Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I am Budoka

I am a martial artist. In Japanese you might say, I am a budoka.

I am budoka. This makes me a scientist in the most difficult of sciences. To study the martial arts is to study physics, kinesology, biology, psychology, anthropology, chemistry and the myriad of science disciplines. The dojo is laboratory, class room and university were we study the science of the great masters that have come before us. Then as we grow in skill we become the professors, spending our late nights pondering the equations that will take our noble science in the next generation. The artist studies deep cause and effect relationships and continually searches for more sophisticated models to explain the intricate dance of conflict.

I am a budoka. To study the martial arts makes a philosopher. Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, truth, beauty, law, justice, validity, mind, and language. The martial philosopher pontificates on ethics and force. The martial mind turns to justice and law. We meditate on honor and learn to live harmoniously with an art that grants us great powers. To practice the arts is to study the living embodiment of philosophy.

I am a budoka, the arts that are the forge of the mystic. For the deep student the arts become the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight. The arts become a tool, a model, a regular practice, a prayer, and a constant challenge to our connection with our sense of mystery. We wear foreign monastic clothing, wield ancient weaponry, and build temples to our art. We deeply study spiritual phrases in foreign tongues to help us understand...whatever it is we seek.

I am a budoka. I study arts within arts. I study movement arts, speaking arts, the art of teaching. I have learned the interior design of dojos, and carpentry to build them. I have learned to write the Japanese symbols with a brush, a deep study line and balance. The Zen aesthetic infuses the budokas collective psyche and I have learned to have reverence of the infinite complexity in simplicity. Even this humble text I am writing here is an art form developed because of my passion for the grand art form that is budo.

I am a budoka. I seek to learn, to share, to challenge and to innovate. I wish to harness the sciences to build an ever deeping philosophy. This philosophy will be expressed in my art and relationships. I continue to study to gain a deeper understanding of the 'Do', or spiritual path that we walk. By walking a spiritual path I have gained the ability that is truly divine - to create art. Art is creation for creations sake, which is truly a divine act. I feel by drawing closer to the divine, we do what the great teachers intended us to do all along.

Walk In Peace,