Kickboxing, Taebo and MMA
Through out my 30 years of martial arts training I have seen many, many fads and trends come and go. Kickboxing was huge in the late 80’s followed by Taebo in the early 90’s and now we have MMA. All hybrid versions of martial arts and are all great methods of exercise. They have great appeal for a while, and then the popularity drops off as people begin to get bored. Other than being great forms of fitness and competition, unless they have an inner substance, martial arts spirit, they offer no more than any other sport or gym class. Compared to the timeless and ageless lessons of the martial arts they are merely a watered down version offering a fast track to nowhere, that will enhance the ego rather than give you the tools to loosen its grip.
The true lesson of martial arts is timeless and ageless and can be applied to what ever is being taught. This is real martial arts, and anything else is just a version of this truth.
We train in martial arts, get stronger, fitter and learn how to fight/defend ourselves, but what separates martial arts from the fads and trends discussed above is the ability to be able to control your inner space. This is a very powerful lesson and it enables you to make a clear and precise way to apply your martial arts in every thing that you may do. By learning the skill to observe the true self in action, lets call this martial arts spirit you develop the ability to be calm, patient and in control in all activities. So there is a clear difference in just learning how to fight…. but don’t be fooled into thinking that this will not develop your self defence. Learning to observe the ‘self’ will make you an incredibly powerful person. As others are slaves to their ego reactions and habitual patterns you will learn to see the truth in situations, circumnavigating the powerful and habitual desire to get involved with the drama and clearly developing the ability to quickly perceive situations before they happen.
Leap in awareness
Very few martial arts have made this quantum leap in awareness and have actually successfully integrated this philosophy logically into their system. This is unique to Northstar. It is interesting to also note that you cannot learn confidence, esteem, self control or any other of the advertised by-products of martial arts training by just learning a gross way of defending yourself. All of your hidden subtle habits and patterns of thinking are too strong. It might work on a superficial level for a while but it won’t last. The only way to not be affected by your insecurities is not to fight them but rather become the present observer when they arise. Let it come up, see it, feel it then let it go as you turn your present awareness onto exactly what is happening in front of you, without self criticism. Practical ways of achieving the above can easily be added to your martial arts training.
This new way of ‘being in control’ will never leave you. Once you develop the way of being a conscious observer of life you don’t get so caught up in the daily drama. This consciousness will never leave you as you have been elevated above the general humdrum of human ignorance and it makes sense. With Martial Arts spirit, though the ego has its place, you have put it on notice that you will be keeping an eye on it and not believing all that it throws at you.
More than learning how to fight.
As new students come into Northstar, they have not been shown that there can be a new way of living. As trainers it is our responsibility to recognise that we have developed a little further down the line and are more aware of our own limiting behaviours. This enables us to treat all that come into Northstar with a confidence, kindness and respect. Our service to new students and current members is a clear way of seeing our own egoic habits and patterns in action. By taking a selfless attitude when dealing with new students will ultimately enhance the quality of our own life experience. How different this is to just learning how to fight…..
I look forward to sharing my journey with you.