The Zen Simplicity of Martial Arts

To Be or Not to Be in the Martial Arts

To the beginner the martial arts, and this includes Karate, Kung Fu, Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan, and all other martial disciplines, can be less than simple. There is simply an overwhelm of information, a ‘disgruntlement’ of the mind at the massive influx of new materials.

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The simple truth, however, is that the truth is simple.

Why these subjects, be they karate or jujitsu or whatever, would not be simple, once once absorbed, is merely the result of engaging the mind to try and describe what is ‘not mind.’

For instance, in the beginning one must wade through instructions concerning physics, anatomy, history, philosophy, and so on. This is made more complex as different arts propose different structure and on many levels, and then often disagree.

The harmony of Aikido is similar to the absorption of Tai Chi Chuan, but there is sufficient difference to argue the terminology.

The striking methods of Wing Chun and boxing, though at heart still just a strike, can be argued ad infinitum.

But in the end, proven by simple and direct experience, a human being is constructed of flesh (body), mind (memories), and spirit (awareness). Thus, all physics, which is the heart of all sciences, can be rendered to a fine simplicity.

The fact is that the discipline of the martial arts focuses on doing to the exclusion of the mind, and thus is achieved enlightenment. Enlightenment is considered, from the unique viewpoint of an accomplished martial arts discipline, to be aware of the self as awareness.

And, yes, the above statement, so simple, is the summation that can be applied on any and all levels of all martial arts.

To do a single act, a kata or technique, a kick or throw, until there is no thought (no interference from the mind), and is intuitive, opens the door to enlightenment.

For once one looks at a fist approaching the face in terms of simple survival, one will begin to look at the approach of the universe in the same way.

Not an overwhelm of factors to be adjusted through eternal tweakings of computations, but a simple ‘Is it going to hit me or not.’

Followed by a simple, ‘Do I block or get out of the way.’

Not complex at all.

The unfortunate truth, however, is that man insists on his own significance in the universe by creating endless paradigm for his actions.

Thus we have reasons of physics, disagreements of anatomy, descriptions of philosophy, and all filtered through the various misunderstandings inherent in unaccomplished and divergent martial arts.

And these are all justifications for one’s existence.

‘To be or not to be,’ placed in endless loop.

But the simple truth is if one practices the discipline, and this of widely varied arts such as Karate or Aikido,Tai Chi Chuan or Kenpo, then one is engaged in ignoring the mind; one is functioning in an emptiness of reason and a purity of awareness.

Survival blots out psychological ramifications, and puts an end to philosophical meanderings – and justifications – of the awareness trying to look at itself, but so very unable.

To sum, it is not all the reasons, but the source of reason, the ‘I am,’ that is responsible for conundrum, and the resolution therewith.

The easiest way to cut through the fog of the martial arts, to ignore the mind and to find the truth of the self, is through the logic of matrixing. To matrix the martial arts is to rid the art of silly significance, and to place all the elements and pieces in the correct and easily assimilate-able order.

Matrixing can be found at Further juxtapositions of martial arts philosophy, real as opposed to the justifications of students mired in the endless mirrors of their own minds, can be read at

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