Learning the Arts of Combat

Meditation and Martial Arts: Connecting the Body with the Mind

History
Meditation has been around for thousands of years. It’s only been recently that people have finally attached a name to this practice. For some people, meditation allows for a person to become closer to their spirituality or God. Many others use it as a way to calm their mind and to focus on the matter at hand. This enables a person to perform a task without distractions and being blinded by emotions. It is well known that the top Samurai warriors often completed an intense period of meditation and self-awareness development.
Without having undergone such extensive training, many of the samurais wouldn’t have been successful warriors and we wouldn’t hold samurais in such high regard like we do today. Many of the martial art forms require meditation as a foundation before the student can move forward with his or her studies.

Benefits
Martial arts offers a variety of health benefits to the user. Most people assume that only physical benefits are gained while practicing martial arts. The most common benefit that people are accustomed to seeing, is the ability to defend oneself in dangerous circumstances. By doing this students see an increase in their level of confidence by knowing they are learning how to defend themselves. While this is one of the key benefits, an amazing process is happening within. Their flexibility slowly increases, strength improves, and their speed is influenced directly as a result. After repeating the numerous exercises that martial arts requires, their motion and flexibility improves remarkably. On top of gaining or improving muscle tone, some students also see a dramatic drop in weight as well.

These results are often un-expected and are very rewarding! Other than having amazing benefits for the body, martial arts is extremely beneficial for the development of the mind and spirit. Martial arts requires extreme focus and self-discipline to become successful. While you’re training hard, you reach a point where you slowly start to feel like you’re leaving the world behind. You’re entering an alternate universe. This feeling is a natural high that is created solely on adrenaline you’re releasing while enjoying doing something you’re passionate about.
Even if you’ve had a rough day, you’ll find that a challenging workout can stimulate the senses and make you feel accomplished. The next time you experience a downer or are in a bad mood, consider doing a brief but brisk workout. I guarantee your mood has improved significantly and you feel like you can take on the world.

For those people who have a lack of or poor co-ordination, martial arts will benefit you greatly. There are not many activities that make it possible for a person to work both sides of their body evenly. Most of the exercises require frequent repetition on both sides of the body.
This prevents a person from having only one dominant side of the body. When you’re working both sides of the body effectively, each side is equally strong. Basketball and baseball players are notorious for being “one handed” sports. Many of these sports players have a favorite hand that they’re more comfortable with using to play these demanding sports. These players often lack strength in their non-dominant hands. This problem can easily be remedied by taking martial arts classes.

bowling

Bowling and golf will strengthen one side of the body, but martial arts benefits the body as a whole and even improves mental focus. In a high quality martial arts class, your whole body will typically get a very thorough workout. It doesn’t matter which style of martial arts you choose to practice, any of the styles will enhance your bodily strength and improve the connection your mind has with your body and spirit. While a great many of the benefits seem to be particularly just for the body, there’s so many benefits for the emotional and mental health of the body. In fact, martial arts is considered to be a form of meditation for some. Concentration is key to succeed, and in order to succeed, you need to be able to shut off everyday distractions and focus and center yourself.

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This focus and becoming accustomed to centering oneself takes months and even years to develop. It’s not something that is accomplished overnight. Many of the martial arts styles cannot be completed thoroughly unless you completely train and calm your mind. Rather than taking separate classes such as yoga and meditation classes, why not combine all the benefits of yoga and meditation with a powerful and useful skill that is beneficial to the whole body. You’ll obtain the same peaceful and relaxed demeanor as you would if you were taking a successful yoga class, but you’ll also gain muscle tone, lose weight, and watch your confidence surge forward.

 
Other Benefits
Among the other benefits, martial arts seemingly blends the art of meditation and self- defense into one sport. Around the world, people are reporting feeling depressed and even disconnected from the people and the world around them. Humans are naturally social creatures and when many of today’s modern inventions have been mostly aimed at creating ways to communicate without seeing face to face, it creates a solid wall between humans. Phones, computers, and tablets have replaced most forms of the physical contact that a human being craves and needs. Perhaps if people made a transition from their technological gadgets into the amazing art of martial arts, they would feel less disconnected and more alive. You may even find that everyday problems that would distress you may no longer bother you as much, you may even feel more secure being able to think of effective solutions.

After you implement martial arts and meditation into your life, suddenly the world seems a lot less intimidating when you have the ability to think with complete clarity and without the static of the rest of the world to distract you from your own private thoughts.

How the Book of the Five Rings Applies to Businesses

The legendary text of The Book of the Five Rings is written by a master swordsman and artist who was known as Miyamoto Musashi. During the Kyoto Renaissance, the swordsman traveled around Japan in search of self-discovery and to learn the many styles of Martial Arts. During his travels, he studied under the careful and wise guidance of his many teachers and leaders. From his lessons, he only adapted methods that were efficient and effective. All others, he disposed of. This particular preference of his led him to 60 battles, all of which where he was victorious.

