Martial Arts: The Way Of Truth.
There are many known practices out there that are said to make you better; to help you to realize the true nature of reality beyond your own perspective. Of these practices (whether it be yoga, soccer, American football, hockey, basketball, rugby or volleyball) nothing helps tip the scales in favour of true reality other than the Martial Arts.
Martial Arts, when practiced correctly (not merely used as a means for make money; diluting the art in order to turn an Academy into a belt-factory), is a practice of truth. What do I mean by truth? Something that is as-close-to-objective-reality as possible. Granted, though there will always be some aspect of subjectivity in all objectivity, as the “truth” is always being viewed through the perspective of your own personal experience, the Martial Arts present with them an undeniable fact about nature—either it happened or it didn’t, with only you left to take ownership over the event.
When engaging in the combative arts, there is only you and your training partner (or aggressor, if you’re actually competing). Did you get tapped out? Did you get punched in the face? Did you miss all of your attempts to strike them? Could you barely hold them down? Did you find yourself getting upset? Did you quit before your actual quitting-point, simply because you mentally broke down? All pertinent and unavoidable questions that will cross your mind during practice (or competition). The ideal, however, is to let go of all thought (of all questions) and practice with an empty mind.
The truth remains, if you consecutively got tapped out; if you constantly got punched in the face; if you missed all of your shots when striking; if you could barely hold them down; if you started to get upset; if you quit before you knew you actually needed to, simply because you psychologically broke down, these are all unescapable facts that stare you straight in the face, where the only thing left to do is: accept or deny them. These are each the elements of a variable truth.
But what is the fixed truth, superseding all variable truths? That there is no story, but the one the storyteller decides to sell to themselves. This is where the empty mind emerges. If you got tapped 1,000 times—what tap? If you kept getting hit in the face—what face? If you could barely hold them down—hold who down? If you started to get upset—who is upset? If you quit before you knew you needed to, simply because you psychologically broke down—whose psychology? These are all narratives pushed upon you by you and you, alone, where each event is an opportunity to supersede a superficial story.
The reason why I consider Martial Arts the way of truth is that no other practice provides you with both the conscious (observing an action) and super conscious (going beyond the observation into allowing for no observation; being guided solely by awareness) opportunity for “being” in such a salient and unmistakable manner. When a punch is headed towards your face, or a submission is being strapped on real tight, there is no other feedback loop more salient than: you either won or you lost; with only you to blame. Though other contemporary coaches may suggest a more pleasant approach to learning: you either win or you learn, I present a more realized one: What win? What loss? What learn?