Sounding Out

There are burning questions that no one seems to answer right during training. Here's a few words from the experts.

Do any of these examples sound familiar to you?

Would you like to contribute a situation, and perhaps get an answer?


ONE: What makes a good martial artist?
A good martial artist does not become tense -- but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come.
Bruce Lee, founder of Jeet Kune Do

In the science of martial arts, the mind should remain the same as normal. In ordinary circumstances as well as when practising martial arts, let there be no change at all -- with the mind open and direct, neither tense nor lax, centering the mind so that there's no imbalance, calmly relax your mind, and savour this moment of ease thoroughly so that the relaxation does not cease for even an instant.
Miyamoto Musashi, The Book Of Five Rings

TWO: Do I always tolerate violent advances with the kind of patience advocated by exponents who believe in passive defence? Like the proverb says, there's no first hand (attack) in Karate.
Naturally, it's not right to pick fights, but there are times when you can get involved in a fight whether you like it or not. Suppose you're alone with your girlfriend, and some slob starts bothering you. What do you do? Run away and leave her, or stand the other man down -- or maybe hide behind your girl? It's up to decide.
Hideyuki Ashihara, founder of Ashihara Karate

THREE: What is the spirit of Karate?
Development of the mind rather than on techniques is what we should emphasise. In a time of grave public crisis, one must have the courage, if required for the sake of justice, to face a million and one opponents. For the Karate-do student, the most shameful trait is indecisiveness.
Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shoto-kan Karate

FOUR: A road bully gets out of his car after you shout a few words at him. It's Sunday, you've got groceries in the boot, a girlfriend in the passenger seat. The panic in your body starts up, what now?
End of the story, buddy. When you panic, your limbs freeze. At this stage, most people end up on the ground. Experienced fighters may tense up, but they do not panic. Their minds are clear, and they breath normally. Geoff Thompson (chief instructor of BCA) controls leg shaking by tapping the heel of one foot. A martial artist must always keep their mind alert, on the ready.
Dan Loh

FIVE: You tick off a stranger who jumps your queue. His wife jumps in the argument. She goes baloney. Do you hit them both?
You don't. Your argument is with the person who jumped the queue. Anyone besides is irrelevant, unless the person becomes a physical threat. Direct your attention, verbal or otherwise, to the man. Refuse to encourage the woman.
Ziggernaut, Malaysia

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