Buddhism and Martial Arts

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Luke » Sun May 05, 2013 11:27 pm

Although I also have to repeat what some people said earlier in this thread, which is that being aware of one's surroundings and avoiding bad situations before they start is really the most ideal defense.

The other night I walked into bar where I used to go, but now it has a different owner and rougher sort of people go there now. I took in the feeling of the place after I walked in and looked at the people. I got a really negative, hostile vibe from them so I just left. Some actually cheered when I left--which is fine. I made other beings happy by leaving and avoided trouble. No problem. There are other places where I can go instead.
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon May 06, 2013 12:13 am

It's true, but a big part of being able to do that is check your own reactions, and figure out whether or not they jive with reality.

The whole world of martial arts would be a better place if the first things taught were just "here's when to leave".
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Naiawa » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:53 am

I know it has been some time since a post has occurred here, but this is a pretty unique discussion and I would like to share my experience.

Having been introduced to Karatedo and Buddhism at the same time years ago, I soon quit Karatedo practice because I worried that it had negative effects and implications on my Buddhist practice. And the way I was practicing it I was correct.

Years later, I found myself having serious trouble with meditation- not just concentration problems, but physical symptoms that literally made it impossible to continue. As many tools as I tried to use from the Buddhist toolbox, I failed. My effort was tremendous, but somehow no approach was working.

Feeling quite desperate, to be honest, I wondered if Budo may be helpful. The truth was my tendency previously had been to cultivate a fearful mind with martial arts, and I saw that now- a mind directed towards ideas of opponents, attackers, and a constant need to defend myself. This kind of thinking is not the Dharma: it cultivates ego, ill will, and clinging. I honestly think that this is what tends to happen in the martial arts, and so it is an honest generalization to say they are counterproductive to Buddhist practice. But I was also aware that the true question of the path is "How am I developing my mind right now? Towards attachment, or the factors of the path?" And so I returned with a different approach. I allowed this question to guide my practice. The same mental attitudes I developed in Buddhist practice- detachment, discipline, mindfulness immersed in body and breath- would be the new grounds for my work in Karatedo. As I practiced technique or Kata, I would direct my mind to be centered in mindfulness immersed in breath, moment by moment, movement by movement. This began to work for me, and I found that the sense of peace and ease it generated within me allowed Metta, compassion for all beings, to blossom as well.

Developing the art in this way, it has become Budo, a means of developing the factors of non-clinging thought forms passed down by warriors. This is a paradox, but I am no longer concerned by that. Paradoxes are OK- I've realized I don't need to 'figure them out'- all that matters is the development of the path. All that matters is Awakening. So the salient question isn't "Are martial arts compatible with Buddhism?", it is, "If YOU are practicing a martial art, what qualities of mind are YOU developing while doing so? And do those qualities lead to Death...or to the Deathless?"

I hope that helps someone...someday :buddha1:
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby zenman » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:14 pm

Came across this article on Meditative, Tantric and Physical Shamatha and Vipashyana:

http://guruslight.blogspot.fi/2013/07/s ... hyana.html
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Ramon1920 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:47 pm

Physical and spiritual superiority? I'm the manliest man and the holiest human~! HAHAHA And where ever I go I defend the helpless people because that's what a man does. But I also have the wisdom to teach people morality wherever I go!

What a banquet for the ego! Should there be any question why so many young men are interested in kung fu and shaolin? lol
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Meido » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:18 am

Ramon1920 wrote:Physical and spiritual superiority? I'm the manliest man and the holiest human~! HAHAHA And where ever I go I defend the helpless people because that's what a man does. But I also have the wisdom to teach people morality wherever I go!

What a banquet for the ego! Should there be any question why so many young men are interested in kung fu and shaolin? lol


Should there be any question that inaccurate generalizations like this come from another corner of that banquet table?

~ Meido
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Ramon1920 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:47 am

hahaha. Buddha wouldn't even allow his monks to carry a walking stick without special permission because it might be used as a weapon, what makes you think he would condone martial arts. lol such absurdity.
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby zenman » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:10 am

Ramon1920 wrote:Physical and spiritual superiority? I'm the manliest man and the holiest human~! HAHAHA And where ever I go I defend the helpless people because that's what a man does. But I also have the wisdom to teach people morality wherever I go!

What a banquet for the ego! Should there be any question why so many young men are interested in kung fu and shaolin? lol


To me it seems that Ramon1920 completely misunderstood what the text is about.
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Ramon1920 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:49 pm

What text?
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby zenman » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:47 am

Wasn't your previous message a comment to the text I linked above? In case it wasn't, then my message about you missing the point is mistaken.
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Naiawa » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:40 am

Discard ego and argument like deadly poisons

The taste of the path is the same in any form-- freedom--

Do not be overly taken by precepts and practices

And speak badly, think badly, act badly, thinking:

"I know the way, and these are fools!"

Just as a man who enters a town from the north road, south road, east road, or west road has found the same town

Find the Dhamma road and walk simply until you find true rest.



May you all find liberation in this lifetime!!!



Farewell : )
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Ramon1920 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:19 am

It's not as if anything you do leads to nirvana.

