Thoughts from my recent blog...
Ritual, Sincerity, and Training
I've recently re-evaluated my feelings about the many rituals that accompany martial practice and have come to embrace them with a sense of purpose that creates mindfulness and consistency before I engage in my martial practice. When I was younger, I went through the motions of "bowing" just to get it out of the way so I could quickly move on to "the good stuff." I didn't realize that the sincerity contained in ritual prepares a mindfulness that enhances the "good stuff" so much more. The practice becomes an extension of both my physical and mental self.
I respectfully hold my hands together in front of my chest before I enter the ring at Sityodtong or when I greet or leave one of the trainers there. I enjoy bowing as I walk into a dojo or before I step out on the mat for Jiu Jitsu practice. I bow my martial art fusion class in as a group and we clap twice in unison, signifying the cleansing of the area in the beginning of the class so we can focus on ourselves and our martial practice. At the end of class, we clap twice to signify that we have created an energy while practicing, and that our efforts and focus have helped us to release ourselves back into our everyday world. The devotion I give to the rituals helps me to be fully present during practice. The rituals become a tool, enabling me to unite my mindset with my physical practice.
The old philosophies of the traditional practices can coincide with the new practices of martial arts. It's important to me to pass them along in my martial arts fusion classes since martial arts are more than just about the physical challenge.
Now that I'm charged with fostering a love of the discipline in my students, I am honored to have the good fortune to be equiped with enough knowledge that will allow me to instill it in the minds and hearts of my class. Each week, I am both humbled and empowered by being the person that hopes to impart my knowledge into the students before me. I have forgotten how wonderful it feels to see the look of understanding and appreciation on a students face once he or she connects a movement to the concept behind it.
That is truly the "good stuff."
I see where your coming from,
I once read an article by He JingHan a bagua teacher, and he said something along the lines of not having to get into mode, put those certain shoes on so to speak, but to be able to abandon that as sort of a middle man to your practice.
This sort of threw me off because i am a ritual guy too, i like to get on my knees and place my head on the ground in respect to all those former masters who have developed and passed down the arts with righteousness, and the then stand and give appreciation to the four directions, and god. (my own interpretation) thats just my own little ritual, and its not something i would teach anyone.
and when i train, i am sure to clear all negative thoughts, since i dont want that to wash over my brain, training for me is a cleansing self reflective experience also,(sparring and combat another story!LOL), and i have a few mantras but i'll keep those secret.lol
OMG, that sounds so weird...lol
dont do this all the time, but ive done it before, only when im alone doing some deep (repetitive lol) training.
just trying to say that i understand what you mean by ritual.
not saying my ways are bound in stone, thats just the way i do it at the moment.