Kapatiran Suntukan Martial Arts

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Recommended Reading List

Over the years, I have read a number of books relating to martial arts and Eastern philosophy along with books that could fall under the category of “self help.” For the most part, I took something new away from them all, but a few stand out as reference books that I return to time and time again. The following list are the books that I continually go back to to refresh and get new insights from.

Martial Arts and Survival Related

Meditations on Violence - Rory Miller
Taking it to the Street - Marc MacYoung
Combatives for Street Survival - Kelly McCann
Pencak Silat Pertempuran - Sean Stark
The Tao of Gung Fu - Bruce Lee, Edited by John Little
Jeet Kune Do - Bruce Lee, Edited by John Little
Jeet Kune Do, The Art and Philosophy of Bruce Lee - Dan Inosanto
The Gift of Fear - Gavin de Becker
Pentjak-Silat, The Indonesian Fighting Art - Donn Draeger, Howard Alexander, Quintin Chambers
Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts - Donn Draeger, Robert Smith

Eastern Philosophy Related

Tao, The Watercourse Way - Alan Watts
What is Tao? - Alan Watts
Zen & the Beat Way - Alan Watts
Tao Te Ching - Lao-Tzu
Zen and the Martial Arts - Joe Hyams

“Self Help”

Illusions - Richard Bach
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior - Dan Millman
The Warrior Within - John Little
Beyond the Known - Tri Thong Dang
Why the Chicken Crossed the Road - Dean Sluyter

This is by no means a comprehensive list and there are other titles by Marc MacYoung, some Jeet Kune Do books I go back to from time to time and more anthropological readings on Filipino and Indonesian culture. However, for my students, these are some that will help you understand what you are studying and help you figure out where you may be headed with life.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Belt That Matters

Way back, when I started studying martial arts, I enrolled in a local Tae Kwon Do school. I don’t recall exactly what got me interested in martial arts. Most likely it was Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee flicks as I recall thinking class would get bigger after Karate Kid was released. Maybe it was Dungeons & Dragons...

Taking that step into something new was a lesson that stuck with me. The extent of understanding that lesson didn’t come until later. I remained with that school until I was almost a purple belt. Then my instructor closed down and left the country to pursue other things.

I stopped training, but the seed was planted.

When I was in college I took up Tae Kwon Do again as an elective course for P.E. I enjoyed the instructor and the class. Once again, it didn’t last. Primarily, as it was only a semester and being the rash youth I was, I wasn’t looking for something more at the time.

The seed still needed germination.

A few years later, I made the decision that I needed to become active again. Somehow, as luck would have it, a new martial arts school opened up down the street. I signed up and started down that path again.

The seed took root.

Some things in life that have moment when the time is right. This was that moment for me. Everything started to click and deep down, I knew this was the path for me. The arts of Kali and Pencak Silat reflect who I am, and Gung Fu was a fun technical art to learn. That balance helped me grow.

I haven’t stopped learning or exploring and still am on that path. I look forward to the crossroads where new things can be introduced or my view becomes more clear-focused. It all goes back to when the seed was planted. When I took that first step. When I started studying martial arts. When I got my white belt. That started it all. That’s the belt that matters.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Walkin' the Tightrope

One of the major themes in martial arts is balance. This is more than just the physical capacity to stay on one’s feet; it is achieving it in life as well. For our purpose here, I will focus on the balance of martial art and self-defense.

We all want to have that level of ability to defend others and ourselves. My goal is for you to achieve an appreciation of the art but also have the tools to defend if necessary.

With art, knowing yourself is the key. Expressing yourself is the door to open. This expression comes out when the skills are integrated into who you are and there is no delineation between you and the martial art. I share my expression of these arts and it is up to you to make it yours and own it.

In our school we have the art incorporated into the self-defense to achieve that balance. Within the art are skills applicable to self-defense. These step outside the physical nature of the art and into awareness. Knowing what is happening around you and being able to interpret those signals guide your actions.

Whatever martial discipline you practice, using your brain is first and foremost. Any self-defense situation can be chaotic and things will happen outside your training and beyond what you may have imagined. In order to do what must be done, you need to have an almost instinctual application at your ready.

There are universal ways a body moves and you can put those to your advantage and keep your balance to get out of the situation and to safety.

My expression of these arts is mine and I share what I know in the hope that you will discover something outside my knowledge and contribute that to this thing we do and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Big Dream!

I have attended and volunteered a couple of Big Dream Gatherings and they are a great way to move toward your goals and they very much inspired me to reach the point I am at.
Here's a posting about me!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The benefits of training in martial arts

The benefits of training a martial art are plentiful. This is my experience; your mileage may vary.

When I started my dedicated training in the martial arts, I was overweight, sluggish and, for lack of a better word, unfocused. I hadn’t always been that way. I had settled into a routine that lacked everyday activities of moving which I used to do.

After I started training regularly, a change started. It was more than just body changes. Pushing myself physically had a side effect I hadn’t considered. I wanted to understand more and started reading. A lot.

The subject matter was somewhat varied and ranged from archeology to Eastern thought. I was eating it up. I was making weekly treks to bookstores, looking for something to jump out at me and feed the grey matter.

The combination of learning new ways to move and educating myself helped me to overcome that unfocused stasis. When I was younger, I could really focus on things without distraction. As I settled into an office job that became more and more mind numbing, I found that tedium eating away at my focus. When I started working out and moving more, I found that focus and drive again and became more efficient and found myself wanting more challenges.

I have always had the ability to dive deep into a subject and learn as much as I can about it. It’s about passion. When we enjoy something, we want it to become a part of who we are.

This is establishing a balance. When we work our bodies, more blood flows through our brain. More blood equals more energy. The brain wants something more to do, so it is best to feed it with good material. Your choice of material is up to you. I do suggest you make it something you are interested in at least, or perhaps it will be something entirely new to you. To me, that would be better as your brain will get a better workout!

I want you to experience this too. I want you to excel at whatever drives you. I believe that learning a martial art will only enhance who you are. Drop by the school to experience the rush.

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