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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Martial Smarts"

“So it is said that if you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”
-          Sun Tzu, The Art of War

The martial arts is more than just learning how to kick ass (although admittedly, it’s the most fun). Martial arts is about the combination of mind, body, and spirit, working together as one. You have to do more than just rush forward at the enemy; you have to think about your next step, strategize your available options, and use your intuition to execute a powerful attack. To be able to harmonize all three aspects is really the heart of Shaolin. But you don’t have to be in a epic battle to practice this; your personal expression and how you approach life when faced with a difficult situation is also a part of your martial arts practice.

So far, most of the previous blog articles have touched upon the spiritual philosophy of our kung fu school. As the weeks progress, we’ll also start including more insight on how to prepare yourself mentally as well as physically for all of life’s challenges.
What can you do to protect yourself during the economic recession? How do you prepare your family and your home during a natural disaster? How can you emotionally deal when life seems to constantly throw you in the ringer? Learning how to approach the situations in your life will open up a world of better possibilities.  And if you have any suggestions or stories that you would like to share, please feel free to comment!

In the next coming months, our blog postings will hopefully provide the kind of advice that will apply in your everyday life as well as your martial arts practice.

We live in eccentric times on a social, economical, and environmental level, and the Systems within Systems blog wants to empower you to be prepared for whatever may come in the future. Stay tuned!

Grow, learn, teach!


  1. My mom forwarded this article along to me.

    I definitely think it applies to our training and has some good insights into being mindful and living in the moment.

  2. I often ponder a philosophical question, where I consider the difference between a "Soldier" and a "Warrior".

    A Soldier is a professional fighter. In other words: "Soldiering" is a profession like a doctor, lawer or CEO and militaries try to instill that sense of professionalism on its members.

    The most centeral idea to the profession of soldier is that of the idea of "The Unit". A soldier is a single piece in a well oiled machine whose purpose is to "bring the hurt to the enemy". They learn to fight as a unit. This is the soldiers "martial art".

    An interresting aspect of a soldier (or any professional) is that the person is not defined by the profession. At the end of the day a professional takes his/her "hat off" and no longer plays the role.

    In contrast a "Warrior" is a person who is completely devoted to the idea of "the martial". A warrior eats, breaths and lives the martial aspect. Once you are committed to being a warrior you are always a warrior from sunrise to sunset.

    The most centeral idea of the warrior is that they fill not only their mind with the martial but also their spirit and this permiates their entire lives.

    The warrior, to preform their function, must be commited to the ideals of loyalty, honor and duty because their entire life is one extended ceremony.

    This is why in the military they try to cultivate 'the warrior spirit': An undying commitment.

    To give a historical comparison, Samuri were Warriors, the Roman Centurian was a soldier. And to understand how they were different is to understand the difference between the Soldier and the Warrior.

    If you are pondering whether it is better to be a warrior or a soldier then you don't quite grasp the difference.

    A warrior can be a soldier and a soldier can be a warrior, but not by necessity. A warrior need not be soldier and a soldier need not be warrior.

    They both share in common a commitment to "the martial" but the warriors commitment it total making it more of an art. The soldier is commited to the martial but makes it a profession.

    The warrior spirit permiates.
    Soldiering is a duty.

    I think that systems within systems identifies with 'the warrior' aspect of the martial life.

    Which I think for the non-professional is a good thing. It brings purpose to all aspects of a persons life, which I interrperate to be the underlying theme with Systems within Systems.

    --Little John