One young man, who observed that many kung-fu systems come from various types of oriental monasteries, questioned, “Why are so many martial arts overseas spiritual?”
While I do not teach the Shaolin or Taoist religions at my school (the Yost Wing Chun Kung-fu Academy), I can understand why communities choose to incorporate a form of spiritual practice in their martial arts programs. The spirit is actively involved in the defense of self at all times. Let’s look at two occasions:
1.) We cannot justify our use of our martial art when we’re living an unrighteous life. Our character has a lot to do with the justification of use – and the defense of self. If we live an unrighteous life we open the door to unjust conflict and turmoil. On occasion this can lead to confrontations. Whereas, if we choose to live righteously we may avoid some of these negative occasions.
2.) Who we are is what we’ll be doing in the act of self-defense. I don’t care how many classes you take or where you take them. Who you are in the moment you have to defend yourself is who you’ll be in that fight. If your life is contradictory to that which you’re practicing in your martial art, you will not be optimized to defend yourself. (To help you understand this I’ve made this short video: https://youtu.be/1jsiqHWdDt0.)
While the first example deals with the mitigation or risk and justification of action, the second deals with the condition of ourselves and our ability to express our intention (self-defense). Ability is not a memorization of drills or exercises. It is simply being able to do what you intend to do the momentyou intend to do it.
If you want to learn more, come visit us at the Yost Wing Chun Kung-fu Academy, located at 1708 South 8th Street in Terre Haute, Indiana. Or call me at (812) 229-4097.