You Are Your Art
In the olden days the word “art” was applied to anything that required skill; like the art of farming, the art of architecture, the art of war.
This is the use of “art” in “martial arts.” It doesn’t mean “for aesthetic purposes,” or artsy or intuitive. It is not distinct from “scientific.”
Builders work with stone, wood and steel. Farmers work with land and water, seed and seasons. Martial artists work with our bodies, heart and mind.
We are the material of our own art.
If we are skillful, and are clear about what we are trying to achieve, then our work will succeed. We will transform the raw material of our body and mind into something new and better. If we fall short then the materials we are working with may be wasted.
We choose our objectives and get the skills we need to achieve them.
If you want to be combat-ready then you train that way, with people who know how.
If you want a high rank then you will do what it takes to get one.
If you want to impress people with your knowledge you will change as you pursue that goal.
If you want to purify your spirit, enabling your body and mind to respond skillfully to the demands of every moment, you will practice and live in a way that will make that possible.
These are different paths, with different results.
How we understand “martial” and “arts” will have a great effect on what we do and who we become – both as the artists and the material of our own art.
Post Copyright © 2019 Jeffrey M. Brooks, author of “The Good Fight”, on Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition
Photo of Mont St. Michel in Brittany by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0