View Full Version : My lack of understanding?

19th March 2001, 02:02
I have a Question: How does meditation fit in with the martial arts?

Devon Smith
19th March 2001, 02:13
Define "meditation", please!

19th March 2001, 21:25
I have to agree and expand upon Devon's answer..

What sort of meditation ? what sort of martial art ? in fact come to think of it.. what do you mean by usefull..

But to try and get the ball rolling..

For myself I try and practice Zen Mediatation (Zazen) daily... I find that the technical process of learning to control my body and my breathing and then eventually moving that control to an unconscious level allowing my intelletual, conscious mind to empty had direct parralels with the feeling of Mushin I have experienced during particularly intense practice of Jiu Jitsu...

As an instructor I have been known to have my class sit quietly conentrating on breathing and then visualising a 'perfect throw' before getting up and performing the technique.. not technically meditation but using very similar processes..

I am sure there are others out there more qualified... perhaps someone from Shorinji Kempo might comment as that is a fairly unique blend of art and religion as I understand it ?

20th March 2001, 11:56
I'm not trying to bait or take pot shots at anyone. I have a very simple question. How does mediatation fit in the martial arts? It almost seems that people are afraid to answer questions here, so they ask more questions like "What does mediatation mean?" I was under the impression that this fourm is about mediatation. I now see what this fourm is really about.

thanks for all the insight.

Tucker Peterson
20th March 2001, 13:14
I don't think they're trying to avoid the question, but rather that the question you stated is too open-ended to answer in a meaningful way (like "What is Justice?"). Evidently there are different types of meditation and the way they interact with the different arts are distinct enough that what is true in one case is not the same in another.
Maybe try to restate your question. Do you have a style of meditation or martial art in mind? I think 98% of the members here try to be helpful, so don't assume that they aren't. :)
I'll try to get the ball rolling...

Rob-what's a basic description of Zen meditation and do you know how it differs from other types of meditation? I'd always assumed that they were all similar, with mere differences in posture during practice.

Hope this helps,

20th March 2001, 17:42
The orginal Question:

How does meditation fit in with the martial arts?

New Question?

If you are Training any Martial Art (karate, jujitsu, ect, ect) and you practice meditation ( of any kind ) how do you apply meditation in the martial arts and to what effect if any does have?

Now if everybody is so helpfull then why can't you just answer a simple question? It appears to me that there are people on this fourm who just don't know the answer and instead of saying they don't know, they get off of the orginal question by asking another question. I know what webester's dict tell's me. I'm asking for your refelction on your experiences. By the way the reason why I asked the orginal question is because I don't know anything about meditation.

So if someone(who does'nt know about meditation) ask's you (someone who know's about meditation) how do you apply meditation to the art's? What is your answer?

Tucker Peterson
20th March 2001, 20:15
DZR-I know nothing about meditation or, it seems, mediation! :)

I don't know if I'm reading you wrong, but you seem to think I'm concealing knowledge from you as some sort of joke? I freely admit I know nothing about the subject at hand; I was just trying to help get you answers.

I think that your new question is a bit clearer. As my english prof says, "define specify and detail!" (she then usually rants about my poor punctuation and weakness for long sentences). But accusing people (who you're trying to get answers from) of not answering is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. ;)

I used to work at Borders, and if I remember correctly, there are some books on meditation and the martial arts. I can't attest to their validity or usefullness, but I am going there tonight to pick up a Special Order, so I'll look for something. Maybe it'll help.


20th March 2001, 21:00

The reason people (including me) asked what type of meditation is because there are many different types each of which have different aims and achieve different ends..

I will try and answer yours and Tuckers questions but I would like to state for the record that this is no way my area of expertise and much of what I have learned is from books rather than directly taught by an instructor..

As I understand it there are essentially two broad types of meditation..

The most common and the one associated with many sects of Budhism, Yoga and some other religions (including Christianity) involves concetrating on a particular image (mandala) or sound (such a aum) or even concept such as a particular diety. The aim of this intense concentration is to shut out all other thoughts and bring about the qualities associated with that diety.

So you could argue that to be more warlike or a more succesful warriour it would be helpful to meditate daily on the Japanese god of War , Hachiman. Certainly some of the older martial traditions (Koryu) still retain aspects of worship to some dieties.

The other form of meditation which I have only come across in Zen, where it is Zazen, is the complete opposite. The aim of Zazen is to let go of all conscious thought. On a technical level this involves starting with simple exercises in sitting quietly without anymovement (not as easy as it sounds) and counting one's breaths to 10. Once basic breathing exercises are learned the practioner is able to sit quietly in a good posture allowing their breath to happen naturally and without any conscious thoughts.

There are some schools of thought that suggest this type of exercise allows one to develop a sort of spiritual power (jokiri) which is is used in martial arts. For myself as I said in my earlier post I have found the process of being aware of my breathing and giving up my need for the constant 'voice' of my conscious thought helps me to approximate in a peaceful and safe atmosphere a state of mind which I have also attained when trying to stop a training partner rearrange my facial features by hitting me with a chair, or chain etc...

Like any emotional or physical state the more one achieves it the easier it is to achieve..... hence for me the relationship between meditation and the martial arts..

My apologies to anybody with any real knowledge of meditation who are now either crying or laughing at their screen at my humble attempts to pass on my ignorance..

Devon Smith
20th March 2001, 21:16
Hi John,

My question to your question wasn't meant as a snub, I just wanted to have some clarification, that's all. The reason I didn't just jump in is that there are some folks who may have more strict definitions of what "meditation" is, and I'm not sure my version fits in with whatever norm there might be in others' experiences.

If you are Training any Martial Art (karate, jujitsu, ect, ect) and you practice meditation ( of any kind ) how do you apply meditation in the martial arts and to what effect if any does have?

I practice iai (drawing the sword) as a form of meditation, and often rely on it during the workweek. It didn't seem so important to me until the '90's when I got a job in the automotive industry, which tries to kick my butt on a daily basis. Now I like to practice after work to help divide the earlier part of my day (which pretty much belongs to my employer) with the part tha's more of my own. I think the repetitive motion along with controlled breathing is what helps me out.

When I can, I do the same before and after practicing jujutsu, but moreso because of enjoyment rather than stress-relief.

So if someone(who does'nt know about meditation) ask's you (someone who know's about meditation) how do you apply meditation to the art's? What is your answer?

I would have to answer the way I have here, though I'd make a point to say that in regards to what some folks might consider to be "classical methods during MA practice", perhaps my method doesn't really fit in.


21st March 2001, 06:30
Just to clarify on the above answers, I know - from experience - what a bunch of helpful, and generally knowledgeable, people we have here on e-budo.. If someone asks you to clarify a question it's is usually because it's too sweeping for them to answer in its present form. (i.e. Try and trust people, rather than immediately going on the defensive..?)
I practice Aikido, and we have a style of meditation similar to zazen called moksu. In this we sit in seiza, or anza if that is too uncomfortable (i.e. cross-legged) and focus only on our breathing. It's purpose, at least initially, is to slow the heart rate, bring down adrenaline levels and help maintain a calm state of mind under pressure. I say initially not because these are unimportant, but because they are only the beginning of the path..
It might help if you could let us know something of your own background and experiences John...

Joseph Svinth
21st March 2001, 09:20
Webster's says that meditation is a discourse intended to express its author's reflections or to guide others in contemplation. The word meditate is defined as "to engage in contemplation or reflection; to focus one's thoughts on: reflect on or ponder over. To plan or project in the mind."