Studying martial arts is not
just a hobby, or something to occupy our time twice a week. Martial arts is a way of life. It
is the method we undertake to strengthen our body, mind, and
spirit. What exactly does this mean?
The body is
strengthened first because this is the easiest and quickest to do. You must be
physically in shape and capable of defending yourself by executing the movements
in LOTUS. You can know how to do one hundred techniques, but if you arenít
physically capable of doing them, then those techniques do you no good. Strengthening the body
is accomplished through traditional exercises, such as: stretching, jumping jacks, pushups,
sit-ups, strikes, kicks, and sparring. LOTUS specifically uses exercises
like tdream (kiba
dachi), daug boa dang, katas, self-defense techniques, and breakfalls to
strengthen the body.
Next, the mind develops. You must not only be physically capable of
executing the movements of LOTUS, but you must also have the knowledge of
technique to put the movements together. You cultivate the mind
by repetitive practice until your techniques become second nature. Practice,
experience, and academic study of the martial arts develop a strong mind, which
in turn is what controls the body.
The spiritual element develops last.
Spirit is the most difficult and time-consuming to develop. The
three main components of spirit are will, sense of significance, and personal
character. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. This is
also true of the journey to mastery in martial arts. A strong sense of will,
determination, and patience is required. The capacity of enduring hardship and
inconvenience of training will temper your spirit. You must also believe in
yourself and in your training. Without a sense of significance, you will not
put forth one hundred percent in your training. You will get out of LOTUS what
you put into it. Character describes the qualities that distinguish the martial
artist from others. The martial artist also strives to live the martial way.
The martial way
is a way of life that promotes harmony, knowledge, integrity,
respect, and courage.
Written by Tucker Axum III