"Body, Mind, Spirit"




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