more valid example out there?
Don't know. It was quoted by one of LOTR's seniors in the UK, with reference to the 14 root downfalls, so I noticed it, but do you know of others?
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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by HandsomeMonkeyking » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:00 pm

Meido wrote: Some of the whitewashing of Aikido history done by his son and others is also interesting to look at. For example, the sweeping under the carpet of his pre-war activities and "this is how you kill the enemy" language in favor of a mythical "Art of Peace," the downplaying of Daito Ryu as the source of Aikido, etc. The late Stan Pranin at Aikido Journal did a lot of great research RE Aikido origins and, again, subsequent hagiography...most of it can be read online I think at Aikido Journal.
I would be interested in reading more about this whitewashing.
Aikido is a very widely practised art, I have big doubts about finding someone really having any knowledge or skill close to me. In my experience in the format it gets taught, and people who usually attend, and other factors contribute to a trend of not training as was trained before and not achieving the skill level.

In my experience in Taijiquan there are definetely very good people out there, but a lot of mumbojumbo and moneymakers are in between and it takes a long time to find good quality things.

I don't want to invest that many years of trial and error and searching into learning Aikido currently :-)
But would like to read some informed texts about such things so that I have some knowledge which hopefully will make it easier to put things into perspective.

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by HandsomeMonkeyking » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:19 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote: No cultivation of stillness can make up for ignorance of the basic facts of violence.
This put it very nicely.
Johnny Dangerous wrote: I have taught a couple of self defense seminars and run a small class where we occasionally delve into knife violence, people have some crazy ideas about what's feasible and what isn't. Most don't even know how people get attacked with knives, watch a video of a prison shanking or "grab and stab" knife attack and ask yourself how most martial arts training would stack up. The only people who get anywhere are those that first learn to be clear about what they are actually training for, otherwise they are still in the dark. I wish mental cultivation changed that, but it doesn't. You simply have to know what violence is like, enough to understand that things like grabbing a wrist in the air, predicting someone else's movement, dancing around to size someone up etc.. are off the table.
I totally agree.

This is what I want to learn is very hard to learn from group classes of favourite-martial-art. I would like to know how mindfulness, meditation was/is used in martial arts. Not in the hobby kind of martial arts. Many instructors are also not clear about circumstances of actual fights, or don't have deep inside into that part of their art, or don't know how it was used in the past for real world self defense.

This is why I think I need to find some academic book or some quite old book written by a person with personal experience.

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by HandsomeMonkeyking » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:24 pm

It's interesting that so far it was mostly spoken of Japanese martial arts.
I think there have to be some interesting accounts of Chinese ones too.

Is this still related that the Japanese Budo arts came to the USA earlier?

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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by odysseus » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:33 pm

HandsomeMonkeyking wrote:I would like to know how mindfulness, meditation was/is used in martial arts
They never will be able to use Buddhist style mindfulness as a means to their martial skills. Mindfulness when applied leads to peace and laying down the sword, exactly the opposite.

By the way, some little psychologists are trying to introduce mindfulness into the US Army. I guess they will not get what they are looking for better warriors.

https://www.army.mil/article/149615/Imp ... s_Training
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Re: mindfulness, meditation and martial arts and war

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:10 pm

HandsomeMonkeyking wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote: No cultivation of stillness can make up for ignorance of the basic facts of violence.
This put it very nicely.
Johnny Dangerous wrote: I have taught a couple of self defense seminars and run a small class where we occasionally delve into knife violence, people have some crazy ideas about what's feasible and what isn't. Most don't even know how people get attacked with knives, watch a video of a prison shanking or "grab and stab" knife attack and ask yourself how most martial arts training would stack up. The only people who get anywhere are those that first learn to be clear about what they are actually training for, otherwise they are still in the dark. I wish mental cultivation changed that, but it doesn't. You simply have to know what violence is like, enough to understand that things like grabbing a wrist in the air, predicting someone else's movement, dancing around to size someone up etc.. are off the table.
I totally agree.

This is what I want to learn is very hard to learn from group classes of favourite-martial-art. I would like to know how mindfulness, meditation was/is used in martial arts. Not in the hobby kind of martial arts. Many instructors are also not clear about circumstances of actual fights, or don't have deep inside into that part of their art, or don't know how it was used in the past for real world self defense.

This is why I think I need to find some academic book or some quite old book written by a person with personal experience.
It's pretty simple, among other things mindfulness of breathing can overcome the adrenal "freeze" that happens, and help one keep a clearer mind in traumatic situations. It's martial arts, the use of meditation is pretty practical, and not as deep as what you'd find in anything else..once it goes deeper it becomes something other than martial arts training. Probably something positive, but tangential to the main purpose. As far as the martial use of mindfulness, that's it...it's makes you more effective,more relaxed, helps you get out of the OODA loop when stuck (I can explain or give a link if you don't know what that is) etc...it is nothing complicated in my opinion, and is ethically neutral. It's comparable to the use of meditation in other non-Dharma purposes...e.g. psychotherapy etc., just applied to martial arts, combat sport, what have you.

There are a number of people who have written on the use of breathing techniques in traumatic/violent situations...the list is pretty long, but again, it's nothing complicated when you approach it from that perspective. In fact, it was complicated, it would not work..simplicity is everything in that world.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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