Perhaps sensing his own end due to a disease, he decided to be purified on October 10, 1643. This led him into yet another journey where he climbed the Mount Iwato to retreat and write his ponderings for anyone willing to listen. The book of Five Rings was born out of passion and the desire to lead strong warriors who were looking for advice.

The book offers much advice that applied in the ancient ages and still applies in this modern and complicated world. The book of the Five Rings is so effective in its teachings and wisdom, it’s a required text reading at the famous Harvard College. This text while difficult to understand for some, offers many useful words for every facet of life. While many of the students or readers who choose to read this text may not be waging battles against the same foes of Miyamato Musashi, the principles are still the same. Below you will find various influential lines from the book of the Five Rings.

musashi

Find anyway to visualize your success with any amount of resources available to you, even if the resources seem un-related or are scarce.

Be sure you train enough to be able to use your developed skills anytime the situation calls for them. Make sure you train constantly. Your training is never finished and you are always growing.

By constantly educating yourself and using your knowledge, you will be miles ahead of your enemies and competitors.

How to Use This Method

  • Any thoughts you have should be without dishonesty.
  • Keep yourself grounded in the facts.
  • Don’t limit yourself to just one method or study. Constantly broaden your horizons and educate yourself. When you’re done with that, re- educate yourself. You are never done learning.
  • Be aware and educated in all occupations in life.
  • Know the pros and cons to everything.
  • It’s important to have a sharp eye for detail and pay attention to the big picture rather than just a small detail in the big picture.
  • Learn how to see beyond deception.
  • Understand that there is more than what meets the eye.
  • Avoid impractical matters or methods. This means doing away with methods or strategies that don’t serve you well.
  • Constant practicing of your trade/passion will produce finesse results.
  • When practicing martial arts, you become almost super human. Constant and methodical practice in the martial arts will teach you how to be effective, strong, and lethal in the results you deliver.
  • To achieve the results you desire, you can’t take short cuts and cheat yourself in any way. To achieve the results you’re looking for, it requires time, patience and dedication.
  • When handling the sword in an ill frame of mind, the results will be poor or disastrous. You cannot win with roughness.
  • Know the truth of the matter. Do not lose yourself in the details or be overwhelmed by information overload. Keep yourself composed no matter what.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of sticking to one and only one method. By doing so, you’re becoming narrow minded and closing the door to opportunities to learn and be enlightened. Always keep an open mind but throw away whatever doesn’t work for you.
  • When paying attention to failings and winnings, watch for patterns. Identify these patterns and use them to your advantage.
  • Don’t trouble yourself over small trivial matters. These are a waste of time and your time is better of spent towards something much more beneficial to you, your life, or your business.
  • Think outside the box. If you’re thinking of a specific strategy, who’s to say your opponent isn’t? This is a waste of time. Think outside the box and go against the grain of things.
  • Don’t attempt to become a jack of all trades. You’ll lose yourself in all the details and it’s not possible to remember every little thing that is required for each of the trades. Instead, master a trade and stick to it. Continue to educate yourself so you can be seen as the master or expert of that trade. People will be more impressed if you’re a legitimate expert in one trade instead of claiming to be a jack of all trades and producing sloppy results.

These are some of the key points that this master swordsman left behind for his students. If one is to be successful in unraveling his hidden meanings, the student needs to have an open mind and find ways to apply Musashi’s philosophy to every aspect of their life. For a business person, this includes the health and development of their business.

A lot of the sayings and teachings of Musashi left behind were metaphorical. It’s up to the individual student or business owner to determine how each individual meaning is perceived and relates to the business. For instance:

If you wish to control others you must first control yourself” 

In order to be influential to others, you need to be well educated in your strategy or trade. You need to be self-disciplined so you can reflect this quality into the others around you.

And another:

“Know your enemy, know his sword.” 

If you want to defeat your opponent, know his strategy and where he/she is coming from. In order to know your enemy and your enemy’s fighting style, you need to educate yourself. Only by educating yourself on your enemy will you have an edge and be victorious.

The Role Self Control Plays In Martial Arts

Wouldn’t it be incredible to have the mind and spirit of an effective warrior? A widely held misconception is the martial artist is an aggressive person trained in the ancient arts who is constantly looking to engage in a battle. This couldn’t be further from the truth! A real martial artist will have learned how to conquer most conflicts with a peaceful and stable mind. Aggression should be avoid at all costs, only when the serene and peaceful nature is in-effective, should they utilize more aggressive means.

A Little History On the Incredible Warriors Who Started It All

Despite being a capable and potent fighter, the very best warriors are the ones who are calm and focus minded. These warriors didn’t get this way overnight. It takes many months and even years of dedication in order to find quietness and stillness in one’s mind. The evidence lies in ancient history. Some of the most capable and awe inspiring warriors were the Samurais. These people were over achievers based on a time when strength, honor, courage and even respect were held in high regards.

