Thursday, July 8, 2010
Traditional MA / Mixed MA, And The Three Dantiens
Yesterday in last post's comment section, reader Aric and I opened up the Traditional Martial Arts / Mixed Martial Arts can of worms again.
I am the first to say that practical sports like Western Boxing and Wrestling are perhaps the fastest path to fighting skills. But without the underpinning of philosophy and perhaps some form of meditative spirituality, Boxing, Wrestling and MMA are fight-sport, not Martial Arts. Just my opinion.
Where do the Dantien's fit in?
Let me see if this comparison works:
My Tai Chi Chuan instructor Michael Gilman was explaining the Three Dantiens to us. In my own words, the lower Dantien is near our navel, where we were connected to our Mother by the umbilical cord. It is where our sexuality stirs, and it is our physical center. The lower Dantien provides a sense of self.
The middle Dantien is in the chest, near the heart.
It is where we find our sense of love and responsibility to community, and is a higher level when concentrating on meditation and contemplation.
The upper Dantien is the "Third Eye", above the eyes in the forehead. It is associated with the Pineal Gland and is the highest level Dantien to open and meditate through. It is associated with psychic energy, extreme spiritual experience and all that is metaphysical.
This is the Dantien that is also opened up with drugs such as LSD, Magic Mushrooms, Peyote, etc. The problem is, some people who experiment with psychedelic drugs have no grounding in their sense of self or sense of community, found in the lower Dantiens. They have taken a short-cut on the long journey, but their vehicle has hit a bad stretch of road and trouble occurs. They have a Bad Trip...
So for young people, especially those that have no sense of self or sense of community, MMA is a similar short-cut. They may be given dangerous fighting skills, but in the wrong hands this can be socially and legally risky. Traditionally, Martial Arts Masters withheld the most dangerous techniques for only advanced and trusted students. Of course, this was in the era of the firearm, where Martial Arts stopped being a profession and moved into society as cultural expression and personal self defense. It was also at that time when philosophy and spirituality (something the typical soldier didn't need) was meshed with the fighting skills.
It's OK to take things one-step-at-a-time. We don't have to take the short-cut and risk a bad trip.