Episode 3: What Is Your Relationship To Martial Arts? – Part 2
In this episode of the Martial Art of Self, we continue with the question “What is my relationship to martial arts?” We dive into the self-inquiry process and how one must make an active choice to challenge one’s own current understanding and views of martial arts.
There is no sense to continue the journey of self-inquiry if one is not honest with oneself in totality. The good, bad and ugly must be embraced and looked at to gain clarity on oneself and see beyond the constructed box one has built for oneself.
It is possible to use martial arts as a tool to conduct additional methods and applications of self-investigation for self-discovery. It is also possible to use the physical body to your advantage for self-expression. We explore more on these points today – so get ready!
Music by Fidelis Spies
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Martial Art of Self podcast, a podcast about bringing the essence martial arts back to self.
[00:00:12] Hi everyone, this is Aldin, and in today’s episode we are continuing with raising the question “What is my relationship to martial arts”?
[00:00:23] Today’s episode is a continuation from the previous one. So, for context specific reasons, please refer to the episode before this is. However, today’s episode can also stand as a standalone episode in itself.
[00:00:39] Alright, so – continuing with the self-inquiry of asking myself the question “What is your relationship to martial arts?”. “What is my relationship to martial arts?”. In the previous episode I covered my old definition that I found that I have through the self-inquiry into that question, about what my relationship to martial arts was, and this is where I am going to continue off in today’s episode.
[00:01:16] So– as a– as a disclaimer: The process of self-inquiry into inquiring the relationship that I have towards martial arts, into inquiring a relationship you have towards something or someone – I have found according to my current understanding that this self-inquiry process is an ongoing process. Meaning – based on my current understanding, it does never stop. There is always something new to be discovered. In the beginning, you discover a lot of new things because you have never inquired into yourself with being honest with yourself.
[00:02:00] And, at some point you might think or feel or– or feel settled and think that you have– you have all the answers to all your questions regarding what your relationship is to something, such as in this case towards martial arts.
[00:02:14] But as time progresses, you will see, and you will find that maybe not on a daily basis anymore, but once a week, once a month, once every couple months, maybe even once a year – you will find something new, a– a more deeper dimension if you will, a more deeper context of something that pertains to your relationship to that object or that something or someone, such as martial arts that you are inquiring into yourself. So, that is the reason why, according to my current understanding, I am saying that this process of self-inquiry never ends.
[00:02:54] So, with regards to my process that I’m walking in asking myself this question what my relationship to martial arts is– And understand that I– that– Maybe– maybe– maybe I should explain it in terms of just explaining my process with it. Maybe it’s easier.
[00:03:15] With inquiring or starting to inquire my relationship to martial arts, I had to do– it had a beginning. I had– I had to make that actual, definitive, active choice, decision to challenge my current understanding and my current views, definitions, judgments, beliefs, ideas, thoughts – everything pertaining to how I see and how I stand in relationship to martial arts.
[00:03:48] Thus challenging, being willing and making the decision, in self-will if you will, to challenge your relationship to martial arts, to challenge your relationship with something or someone.
[00:04:04] That is the first step, and from there, points open up. The prerequisite I find is being honest with yourself. If you’re not honest with yourself then doing the self-inquiry will only lead to further lies being established, further self-limiting or self-lying definitions, judgments, ideas being added on top of the ones that already exist, or transmuting and transforming the current ideas, beliefs, judgments, definitions, you have in your relationship towards that particular something or someone, such as in this case martial arts, into just a different lie, a different definition, a different judgment, a different belief system. Never getting really to the core, to the truth of “Who am I?”. ‘I’ as ‘Me’ in my relationship to martial arts.
[00:04:57] So, being self-honest, being honest with yourself ultimately and radically I find is a– is a prerequisite for doing this inquiry into the relationship towards martial arts you have. If you don’t– If you can not– if you don’t decide to be honest with yourself it does not make any sense to continuing with the inquiring into yourself regarding your relationship with martial arts because you will not be willing to stand absolutely for and by the truth no matter what the truth you discover is.