These traits surfaced due to the large influx of teachings based on Buddhism, Confucianism, and the practice of Zen. Combining all three of these important philosophies produced a code in which all Samurais abided by. It became known as the Bushido. The most primary influence was Zen. This helped the Samurai navigate the fear of death. How was this accomplished? Zen taught the warriors that it was honorable to accept his fate and that nothing could change what life had in store for that particular warrior. Rather than concern themselves over when their last breath would be, they realized that life would be much more fulfilling if they lived each day to its fullest. The Samurai did not see death as a horrible fate. Instead, they accepted this responsibility with honor.

The Samurai’s purpose in life was to fulfill his duty to protect and serve others. Much like our modern day soldiers. It is because of this lack of fear of dying, they were effective and potent fighting machines. The same psychology that applied then still applies today to all modern warriors: Self Control is of utmost importance. Without self-control, you will likely fail as a warrior. This applies to all manners of fighting or combat. If you want to be victorious in battle, you need to keep your composure and never lose your cool. If you let your emotions get the best of you, you lost the battle with yourself and your opponent.

The best fighters in the world are self-disciplined and are able to separate their emotions from their thoughts. This allows them to be able to read their opponents thoughts often moments before they even occur!

Qualities That Distinguish Seasoned Martial Artists from the Others

A seasoned and well trained Martial Artist will have undergone many months and years of training. They didn’t just undergo combat training, they went on a long journey to find themselves along the way. Many hours of self-discipline made them who they are today: An effective warrior who will always try to use more peaceful measures when faced with conflict, but have no problem using more forceful methods should the situation call for it. One might also ask what other qualities make the seasoned warrior distinguishable next to the newbie or fraud? Meditation

 

meditation

Calmness

It’s very important for a warrior to keep a strong and quiet mind. When faced with conflict, a million thoughts may go through their minds. It is imperative that they learn to quiet this noise and distraction and focus at the task at hand.

Fearlessness

A warrior may not be completely fearless of possibilities, but it’s very important that they understand how to push those fears aside and show courage. Fears slow people down and prevent people from doing a lot of things. Fears also make you weak and susceptible to attacks.

Focus

It can be argued that the most lethal of warriors are the strongest. This isn’t necessarily true. A real warrior will have acquired extreme focus from their teachings. This focus is necessary for being able to not get lost in the surroundings around them. If you can keep focused on your enemy while engaging in combat, this will enable you to time and determine when it’s best to strike. This saves energy and stamina. This would also rule out the theory that you need to be extremely strong to pass as a martial artist.

Self-Discipline

The fraud or wannabe martial artist may engage in any kind of conflict or battle simply to show off. The real warrior has the self-discipline to realize this is ridiculous and should be avoided at all costs. If approached by an opponent attempting to engage them, they will avoid the conflict as much as possible and use the least amount of force possible. The fraud will be all too happy to get into a lethal match just to show off to their peers. This is childish at best.

These qualities should be the standard that every martial artist holds themselves to regardless of circumstances and the length of their training! Newbies can stand to learn a lot from their wiser and disciplined mentors. Nothing is gained when actively seeking out situations in which to engage in battles. The only thing that grows in this situation is the ego. Martial arts in its purest form does not foster the growth of the ego. The martial arts is not a sport or way of life that is designed to boost or flatter an ego. Egos are notorious for causing problems and getting in the way of better judgment. It’s highly encouraged to do away with an ego if you’re really serious about being a martial artist. Only then, can the wisdom of your wiser peers be imparted onto you.

Power Up your Martial Arts

John
John

To achieve your goals and reach your potential in martial arts, we need to work as one with your mind, body and soul, to be able to understand a little more indepth that connection we will relive a bit of history.

We can not know with certainty when the martial arts originated, if we can say that for thousands and millions of years this practice have been used by different cultures and civilizations around the world, some scouts have managed to keep their tracks through some Egyptian hieroglyphs. We can speak from illustrations of tombs in Egypt to what we know of the battles of Greeks and Romans, where his focus was more towards strength and survival. In Asia we know where battles and struggles began combining martial arts with Taoist methods or Zen Buddhism among other practices, unifying the different styles with integral work for who practices through a philosophy.

Countless are the different practices that exist today but their philosophy takes us far beyond the art of war into a fight with integrity to their philosophies, which has the most power, respect, discipline, patience and more. They are ancient martial arts that have evolved unifying body and spirit. It is important to train the body of one who practices martial arts to strengthen physical abilities, increase flexibility and endurance, this work would enhance your body’s balance, strength and speed giving you greater physical performance in your practice.

Working your mind will help you create your character, to have confidence in yourself, during your practice it will help to self discipline you, to relax, to unify body and mind also you will know your own limits when training or during a combat to respect the rules and control your impulses. The soul or spirit is the perfect complement, there is the purpose, from there we channel all the negative energy and transform it to calm and respect for you, your opponent and the philosophy of the martial art you practice. In unity there is strength, and all these elements are part of who we are as human beings, martial arts are not just defense capabilities it goes beyond this story and giving it the right purpose you will fulfill your goals in your discipline.