Martial Development

Martial arts for personal development

Should Dueling Be Legalized?

November 16th, 2010 · 12 Comments

For your consideration, guest author Liam Boyle submits this modest proposal for the reinstatement of the duel.

“Sir, I Demand Satisfaction!”

Turning on any television show based on small claims court a person is bound to hear some variant of that title, many times in a much less polite form. Sitting in a small claims court, or any civil court for that matter, a person is bound to hear some variant of that title phrase. Yet, in many representations of historical duels, those words are commonly found. Conflict seems to underscore our society and the phrase, “I’ll see you in court,” has almost seemed to reach the status of a common greeting. This could give someone cause to wonder that wouldn’t it be simpler and possibly more effective to just have the disputing parties put on gloves and go the proverbial twelve rounds rather than tie up the court with expensive and needless litigation. This lead this writer to the posting of the question, Should dueling (non-firearm) be legalized to replace some civil lawsuits? [Read more →]

Tiny Tales of Modern Samurai

February 15th, 2009 · 7 Comments

More offbeat news from the world of martial arts…

Barack Obama, Samurai
Barack Obama, Samurai Statesman?

“Manga Bible” Casts Jesus Christ as Samurai Warrior

Christian thinkers have tried to make the Bible accessible for centuries, scholars said. Stained glass windows related Bible stories when Europe was largely illiterate. New printing technology in the 19th century made it possible to mass-produce Bibles, including illustrated versions…

The goal of the Bibles is not just to win people to Christ, but to particular ways of thinking, said Jason BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University. Manga Bible author Mr. Akinsiku said the biblical message he wanted to underscore was justice, especially for the poor…
[Continued in The New York Times]

Attention Anchormen: Not Every Swordsman is a Samurai
Recently confronted by a sword-wielding maniac, German police lower their guns, in favor of the trusty battle broom. [Read more →]

Advice From a Blind Kungfu Master

October 13th, 2007 · 13 Comments

While conducting some unrelated research, I recently came across an book written by the disciple of a blind kungfu master. I was gratified to read his advice, so similar to that which I received from my own martial arts teachers. I’ll explain why in a moment; first, a few quotations:

On the primacy of coordination…

The principle of “divide and conquer” may have some validity in those branches of education concerned with knowing rather than doing, but in the education of the artist, “integrate to coordinate” should be the battle-cry.

Demonstrating the ability to make one single movement by genuinely coordinated means, is worth more to the growth of the student than showing them now to negotiate any supposed technical difficulties by the employment of “end-gaining” methods.

Clumsiness in general, and technical failures in particular, have no other origins than in the making of simultaneous contradictory gestures.

[Read more →]

Three Classic Samurai Film Series

October 10th, 2007 · 5 Comments

Musashi duels on the beach
Musashi duels on the beach

Samurai Trilogy: Musashi Miyamoto (3 films)

Based on a true story, Samurai chronicles the transformation of a violent, headstrong youth (played by Toshiro Mifune) into one of history’s greatest swordsmen. Samurai won the Academy Award for best foreign film in 1955, and is regarded by many as Japan’s own Gone With the Wind. [Read more →]

Miyamoto Musashi’s Personal Development Tips

September 2nd, 2006 · 14 Comments

Few of us can match Miyamoto Musashi’s single-minded devotion to the pursuit of excellence in martial arts.

In fighting over sixty duels, many to the death, Musashi demonstrated great courage. And in winning every one, he showed superior skill and technique. Musashi attributed his outstanding swordsmanship to unrelenting practice of self-reliance and self-discipline.

In his final years, Musashi retired to a cave for a life of quiet contemplation. It was during this time that he composed his famous guide on strategy, The Book of Five Rings.

In his very last days, this Kensei (Saint of Swords) further distilled his insights on self-discipline and personal development into 21 points. [Read more →]