Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Many years ago I use to do Shotokan karate. Here is just a brief background of what Shotokan actually is:  Shotokan training is usually divided into three parts: kihon (basics), kata (forms or patterns of moves), and kumite (sparring). Techniques in kihon and kata are characterized by deep, long stances that provide stability, enable powerful movements, and strengthen the legs. Shotokan is often regarded as a 'hard' and 'external' martial art because it is taught that way to beginners and coloured belts to develop strong basic techniques and stances. Initially strength and power are demonstrated instead of slower, more flowing motions. Those who progress to brown and black belt level develop a much more fluid style that incorporates grappling and some aikido-like techniques, which can be found in the black belt katas. Kumite techniques mirror these stances and movements at a basic level, but are less structured, with a focus instead on speed and efficiency.

So the point behind all this is Martial Arts is so very similar to Yoga. I see many Yoga postures as Martial Arts moves. The warrior's way is a way of fight against the limitations and narrowness within oneself, and those external limitations. Sometimes I fight within myself everyday.  The fight to win.  "I AM going to get in this pose. I AM going WIN at this or that, whatever the battle might be in my head; when instead I should be accessing how best to get the destination with as little force as possible. Patience, persistence, humility, gentleness. The constant drip of water on a stone will eventually wear a depression into it. A consistent practice will get me into the pose I hunger for, rather than forcing it and causing self injury.  Consistent meditation and prayer, will keep me better balanced and growing, then always asking for what I want or what I think I need. Though there are times when we do need to ask.  Be MINDFUL. It's a phrase I use often.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with wanting to win. Being competitive is healthy, just evaluate the path to winning. Don't be ignorant in your journey.


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