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 Post subject: True Strength
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 10:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 2071
Location: Boston, MA
Often we equate strength with the size of someone's muscles, and sometimes mixing that up with the strength of character. Happens a lot when folks are caught up in just the "physical" side of the art.

What happens when the physical strength gets lost? Can one go on without an attribute that so defined one's image to the world. It is here that the strength of one's character/spirit gets tested. I dare say it is much easier to deal with conflicts (even with deadly potential) because these happen quickly, one deals and goes on one way or another. But can we deal with a conflict that is slow, progressive and ongoing... one in which we see no 'victory" in the physical sense? Think about it.

I offer a bow to a friend and wish him well. Your grace is inspiring.

david


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 Post subject: How true
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Often, we get hung-up with the physical side of the martial arts and then all too soon we find ourselves talking about the "good 'ol days" and not being able to do anything physical.

I continue to believe that the martial arts are a lot more than a mix of punches, kicks and lots of emotion. Most people continue to practice the martial arts for many reason in addition to developing self-defense skills. If we try to destroy the spiritual (mind development) side of the martial arts, we will be left with an empty science with no residual benefits once we find ourselves just being able to "talk" about how tough we used to be.

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"Do or do not. there is no try!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2003 12:03 am 
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Quote:
Most people continue to practice the martial arts for many reason in addition to developing self-defense skills.


This is certainly true. Any student of average intelligence comes to this realization sooner or later. I don’t think I would have remained involved only for the self-defense aspect for all these years.

However, it is my belief that lots of things are taken for granted along the way.

The “ability” for self-defense is one. Very much taken for granted until reality comes knocking.

The “spiritual development” is another that students believe they are accomplishing in their practice.

Maybe so, but I see lots of examples of martial artists actually becoming worse human beings than they were when they first started.

It starts with the natural ego we all possess, although we deny we have one.
It gets more and more inflated with the passage of time and the acquisition of rank and “status” __

Then there is arrogance, intolerance, greed, elitism, and pompousness _ just to name a few. The list is long. The Okinawan example, save for a few noted seniors, has not been particularly inspiring either. So this “spiritual” thing remains a chimerical, nebulous, notion for many.

It might be well to define what we mean, what we envision this “spiritual development” to look and feel like, and how we expect to see manifestations of it.

> just being able to "talk" about how tough we used to be<

Again I think it is matter of definition. I believe that “toughness” goes beyond the physical.. It is more an emotional attribute, a state of mind.

The smart ones among us always knew even then when we thought we were tough, that there was always someone tougher, one way or another, just like many believe that the usefulness of martial arts for street defense is much over-rated, which is of course true, or we would not see the majority of martial artists also embrace the weapons [gun/knife] concept.

So when we say “tough” how do we define that word for ourselves? What does “tough” mean to us..what kind of “tough” is what we envision and respect?

All is relative. :!:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2003 2:32 pm 
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Again I think it is matter of definition. I believe that “toughness” goes beyond the physical.. It is more an emotional attribute, a state of mind


Interesting topic revisited. Several years ago on this forum I remember asking how "tough" does one (especially a woman) have to be? Was it enough to "chop wood, carry water" ... go to work each day as a single mom ... earn a black belt ... keep training ... etc.

I think we become tough by personally examining our lives when confronted with change ... loss of strength/ability/flexibility, etc. Can we adapt our training to our current capabilities and what does that do to our mental states? Can we let go of the ego when the body can't even demonstrate warm-up exercises? Or do we continue to go to the dojo and offer whatever mental/spiritual insights we have?

How many times do you take it to the limit only to find that the bar was moved once again...can you weather yet another dark night of the soul?

For me, that is what my training has taught me... to be tough enough to keep training, to keep living, to keep giving my life meaning by examining it ... and to share whatever I have learned to those willing to listen. And, sometimes it can be a very solitary path.

Jackie


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 Post subject: Lifetime activity
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2003 2:50 pm 
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
I enjoy seeing some of my old-timers (of which I've been a member for a while now) :wink: show up at the "Hut" for a workout. They may not be as nimble or tough as they used to be, but they still enjoy doing what they can.

Most of us are blessed with a window of opportunity. . . that period of our life when we can "be all we can be". . . but all too sudden life catches up with us and we find ourselves acting smarter instead of tougher.

People often ask me why I study the martial arts and part of my answer is "because it is truly a lifetime activity".

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"Do or do not. there is no try!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2003 8:43 pm 
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I agree.

Think of how suddenly life or time seems to catch up with us and our loved ones.

In a moment all that you were is gone, changed by a terrible diagnosis, serious accident.

And when you look back , what was really important?

What really did matter__ now that you are barely able to get on the floor and do sanchin, if you are lucky?

What makes you feel alive now or ever?

For the ones who take advantage of it, be thankful of being able to participate in our events, to be together with friends, to break bread and to train, to laugh and to cry together as many of us have in recent times after learning of the passing or the sickness of old time Uechi brothers.

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Van


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 6:01 am
Posts: 986
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Mattson-Shihan,

Being one of those who has lost some ability due to a bone spur on my hip and two bad knees, your post is right on.

Recently, I have started trying to do some of the things that I used to do - in small bites and at slow speed - just to keep my hand in, so to speak.

I has been very daunting, to say the least.

My hat's off to anyone going that route. My wife suffers from fibromyalgia and she's a former World Champion (in her classification) ice skater who is battling back from that, so we have something more in common.

It ain't easy, it hurts, but it's worth it.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com


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