A Dharma teaching is incredibly rare in the world. Even rarer that someone practices it properly.

All paths don't go to the top of the mountain, most lead away.
All streams don't go to the sea, most end in ponds, swamps, or just peter away.
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:09 am

Ramon1920 wrote:It's not as if anything you do leads to nirvana.

A Dharma teaching is incredibly rare in the world. Even rarer that someone practices it properly.

All paths don't go to the top of the mountain, most lead away.
All streams don't go to the sea, most end in ponds, swamps, or just peter away.
Before you judge whether the anothers actions as "not leading to Nirvana" it would probably be best to judge your own actions first: Is very single activity you engage in a step along the path to liberation or do you like to relax a bit in front of the t.v. or computer watching your your favorite adharmic show/series? (for example)
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:34 am

I dunno, I always find it amusing when Tantric practitioners want to preach about how bad martial arts are in Buddhism, it's like suddenly they turn into sravakas just for the purpose of one conversation;)
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Appareo » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:01 pm

I think Aikido is the most apt form of fighting, if one must. It is focused on exerting the least amount of energy, to the extent that one is able to use the assailant's negative energy against them with minimal effort. It is like you can, embody the principle that one who seeks to hurt others may hurt him/herself most of all.

In my personal experience, one who is exceptionally selfless will experience alot of negativity from other's, probably because the greater the ego, the more rationalizations and anger towards those who are freed of it. For the ego must seek to maintain itself and it's world view, and this can result in direct physical confrontation. In such a situation, I believe in self-defense, if one wishes to avoid physical pain and perhaps even death for asm much and long as possible. (We are not all enlightened beings, completely freed from such notions). Also, one may be able to help or save other's who are being oppressed and abused.

I believe Buddhism and martial arts can go very well together, to quote Bruce Lee "Be like water". Do not resist what IS by becoming hard like a rock or bend toit like a twig, but see what is and adapt thereafter. Let it flow through you and flow around it.

It is also a very stimulating form of training that hones the body, mind and spirit. Much like yoga.

But hey, I could be wrong. For those who cannot detach them selves from violent thoughts and make up scenarios of confrontation, it is probably best not to practice MA. For those who seek to benefit physically, mentally and spiritually and whose intentions are only to protect and serve, I cannot see a problem with the practice.
Last edited by Appareo on Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Jikan » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:06 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I dunno, I always find it amusing when Tantric practitioners want to preach about how bad martial arts are in Buddhism, it's like suddenly they turn into sravakas just for the purpose of one conversation;)


:good:

My main objection to martial arts training is logistical. It's expensive to learn properly. :shrug:
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:47 pm

Jikan wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:I dunno, I always find it amusing when Tantric practitioners want to preach about how bad martial arts are in Buddhism, it's like suddenly they turn into sravakas just for the purpose of one conversation;)


:good:

My main objection to martial arts training is logistical. It's expensive to learn properly. :shrug:


Most of it is yeah.

Judo training is something that can be had on the cheap all over, and it's alot of fun. Depending on the Dojo, some places still understand the "mutual welfare and benefit" side of practicing as well, rather than too much focus on competition, so you can find it taught in an environment that is emotionally healthy in a basic sense as well.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Qing Tian » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:16 pm

I think Aikido is the most apt form of fighting, if one must. It is focused on exerting the least amount of energy, to the extent that one is able to use the assailant's negative energy against them with minimal effort. It is like you can, embody the principle that one who seeks to hurt others may hurt him/herself most of all.



This is such a massive misconception but a very common one and one that should be put away right about now. Most people will have seen aikido via demonstrations. It is an artificial environment with compliant opponents. The majority of the joint manipulations, when performed at normal speed against a non-compliant aggressor, will result in destruction of the joint in question. For those who have never experienced such joint disruption let me assure you that it leads to months (and sometimes years) of rehabilitation. Sometimes proper function is never regained. The take-downs in aikido, when applied at normal speed against a non-compliant aggressor, are designed to dump the aggressor on his head in such a fashion as to provide lethal angular force to the spinal column. If not lethal it will likely result in serious spinal injury. Obviously it is not trained this way as there would be no students left!

Similar appreciation of the lethality of techniques applies to all truly martial arts. These practices are designed to kill and maim. People who assert otherwise are either naif or deluded. The arts can be practiced as a method for physical cultivation and can lead to a deepening of compassion in the practitioner - an appreciation of the value of life if you will. In this regard I personally believe that practicing martial arts can be very beneficial. As a long time practitioner myself I can say that it has helped to deepen my concentration, find the peaceful centre of my existence, and deal with others equitably and without resort to anger. Closing in on 50 years of age I feel physically healthy, mentally acute, and (dare I say it) spiritually uncompromised.

The best piece of advice I was ever given: Intention is everything.
“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.”
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:17 pm

:good: :good:

In a functional sense, there are no "peaceful" martial arts, that is all just teaching context.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Buddhism and Martial Arts

Postby Qing Tian » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:24 pm

I had to laugh. I just re-read the whole thread and noticed that you (Johnny D) had mentioned almost the exact same thing a few pages back. Oh well, it does no harm to restate it!
“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.”
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