Martial Arts

In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory. Indirect tactics, efficiently applied, are inexhaustible as Heaven and Earth, unending as the flow of rivers and streams; like the sun and moon, they end but to begin anew; like the four seasons, they pass away to return once more.
Sun Tzu

All art is political, all art is a martial one.
Carl William Brown

The art of Ninjutsu simply put is a skill acquired through much training. It is the art of learning not to succumb to intimidation, whether in the form of fears, threats or violence. It is the knowledge, wisdom and ability of learning how to live peacefully with ourselves.
Grandmaster R. Law

Bushido, literally “the way of the warrior”, is a Japanese word for the way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry. It originates from the samurai moral code stressing frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and honor unto death. Born from Neo-Confucianism during times of peace in Tokugawa Japan and following Confucian texts, Bushido was also influenced by Shinto and Zen Buddhism, allowing the violent existence of the samurai to be tempered by wisdom and serenity. Bushido developed between the 9th and 20th centuries and numerous translated documents dating from the 12th to 16th centuries demonstrate its wide influence across the whole of Japan, although some scholars have noted “the term bushido itself is rarely attested in premodern literature.
Carl William Brown

The real fighter knows perfectly well that there is no difference between victory and defeat, friend and enemy, day and night, life and death.
Carl William Brown

Life is deceitful because all warfare is based on deception.
Carl William Brown

When I was young I used to practice a martial art that was a mixture of karate, kung fu, Jujitsu, Yawara Kubotan, Aikido, Okinawan kobudo, Newaza, etc.; now I am just a theoretical samurai or a bushido scholar if you prefer.
Carl William Brown

There are no belts in NINJITSU. There are levels; each level divided into sub levels or sessions. Each session is tested as is well as the achievement of a level. Ninjutsu is made up of 18 basic arts, and there is one level to each art. Each art also branches out, thus some arts have more than one level. A level in an art, is not the perfection of an art. The Ninja has too much to train in to perfect himself, however, the standards for a level are high.
Grandmaster R. Law

Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat that are practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental, physical and spiritual development. The term martial art has become heavily associated with the fighting arts of eastern Asia, but was originally used in regard to the combat systems of Europe as early as the 1550s. An English fencing manual of 1639 used the term in reference specifically to the “Science and Art” of swordplay. The term is ultimately derived from Latin, martial arts being the “Arts of Mars,” the Roman god of war. Some martial arts are considered ‘traditional’ and tied to an ethnic, cultural or religious background, while others are modern systems developed either by a founder or an association.

Many martial arts, especially those from Asia, also teach side disciplines which pertain to medicinal practices. This is particularly prevalent in traditional Indian martial arts which may teach bone-setting, and other aspects of traditional Indian medicine. Martial arts can also be linked with religion and spirituality. Numerous systems are reputed to have been founded, disseminated, or practiced by monks or nuns. For example, gatka is a weapon-based Indian martial art created by the Sikhs of the Punjab region of India and the Kshatriya caste of Hindus have another ancient martial art named Shastra vidhya.

Japanese styles, when concerning non-physical qualities of the combat, are strongly influenced by Zen philosophy. Concepts like “empty mind” and “beginner’s mind” are recurrent. Aikido, for instance, has a strong philosophical belief of the flow of energy and peace fostering, as idealised by its founder Morihei Ueshiba. Systema draws upon breathing and relaxation techniques, as well as elements of Russian Orthodox thought, to foster self-conscience and calmness, and to benefit the practitioner in different levels: the physical, the psychological and the spiritual.

Some martial arts in various cultures can be performed in dance-like settings for various reasons, such as for evoking ferocity in preparation for battle or showing off skill in a more stylized manner. Many such martial arts incorporate music, especially strong percussive rhythms. Of the multitude styles of kung fu and wushu, only some are actually related to Shaolin. Aside from a few very well known systems, such as Xiao Hong Quan, the Da Hong Quan, Yin Shou Gun, Damo Sword, etc., after the loss of records during the 20th Century Cultural Revolution it would be almost impossible for a particular style to conclusively establish a connection to the Temple.

Huang Zongxi described martial arts in terms of Shaolin or “external” arts versus Wudang or internal arts in 1669. It has been since then that Shaolin has been popularly synonymous for what are considered the external Chinese martial arts, regardless of whether or not the particular style in question has any connection to the Shaolin Monastery. Some say that there is no differentiation between the so-called internal and external systems of the Chinese martial arts, while other well-known teachers have expressed differing opinions. For example, the Taijiquan teacher Wu Jianquan:

Those who practice Shaolinquan leap about with strength and force; people not proficient at this kind of training soon lose their breath and are exhausted. Taijiquan is unlike this. Strive for quiescence of body, mind and intention. In 1784 the Boxing Classic: Essential Boxing Methods made the earliest extant reference to the Shaolin Monastery as Chinese boxing’s place of origin. Again, this is a misconception, as Chinese martial arts pre-date the construction of the Shaolin Temple by at least several hundred years.

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