[00:05:39] Alright, so what do I have found for myself in my self-inquiry within the starting point of being honest with me and being willing in that self-honesty to challenge all my beliefs and ideas, all the set that makes up my current relationship to martial arts is that currently, I see and understand, and would like to use my martial arts and the training and everything that is– that is making up martial arts for myself as a process of self-meeting, a process of self-introduction. Now, what do I mean by that? Self-meeting and self-introduction – meaning that through the martial arts I am meeting myself ‘as I am’ right now and right here.
[00:06:37] All the parts. Good, bad, ugly. Positive, negative, good characteristics, bad characteristics, judgments, ideas, beliefs, self-praise, thoughts, everything and anything regarding and concerning myself.
[00:06:57] So, through this process what this means is that as I’m meeting myself and as I’m introducing myself to myself and introducing myself to the parts of myself that I’ve either always suppressed, shunned away in my head, in my mind and never wanted to face due to fears, judgements, ideas, beliefs, being somehow convinced that I cannot face myself bluntly and in self-honesty, etc.
[00:07:25] So, I am meeting myself – meaning This is a process where I am getting to know myself. Thus, it is a process effectively of self-discovery. Why? Because I am making it that. I am– I am peeling layer by layer, I’m examining myself, I am performing self-examination through my practice, through my training when I– when I train be it– be it either a standing– standing exercise, like a Sōng exercise, be it a cardio exercise, be it technique training – whatever it is – I am making the choice, I’m making the decision, and I’m making the training about me also observing myself and the thoughts, the emotions, the feelings that arise and come up during my practice, before my practice, and after my practice. And, I’m noting them down either within myself or by writing them down, or by recording them for myself. Thus, I am in effect recording who I am during my training sessions. I am recording who I am in my martial arts application, my martial arts training. Why? So that I can examine it. So that I can see who I am, and the parts that I exist and that come-up within my mind.
[00:09:07] By doing that I’m exposing myself to myself and by exposing myself to myself I’m giving myself the opportunity and the chance and the ability to start further investigating, taking on specific points, and further peeling them more to figure out more about them, to understand more about them. How did I create them? Where did I create them? Why do I keep existing in a self-limiting belief, in a self-limiting judgment – in a definition that does not serve the best of me or the best someone else? What ideas and thoughts do I have that I stick to religiously – that are limiting me but, that are keeping me at a plateau, that are keeping me constricted and contained with the inability to grow anymore, to see beyond the box that I’ve constructed for myself.
[00:10:11] And, by doing that I am evolving, I’m expanding in myself, in my relationship– I’m expanding my relationship to martial arts. This is a very good thing, because I’m not keeping stagnant. I’m not keeping limited. I’m discovering myself. I am using martial arts as an additional tool, as an additional methodology and application to conduct self-investigation, for self-discovery, and the ultimate goal to use those self-enquiries and self-discovery points, that I have examined, that I’ve gathered through the practice, through self-observation to change myself, to find methodologies, ways and applications to change that parts, or those parts about myself into something more constructive, into something that would serve my potential, that would serve the best for me in self-honesty, being honest with me in seeing, in admitting to myself when a point, a characteristic, a thought, an idea that I’m religiously participating and holding onto and living and continuing to live is not serving me, is bad for me, is limiting me, is constricting me – and applying and living that courage to take that point that I’ve admitted to myself – that truth about myself that I have discovered through this, and take– Applying that courage with that point, to bring it further into understanding as to ‘Why’, and into the courage to make the decision to find solutions and apply and live those solutions to change into something, into a living of an application of myself in my day that would serve me more, that would be more calibrated if you will, towards what I see in honesty, in being honest with myself would be better and best for me.
