Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The essence of Martial Arts

This wonderful online streaming video is of White Rose Kyudojo. It has a slide show of picture for the Kydojo. These are beautiful pictures of the practitioner of the archery, not a popular form of Martial Arts in terms of the number of individual practicing. But still one can see the nice setup of the classes.

What strikes most form the pictures is the centered state of the practitioners. It can be seen even in the pictures. The attention within. The robes they wear, the gears they use everything looks so neat, tidy. The discipline. The video along with the good images has a wonderful Japanese music added to it.

Looking at this video I could remember a Zen Story, which points to the essence of Martial Arts. The Zen Story if i remember right is called the art of archery.

i will narrate the story as i remember.

There was an archer. He was dedicated to art and could shoot at the target as no one did. He was on the target every time and never missed a target. He went to the king and asked the king to announce him the best archer in the country.

The king replied that he would certainly do that provided he competes with and old master living in the hills and comes back.

The archer, in hurry to get the title of the best archer for what he had worked so hard, started his journey in the direction, where the Old Master lived. After few days of journey he reached the destination.

He approached the Old Master and told him the reason of his visit to him.

'Come with me' said the Master and the archer followed him equipped with his bow and arrows. Ready to shoot at any given target.

The Master guided him to the edge of deep valley, half of his feet held on the ground and half in the air above the deep valley. The master took the shooting position with his bow and arrow and persuade the archer to join him.

As the archer went near the valley, his hands started trembling, it was difficult for him, even to stand, as his legs and body was trembling with fear. Even lifting the bow was not possible.

He went away quietly. The essence of Martial Arts is not in perfecting techniques, but to win over the fear. The fear that self has.

If you have like the video, there are some more on you tube from the same source

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