RETURN TO HOMEPAGE-The Spiritual Importance of Traditional Weapons for Internal Martial Arts


"Books speak to the mind, friends speak to the heart, Heaven speaks to the soul, everything else speaks only to the ears". - Chinese proverb..

Hear your thoughts, but do not chase them a way with meaningless difficulties.

Zenist maxim




The Eye of Taoism as a Way to Swordmanship

Fear is a root human emotion but the smallest cursory search of our formative years reveals little in terms of a realistic solution to personal and family insecurities. Few of us could claim to have resolved the deeper issues of own personal losses. We can not cry over spilt milk but we do. Nor can we grasp opportunities before they arrive. Todays' world can seem and is often is a bad place to be. Modern societies are not modern. We are still bound to the tread mill of materialism and economic scarcity. Economically it appears some people want what can only be taken from others. Often they wish to take everything, property, resources, rights to control and human freedom. Numerous institutions hold the reins of power to ensure the desired course of social action. However it is our interpretation of events which roots both intent and individual sensibilities.

We are after all rational creatures are we not? Noble in faculty and reason with some sense of our own presence. It is development of character that martial philosophy develops. But what form?

Traditionally the martial spirit is founded in wealth of maxims and philosophical perspectives. To the lay person these religious and often mystical currents of thought are difficult to digest. I intend in this article to demonstrate the relevance of some of the philosophic perspectives that are "Traditional to the Path of Spiritual Warriorship"..

Please see previous article in ARCHIVES.

But I Like Fantasy

Our theories of life serve to explain our hopes and history. Modernities inhabitants are Europo-panised. International beliefs, civil liberties, and everyday contradictions the flood senses. We have learnt to cooperate with a complex matrix of beliefs which struggle to permit spontaneity or even freedom to grow spiritually. Classical ancient expression saw sagehood as the blending of eclectic understanding of past beliefs honed with the will to witness the power to change. Spiritual progress requires high levels of honesty for confirmed rational thinkers. Creative courage is a prerequiste of any radical change or spiritual course.


The ethos of modern martial arts is suspect and immature. Particulary the die hards argue that to

To many practitioners point towards competitive spirit as a major motivation in martial pursuit. Not surprisingly the majority of sport orientated practitioners view combat as a legitimate arena for modern martial purpose. In the sports arena competition can breed an arguement of "necessity", wherein one has to legitimately use the power to "put a man down". Traditionally the astute feel uneasy about the nature and compassionate basis of combative purpose.

To be a winner can be simply the fantasy some on else is a loser. This is not the Way of Character, this is the Way of Power. A lack of enlightenment, yields the penalty of senselessness contradiction. The Taoist sage listens to their ordinary mind. To do this the sage must feel the way towards experiencing the reverance for life. The sage knows that any argument when considered objectively, can only demonstrate the relativity of a determinstic point of view. For character can only be received through the pursuit of wisdom. Wisdom arrives by listening to the heart of ones own beliefs and maturing past and through them.

........things that appear in the world are transient

If you view all things that appear as never having appeared,

then you will realize your true self. (Diamond Sutra)

If we are to approach the values of Enlightenment we have to allow that our lives can not simply be played out under the guise of consciously controled life. The western minded individual usually considers "my life" as an object to be possessed this is mistake.


Zen expression is like thunder, it is heard but never seen; and what is not sensed in relative terms has to be passed over, yet who can feel entirely satisfied with this? ThIS dualism is a Truly felt dilemma for spiritual being because our minds form two camps. One of idealism and the other beliefs designed to comfort our personal continuance. There is in this an indication that we have an innate sense of what it is to live as mortal. The mortal self possesses a mindfulness where life and being begin in terms of a sense of personal presence, and from that sense we are existent in a world perceived as loss and death. This as we have come to experience or at least expect it to be so. There is in each of us death camp's as it were, within our sincerest feelings. To be an individual is to endure the hurt of individuality, to grow and change through an unavoidable process of loss and death, in this we possess and are possessed by the shape of our identity and consciousness. Acceptance of death is a form of self realization. The mind seeks it out at times to give us distance from out distress.

The role of Sage is classically portrayed as a spiritual warrior As warrior we directed to meet and explore the freedom possible through detachment. To achieve unobstructed freedom demands that our greater selves deal with negative emotions which inhabit our ordinary selves. All manner of resentments, bitterness, anger and fear underwrite out spiritual selves. Many a good apple can rot with through modernities secular agendas. Freedom of expression takes root in the struggle to create value. The trick is to escape self doubt created by the expectations of the artists aspirations. The artist struggles against a background of conflict which reduces insight and spontaneous naturalness which Taoists called Wu-Wei no mindedness.Wu-Wei no, mindness is a difficult mental stance. Wu-Weo extolls that to be present, to exist and express the feeling of mystical being is to simply be. To be is to express one self acts without self,,,,- that one must take-no-notice of self and reach in to become no-thing. Taoist schools of poetry, painting, and music advocated a natural expressive form.

Naturalism is to feel oneself to be neither contending or separated from everyday acts. Traditionally internal martial artists are involved with a struggle to move away from the values of the old self and sense feelings of mystical being which encompass perceptions of naturalistic existence.

Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the shadow,,,,,,, T.S. Eliot

Taunting death is for many the ultimate thrill of existence because we find meaning in the dance of attraction and repulsion. Whether in their running from an affront or fighting against it, the shape of ourselves and others often produces an intense form spiritual distress or revelation.Traditionally the Sword represented a symbol of truth and righteousness while the Pole or Staff repesents schooling in some guiding doctrine or religion. Typically the Traditional Weapon is important because it is a symbolic spiritual guide, while one leans on a Staff to to rest and prevent poor footing. Similarly the Sword cuts open the Way to bring light and justice.

There is no Sword

I make absence of

Self non action