[00:12:24] So, this process thus by using martial arts– Martial arts to me is a tool, is an additional application for walking this process of being honest with myself, of developing honesty with myself, and developing awareness of myself. Awareness of my self, awareness of my mind, and everything that goes on in there and awareness of my physical body and feeling my physical body.
[00:12:57] Getting to know myself, getting to know my mind, getting to know my physical body. Building a healthier, a better relationship with myself, with my mind, with my physical body. A complete unity of self, if you will.
[00:13:18] Thus, this– this being and becoming– of the martial arts being and becoming a process for me of self-honesty where I confront myself, the good and the bad parts of myself, the positive and the negative parts of myself – in effect everything of and about myself.
[00:13:40] Thus, further, the martial arts becomes this tool that further leads into the process of self-challenge. Meaning that I am making it about challenging the parts in myself, as I said, that are in need for change, that I see in– in being honest with myself that are in need for change. This then further leads into using the martial arts for being a process of self-awareness, as I have said, where I’m developing awareness of self, mind, and physical.
[00:14:20] Developing if you will a real feeling for self, for the mind, for the body. Developing a real feel if you will for the totality of myself. All the parts. And, not shying away in fear, in judgment, in ideas, in beliefs about the belief and idea that I cannot face that. But I make the choice, the decision, and I live the courage to do face that. In the understanding that I have the capacity and I have the ability to change and if I need to find more methods and tools and applications and time to understand, and to change these parts, then so be it. I trust myself and I have faith in myself.
[00:15:19] Thus, in the– in the ultimate context, if you will, using a martial arts for myself, in the end, as a process of applied, self-willed self-change. Meaning that I’m applying self-will through which I’m willing myself actively to engage in changing myself in all the parts that I, as I have said, in self-honesty, in being honest with me, brutally and radically are in need of a change because they do not serve the best of me that I can see in any given moment about myself in a relationship towards something or someone.
[00:16:08] Thus, through the martial arts developing and building and honing this– this ‘living’ skill of willing myself to actively and by repetitive choice and repetitive decision – like this snaps fingers practice changing myself in the parts of self that are required– requiring and that I realize through the previous steps I’ve mentioned are in need of a change.
[00:16:38] Thus, it becomes a process of learning, a process of discovering, of establishing this learning of how to live and how to apply myself through my physical. How can I use my physical body? The body that I am in in this lifetime, how can I use that to my advantage, if you will? To assist me and support me to become more aware of myself, and the parts within myself that I need to learn about, that I need to discover in order to understand myself in totality, in order to find and see the good parts, in order to see and find the bad parts that I need to change.
[00:17:23] How can I use my physical body? The living in and through the physical, be it by movement, be it by presence – whatever – how can I use that to my advantage to assist and support me in becoming honest with myself ultimately. How can I use it to learn what it means to be willing oneself for– to an action, to something? How can I use it to learn what it means to live? How can I use it to learn and understand what it means to live certain words, to live certain aspects of myself, to live certain potentials that I see I can become? How can I use this physical body, through movement or presence or whatever to help me to change myself, and to make self-change real and permanent?
[00:18:19] So, this is so far– I mean, this does not cover everything yet in what I’m walking regarding my relationship to martial arts. As I’ve said, this is an ongoing process and thus with that I am also ongoingly walking this and I am daily or weekly, repetitively discovering new aspects and points and changing my views, changing my perspectives, changing or find– let’s more– let’s more say fine-tuning my– my relationship to martial arts, and what I– what I would like it to be for myself.
[00:19:05] Which ultimately is in the– in the– if you will in the broader context or the broader definition of it to use my physical body, and martial arts – the training of it and everything about it to assist and support with becoming honest with myself, with expanding my self-awareness — You know all aspects of myself: Self, mind, body – and help me change myself in the aspects that I will myself to change and want myself to change and that I see are in need and requirement of change.
[00:19:49] Thank you for listening to the Martial Art of Self podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, then please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes. You can also follow this podcast on Twitter and Instagram. For more information about the Martial Art of Self, please visit martialartofself.com