This symbol combines the icon for a human with matching arrows for motion/energy. It is used as the symbol for JKD Concepts. The translation of the text above reads: “Having no way as way, using no limitation as limitation.” -What does that mean to you?

How do I train in the SPIRIT of martial arts?

  • What is learning?- A journey and process, not a destination.
  • What is an instructor? – A guide, not a guard or dictator.
  • What is discovery? – A constant process of questioning the answers, not answering the questions.
  • What is the goal? – Open minds so that you can “be”, not closed issues so that you have to “do” and follow to achieve the goal.
  • What is the test? – being and becoming, not just remembering and reviewing.
  • What do we teach? – Individuals; not lessons, not styles, not systems, and not methods or techniques.
  • What is the school? – Whatever we choose to make it.
  • Where is the school? – Anywhere, not a four cornered classroom, wherever we are!

-borrowed from Dan Inosanto’s The Filipino Martial Arts

As we train in the martial arts (for any purpose), we begin to experience a level of connectedness beyond the normal range of our thoughts and feelings. The beginner may experience this for the first time during drills as they realize time has passed and movements have been performed w/o their conscious volition. Where did that time go and who threw those punches? Did they throw themselves?
They have connected w something larger than themselves, however briefly, and tapped into a level of efficiency and flow that allows the self to exit the equation.

This is best expressed in this ancient quote:

“A good athlete can enter a state of body-awareness in which the right stroke or the right movement happens by itself, effortlessly, without any interference of the conscious will. This is a paradigm for non-action: the purest and most effective form of action. The game plays the game; the poem writes the poem; we can’t tell the dancer from the dance. It happens when we trust the intelligence of the universe in the same way that an athlete or a dancer trusts the superior intelligence of the body.”

Lao Tzu (c.604 – 531 B.C.)

Source: Tao Te Ching

As the beginning martial artist continues to train they find their ideas and goals constantly evolving. The beginners desire for strength, dominance, an end to some lack – these give way to newer and deeper goals. Again, a quote helps:

“If you want to shrink something, you must first allow it to expand. If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish. If you want to take something, you must first allow it to be given. This is called the subtler perception of the way things are. The soft overcomes the hard. The slow overcomes the fast. Let your workings remain a mystery. Just show people the results.”

If you come to train in martial arts, you come in the spirit of this. Even the word inspiration means to be filled with spirit, to be in-spirit. I do not mean this in the traditional sense of the religious meaning of spirit, but in the way we are filled with a sense of greater energy or purpose at certain moments in our life. You come to train for many reasons, they are your own. You come for results! Results are all that really matter at the end of the day, the year, the match, the lesson, the moment. Are you seeing the results show up in your life or not? If the answer is not, then you must create new structures in your training that DO PRODUCE RESULTS.

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