Questions Asked in Martial Arts Define the Answers

Questions Asked in Martial Arts Define the Answers

Revelations of the truth start with the right questions. The questions asked in Martial Arts define the answers you get. I asked many specific questions about me and things, without which the answer that transformed, and keeps transforming parts of me and my life would have never been revealed.

The more specific the question, the more precise the answer will be that steps forth. And, it is not any higher entity that will show the answers. It is us, a part of us, the life within, that steps forth. 

Thus, we guide ourselves through the questions we ask.

Questions You Ask in Martial Arts Approach

Open questions are rooted in a willingness and openness to investigate, understand, and resolve our issues and relationships to a part of our existence. Be it a part of us, our relationships, our work, our colleagues, a particular person, or a specific member of this existence, like animals, insects, money, poverty, etc.

An open question resonates with readiness and will to step up, take self-responsibility for our issues and relationships, and learn more about them to create an honest, unbiased understanding about it. It communicates a willingness that we want to understand this issue or reaction or relationship we have with someone or something or the world and find solutions.

Open questions ask for honest understanding and practical resolution. Open questions are rooted in the premise of taking full responsibility for our issues, reactions, and relationships we have towards us, other people, and this world. They claim whole ownership and responsibility for how we feel about us, someone else, or a part of this world (angry, desperate, hateful, vengeful, jealous, and so on) in general.

Open questions are specific; they ask for authentic support under the premise of taking full self-responsibility to find the answer to the problem and transcend it.

Opened Ended Questions Asked in Martial Arts

Why am I having this fear of spiders? What is it in my relationship with the spider species that invokes this fear inside me? Where have I in my developmental years possibly caught up on this fear? Did something happen to me in my life where I reacted in shock that involved a spider? Either through seeing one in real life, on TV, in a magazine, or listening to a story, someone told me about spiders and an incident with a spider to which I reacted in shock initially. And, because I didn’t know how to handle and direct my initial shock reaction constructively, I accepted it? Did my fear and paranoia from there on became my default relationship to spiders?

How can I help myself to understand my jealousy towards (fill in the blank)? 

What parts or points about (fill in the blank) am I jealous about, and why?

How can I help myself to become, live, or get the same characteristics or points that I am jealous of in (fill in the blank) so that there is no more need for jealousy?

I have been trying to overcome this fear of public speaking for four years. I tried so many things, yet still, I find myself so anxious when it comes to public speaking. What am I missing here? Have I honestly tried everything? What dimensions, or contexts have I not yet looked at and opened up through writing/journaling about it, or talking to (fill in the blank) about it that could shed some more light onto what parts I have missed and not yet walked through when it comes to why I am reacting in so much anxiety when it comes to public speaking?

Closed Questions Approach 

Closed questions asked in martial arts on the other hand, are rooted in justifications and excuses. They try to justify why we feel a certain way and why we are, in our minds opinion, entitled to feel and continue reacting the same way emotionally. 

Closed questions try hard to impose a false sense of self-honesty; they abdicate self-responsibility and are symbolized by the pointing finger (blame). Closed questions blame other people and events in life for how we feel and the particular thoughts we have, and they justify the destructive self-talk towards ourselves and others. 

Closed questions asked in martial arts defend the physical behavior we exhibit (throwing tantrums, physical and verbal violence, ridiculing, bullying, giving the judging stare or gesture, and so on). Closed questions victimize us. We tell ourselves the same story in our heads how bad the outside world and people and things are, and how we are the victims of it all, and that we don’t deserve any of it.

Closed questions ask for resolutions of our problems and issues through the hands of someone or something else. They are absent from self-responsibility.

Closed Questions Approach 

Why is this happening to me?

Why do I have to be the one out of millions of people to whom this event happened?

How come other people have a better life than I do?

Why did (fill in the name) do this to me? How could they? How dare they!?

I am such a kind person; how could this happen to me?

Open Questions Approach Scenario

1. Awareness that a problem or issue exists

You are jealous of P. because she/he seems to connect with other people she/he meets so easy, and you feel inferior and less than her/him. You can’t seem to connect well with people. As if you have nothing in common with anyone.

2. Ask open question

What is it in my relationship with strangers that results in me being so uncomfortable inside my own skin? How can I support myself to understand where my discomfort to strangers comes from? What can I change in how I see, define or even judge other people and myself and create a relationship with me where I accept myself and learn how to communicate and open up with others that may lead to a prospective relationship or friendship?

