Thursday, June 15, 2023

A Lifelong Path

World Martial Arts Association
Considering the relatively large turnover of Western students, looking into how to study a Japanese martial art and combat “culture shock” is something you need to consider. SMAA Senior Advisor Dave Lowry has written a number of fine books that would be useful to someone contemplating the study of Japanese martial arts as more than mere recreation. Nicklaus Suino Sensei’s Budo Mind and Body is another book to check out, along with Stephen Fabian Sensei’s Clearing Away Clouds: Nine Lessons for Life from the Martial Arts.

Such research will help you to practice martial arts as a lifelong endeavor, which is an essential component for approaching these disciplines as shugyo—a form of spiritual training. The spirituality of all the classical Japanese art forms— from flower arrangement to budo—reveals itself through an ongoing process of practice that lasts a lifetime. It is a process that cannot be revealed in a short article, but it offers sincere students something immensely valuable, something that can transform their lives and benefit the lives of people around them.

Continuing reading about the spirituality of Japanese martial arts here.

Start Your Path with the World Martial Arts Association

If you’ve made it this far, why not keep going?

SMAA is proud to be a world martial arts association and a source of authentic Japanese teachings. To get started, call (734) 729-0330 or contact us on our website.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Harmony of Mind and Body

World Martial Arts Association
Japanese martial and cultural arts have been growing in popularity around the world for decades. In the West, many people practice flower arrangement, bonsai, tea ceremony, shiatsu, and budo. Despite their wide popularity, however, Japanese arts are often misunderstood and distorted in the West.

What are the underlying aesthetics of the Japanese martial arts? Some arts are touted as effective forms of “moving meditation,” but how exactly do they function in this manner? What about the often-mentioned but usually unexplained “spiritual dimensions” in the Japanese martial arts?

Studying with a knowledgeable instructor, like teachers certified by the SMAA, can reveal important and little understood aspects of these disciplines.

Despite outward differences, most Japanese arts share certain aesthetics; and more importantly, they demand the acquisition of related positive character traits for their successful performance. Notice that many of the names for these arts end in the Japanese word Do. Do means “the Way,” and its use in these names indicates that an activity has surpassed its utilitarian purpose and has been elevated to the level of art, that its students are practicing it as a Way of life. In sum, a Do is an art that allows us to understand the ultimate nature of the whole of life by closely examining ourselves through a singular activity of life: to arrive at the universal through studying the particular.

Read more about the spiritual dimension of Japanese martial arts here.

Practice with a World Martial Arts Association

Ready to begin your martial arts journey?

SMAA is proud to be a world martial arts association and a source of authentic Japanese teachings. To get started, call (734) 729-0330 or contact us on our website.

A Brief View of the Martial Arts Social Contract

Are you curious about the dynamic between a martial arts instructor and student? Between the martial arts teachers at the Japanese Martial A...