Monday, September 16, 2013

Outside Comfort Zone & Inside Personal War Zone in Seconds... by Master Ron Saturno

Today I am going to cross some very set and determined lines, regarding the study of martial arts. I am going to write about letting yourself go. I am not talking about having several more drinks or letting your panties fall quickly to the floor: I am talking about letting yourself go in a martial way. Some people balk at martial artists for their freely using the term: martial artist. They say that what we do as martial artists has little to do with war.

Well, if someone attacks me, it may be "just" a battle between two pugilists, but to me although it may be a small war, a war it is: So I freely call myself a martial artist.

You call it what you may, but anyone who firmly states that they wish to harm me and than acts upon their stated purpose is an enemy: And you can't have a war without an enemy. We may be one man armies, but a war it is going to be.

We will never be able to compute the countless hours so many men and women have devoted to achieving martial prowess. They choose a martial system, or several systems and many become devoted to their system's, teacher's, fellow student's, schools and way of life. Some will willingly die for their system, teacher and fellow student's. There may be other ways to achieve martial prowess, but as far as they are concerned: There is no other way than their way. Other martial practitioner's are much more ecclectic and Bohemian in their search for martial prowess. They will shop, steal, borrow and accept and adapt parts of other system's teaching regimens and formats. Fighting to the death over who has the best system is the furthest thing from their mind. They started martial arts in order to survive being attacked: Willingly putting themselves in harms way, in their mind is foolish and they do have a very valid point.

People who want rank and the structured way to achieve rank and martial knowledge, tend to fall on the traditional side of the fence. People who care little for rank and prefer broad based skill knowledge and effective and realistic combative street applications, tend to fall on the other side of the fence. They seldom meet upon middle ground. Both groups are martial artists, but both groups are usually as far apart on agreeing upon all things martial, as Republicans and Democrats. It's a free country...kind of anyway nowdays: So you picks 'yer poisen, belly up to the bar and start slingin' 'em down,"Your chosen brand of martial way spirits of course". Both ways of doing things are great.

Some people have certain mentalities and are driven to choices by their very make-up. They many times couldn't help but choose certain ways to do things: They can't hope to do things in any other way. So wasting time trying to be what you are not and doing things that you just don't want to do is self-defeating.

Figure out who you are martially and do it quickly: Time is a wastin'. In the end both groups seek the same path and even in the same way, as much as they would forever argue the point. Neither member's of either group seldom achieve martial prowess without countless hours perfecting their craft. However much we downplay set structure or non-structured practice of the martial arts: The big winner's will always be the men and women who simply buckle down and suit up and play regularly. Both types of practitioner's will start seeing patterns within movements. Both groups will start seeing similarities between themselves and other practitioner's. It has always amazed me that we don't have a Universal Martial Arts Society.

 Show me upper level practitioner's of most systems displaying their respective art's and wether they are hard or soft sytem practitioner's, they look alike. The harder get softer and the softer get harder. When upper level martial practitioner's stop trying to do things against their nature and start following the dictates of the physical underpinnings of the Universe: The are not only a whole lot smarter, but a whole lot faster, deadlier, than they ever hope to be following a set script, or trying not to follow a set script.

 In the end: The very best martial artists simply follow the voice that has always been whispering in their ears. That voice to me is the very voice of God. Please don't contact me pointing out my need for medication. God does talk to us. When we really start listening to our bodies (stop hearing )and it's relationship to its surroundings....and when we calm our minds and learn to achieve absolute focus: Strange and wonderful things happen. We start becoming one with he moment. We will start doing the appropriate move at the appropriate time. Trying "not" to do the movement in a certain way as well as trying to do a movement witin the guidelines of a particular system, is self-defeating. When we reach this level we will have transcended our system or non-particular style.

We can never be thankful enough for the teacher's or system's along the way who helped us achieve liberation from mental and physical bondage. Am I advocating the throwing down of my beloved Serrada Escrima? Hell no. I am advocating the one thing that I will willingly seperate myself from my art for: The love of God. The highest level martial practitioner's usually practise oneness with the infinate. Do you love Allah? The Buddha? Yahweh? The first 40 some odd letter's of the Old Testament? I will not judge you, because there is only one God and his true name is beyond our knowledge. Feeling God in your movements and depending upon him in a time of need is not only very deep, but the highest expression of martial ability. Putting yourself in the hand's of God when the time of need comes is priceless and exceedingly great. The great ones greet their possible death with calmness and resignation. They watch their opponent with sadness and absolute focus. They are one with themselves, their opponent, the moment and with the almighty: What comes comes. In the word's of my Bahala na Escrima Brother's: Bahala na.