3. Process of identification (writing, journaling, speaking, research, etc.)

You decide to be honest with yourself, no matter what you find in your self-inquiry. You choose to use writing/journaling as a practical tool to aid your self-inquiry process. You write about what you see and what comes up inside you and your mind while you dive into the above questions asked in martial arts.

4. Realizations

You may realize that when you were younger, there was an incident that involved a group of people that you joined in. 

It was a birthday party, and you didn’t know anyone yet since you were new in town. Everyone seemed to know each other and be friends, and you didn’t. 

You talked to some kids, but soon they went back to their friends they already knew. 

You had a thought pop up inside your mind telling you that you seem unable to connect with new kids you meet and befriend them. Then you started feeling this energy in your solar plexus. 

It felt heavy and pulling. Like it’s trying to remove you from your surroundings into a small closed box inside yourself. You felt small and alone. The experience you had was feeling inferior and excluded. 

Because you didn’t know how to direct this ‘new’ experience, you went with it and accepted it as true. You started to define yourself as a person that doesn’t connect well with others and is unable to make friends easily.  

From there, you no longer really tried to make friends. If a person didn’t respond positively to you when you met them for the first time, you already gave up because you projected your own accepted idea that you are unable to connect well with people and make friends with them. You stopped even trying and closed yourself off more. 

You realize that it wasn’t your fault. You simply didn’t know better how to deal with such new experiences when you were younger that would often pop up inside your mind from seemingly nowhere. 

But, you also realize that right now you do see where this issue with being unable to connect with people may come from, or where it got started.

You realize that right now, you do have the opportunity and the tools (or the ability to research tools and methods) through which you can help yourself to forgive and release the self-image you have created about yourself being unapproachable, unable to connect well with people and develop relationships.

You realize you can and need to take responsibility for this point if you wish to change and overcome it.

5. Find or create practical corrective applications

You look inside yourself how you can change this self-image. You allow yourself do be creative in this process. 

You realize that you could every time that you are in a situation where there is a prospect to connect with people – actively, deliberately decide to unconditionally let go of the self-image, the thoughts, and self-definitions you have about yourself being unapproachable, not able to connect with people and develop relationships.

You realize you have the power to decide in real-time to forgive and let go of such a self-image and self-definition when it comes up again inside your mind.

You realize that you are required to practice opening up to strangers and that you will become better at it with time as you carry on practicing deliberately.

You realize that, if needed, you can always return to do more self-investigation through writing, for example, to uncover more points or layers of the issue to help you overcome it with time and deliberate practice of the corrective applications you found or created for yourself.

6. Testing phase

You test the obtained practical application through living it in real-time moments.

Closed Questions Approach Scenario

1. Awareness that a problem or issue exists

You are jealous of P. because she/he seems to connect with other people she/he meets so easy, and you feel inferior and less than her/him. You can’t seem to connect well with people. As if you have nothing in common with anyone.

2. Ask closed question

Why does P. always seem popular with everyone and get what she/he wants, and I am not? It is unfair; I hate her/him!

3. Either no process of investigation or one that is not based on self-honesty and genuinely wanting to resolve the issue at hand

Example of an ingenuine process of self-investigation:

P. looks better than me, and she/he is way more relaxed. She/he plays sports, has a good job, makes good money, and has a car. What do I have to offer? Nothing, I am a loser. I never really had lots of friends, no wonder. I can never be as approachable for people and connect like P. does so naturally.

4. Find and accept excuses, reasons, and justifications for not taking self-responsibility

I cannot change my shortcomings.

I don’t even know where to begin fixing this.

I will just go on with my life and watch some new Netflix show to distract myself.

5. Acceptance and reinformcement of the problem or issue

You accept the continuation of the same destructive relationship to the problem or issue.

6. Continue living same patterns again, increasing the problematic relationship to the problem or issue at hand

You decide to continue being jealous, and accepting that reaction and relationship to P. and give up. You accept your self-experience of inferiority, and end up in self-diminishment and carrying on with your destructive self-image.


The outlined scenarios are examples to illustrate the difference between an Open Questions approach v.s. a Closed Questions approach. The exact steps may not always be the same, but vary with each new point that you are opening up and walking, as well as the tools you use to aid your self-change process.

2 comments on “Questions Asked in Martial Arts Define the Answers

  1. Nikoleta says:

    Thanks for this breakdown and reminder to explore ourselves through inner conversations 😁

    1. Aldin says:

      You are welcome! Glad you found it supportive 🙂

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