Saturday, May 16, 2009


Have you ever tried to grasp the sparrows tale?

The names of form sequences often seem peculiar, sometimes people don't like them, many ignore them, redefine them, or throw them away.

Why do so many martial arts bear similar named sequence patterns? Why give a move the name, monkey steals peach? Why not call it man attacks genitals? What is the reason? To be secret? As a disguise?

Perhaps, just maybe, the descriptive names of the moves pertain to a little bit more than secrecy, but lets not count that out. What can we find in the funny little names and poetic descriptions that are not found in straightforward descriptions of the same movement?

The answer, as obvious as it is sublte is: attitude. Consider the monkey stealing a peach, monkeys evoke concepts of deftness, agility and cunning, maybe even an unpredictable playfulness, the attitude behind the name monkey steals peach speaks volumes, while to say man attacks genitals has no attitude, it has no flavor to it, in short it has no soul.

And what does a soul need?
That's right, Salvation!


Because the soul of martial arts is not immortal. This vital soul, this attitude is none other than what allows the expression of martial arts as a manifestation of the persona of the artist, without this personal expression there is no art. If there is no art, there is no martial art as that the flavor, the very soul is absent. The flavor of your expression is unique, the soul of your art is a facet of your own.

There is a difference between grasping the sparrows tale and performing grasp the sparrows tail after all, one is art, the other is dead movement, just empty choreography even if it is martial and deadly it is not art. The test of a martial art is not found in the martial it is found in the art, this subtlety goes all but unnoticed in these modern days. Art is about the very nature of the human experience, it can lead to enlightenment and it connects with the passion of individual. The martial is just violence, it is harming others, it has no soul, no attitude, no flavor but that of blood and the thirst for it. Without the martial, the art is nothing, but without the art the martial is but a road to the grave.

For the art to endure, you must endure.
The stake of the very soul of your martial art rest in your capable hands in every move you make.

Indeed: Have you ever tried to grasp the sparrows tale?