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Martial Arts and Buddhism - Is it acceptable?



  • BrownbuddhaBrownbuddha Osaka, Japan Explorer
    edited August 2016

    I have two Martial Art classmates. One is a Korean Zen Priest, the other a Chinese Zen Priest. Another friend is a student of Tai Ji, and Praying mantis, and former teacher of Japanese Karate and also teaches Kyudo...he is also a Soto Zen Priest.

    There are several Kung Fu schools run by former Shaolin Monks. I use Kung Fu/Tai Chi as a path to teach the Dharma.

    FYI: Tai Chi IS Kung Fu. it is just another style, like Soto, Renzai, Korean, Lin Chi Zen

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Just as all of the above (it could be argued) fit under the umbrella definition of Qi Gong, or Chi Gung, which means Energy Cultivation....

  • BrownbuddhaBrownbuddha Osaka, Japan Explorer

    Interesting thread, some comments are quite insightful.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes, we're an eclectic mix of folks here. Some of us actually know a few things! :awesome:

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited August 2016

    Tai Chi is only taught slow to become like instinct. Speed it up and it's as deadly as it is beautiful.

    @RuddyDuck9 said:

    @David said:
    It always turned out to be a philosophical or moral disagreement I couldn't see past. One said I was going to hell "100%" for not accepting Jesus as my savour, lol.

    That was kind of a drag as we'd been training for a few years at that point and I thought he was more accepting than that.

    Plus, If you get good, many masters won't let you do it for yourself anymore and pester you to prance around in a space they rented at the mall.

    Jeet Kune Do was gross and it was like they never cleaned the mat. Maybe it was incentive to stay on your feet but I couldn't get past it and after a month, I split.
    I figure I just had the wrong teachers but I want my daughter to be able defend herself and get the mental benefits.

    Ah, folks can get so buried under a script that they forget to think sometimes.... like.... what does being a Christian specifically have to do with martial arts any more than Buddhism would? In fact... the closest baby J got to martial arts was that whole tantrum with the money lenders bit.... I feel like he didn't have prior training in that situation.

    I don't get it either.

    By gross, you just mean the school was dirty? That's a total bummer because I find JKD interesting--a bit more centered on defense than offense, if I am remembering correctly?

    Yes, it was pretty stanky. Not a smell of fresh sweat but a hardly washed, ground in reek.

    Plus it was more grappling than anything else but I like how the "finger pointing to the moon" can get you off your back.

    I have piddled about with basic self defense and found it difficult to get into the mindset I needed to be able to put people down. (so in turn I was the one who ended up on the mat! :waving: )

    It's hard to get into the act of harming someone but that shouldn't really be the motivation at any point.

    I've come to the conclusion that my only self defense would be to 1) run and hide... 2) scream like the fearful ninny I am... 3) talk my way out, which I'm not too bad at, actually. That being said... I think it's possible to navigate the physical reality of martial arts without ever being agressive mentally. I also agree that being trained doesn't necessarily equate being capable. It's all in how you do it... I mean, I could cut a loaf of bread with a cleaver like Yan Can Cook.... or I could gently pull it apart with my fingers.

    You hit the nail on the head there. Martial arts is all about self discipline.

  • BrownbuddhaBrownbuddha Osaka, Japan Explorer
    edited August 2016

    @federica: I am not sure I follow what you are saying. " Tai Chi' is different from Tai Chi Chuan. Tai Chi does not mean Grand Ultimate Boxing. Tai Chi Chuan does mean that. However they are used/thought of by many as the same. Tai Chi/Taiji Chuan is a real Martial Art. "Tai Chi "as used in the West is mostly a meditative dance or just Motion Chan as we call it in some circles. In Japan Chi/Qi ( Chinese) is called "Ki" .

    Ohh, perhaps you are referring to the statement about " A better option might be tai chi, it's very difficult to hurt anyone unless they are moving in slow motion" if that is the case, ok, I follow you.

    As a martial artist when I see the world Tai Chi used I think they are just using the shorten slang for Tai Chi Chuan. so perhaps my interpretation of the statement was in error. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 2016

    @Brownbuddha , I love it when confusion reigns!

    Yes, YOU are right: Tai Chi Chuan = Grand Ultimate Boxing
    Tai Chi - IS different, both as a practice and in meaning.

    But indicating a difference is educational and worthy of noting.

    Good, we cleared THAT up! :D

  • LincLinc Site owner Detroit Moderator

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @seeker242 said:> There's nothing inherently wrong with martial arts. What makes it good or bad is how you hold your mind. :)

    What does that actually mean when you're learning how best to punch and kick somebody? What state of mind does that develop?

    A very, very calm and controlled one.

    It's the physical manifestation of the emotional and spiritual attacks you receive every day. You learn to respond well, and that translates to your everyday life.

    @David said:
    Martial arts seems to bring out all the egos.

    Hm. Perhaps discussing the topic does, online. But the true practice of it is focused on destroying the ego. Which sounds familiar. :)

  • LincLinc Site owner Detroit Moderator
    edited January 2017

    Last week I sparred with a student a full decade younger than me who is better at sparring than I am. We wore heavy gloves to practice harder strikes.

    We sparred five minutes or less. I got hit a lot and it made me upset. Raw emotion wells up when someone punches you for real. I was OK with being upset. I could look at my emotion objectively and know it was going to take me a minute to move past it and continue. I didn't take it out on my partner or let it overwhelm me. I'm getting better at letting go of it faster. Maybe one day it won't upset me when I'm fully in control of my mind.

    It's really interesting what you learn about yourself when practice is most difficult and you practice for the right reasons.

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited February 2017

    My son does his meditation at his Shotkan classes. None at home, haha. The sit for 10 to 15 mins 3 days a week....before stretching. It's very ordered. This ain't no day care.

    They stress that it's all about control. If you can control your controls the mind., and/or the way around..... It's far from 'teaching' fighting, IMO. It also reminds me of a lodge group in some ways, hahaha. for ages 11 and up. You can't go to special training until 16. Anyway...It's worth my 50 bucks a month for an activity for a 13 yr old male with testosterone rollin' in his veins, :angry: ...and the lodge aspect is older established men in the community in this group. Very far as the South goes. Doctors, military,accountants, black, asian, 3 generations,multi racial families, the whole kit and caboodle!

    No complaints from this proud mama! :)
    Go Karate Kofi!

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited February 2017

    Outstanding @Vastmind
    Bravo @ Karate Kofi

    The body-mind link is part of yoga, zen posturing, many oriental martial arts and prostration, tea ceremony, flower arranging etc.

    The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants. – Gichin Funakoshi

    When young does that make sense? We have to win, otherwise we have 'incorrect' or 'ineffective' technique. However when training, we practice as striker and struck. Both perfect.

  • Go Karate Kofi! @Vastmind

    From another Karateka. :)

  • ajhayesajhayes Pema Jinpa Dorje Northern Michigan Veteran
    edited February 2017

    I've done martial arts for most of my life- Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, Judo.. And since I've started down the Buddhist path, I've not found anything that would make the two incompatible.

    I am also a (retired) pro wrestler, and I really didn't see anything that made those two incompatible either. The way I look at it, is that I played a family friendly character, did comedy, and did my best to make people happy. When I played a villain, I gave people someone to project their bad feelings on (and they got to be happy when the good guy was beating me up.)

    I think, as long as the goal is to alleviate suffering in any way you can, you're probably on the right path. Just my guess though.

  • Last week I sparred with a student a full decade younger than me who is better at sparring than I am. We wore heavy gloves to practice harder strikes.

    Oh yeah, when I did kick boxing, sparring with heavy gloves was part of every session. It was a rubbish style devoted to competition winning. Only did it for a year. As I was already trained, I used to take delight in hitting experienced students twice as hard as they were hitting to demonstrate the mutual benefits of soft sparring.

    The Buddhist style I practiced we rarely got hit and if we did it made us smile.

    I like what @ajhayes says. We are always fighting/struggling but on whose behalf?

    ... and now a message from my Sifu
    Kick Trump in the pussy o:)

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