Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I am a Martial Artist, a poem

I am a martial artist.
I see through different eyes.
I see a bigger picture
when others see gray skies.

Though many can't conceive it,

I stand. . .facing the wind.
My bravery, not from fighting,
but from my strength within.

I am a martial artist.

I'll walk the extra mile.
Not because I have too,
but because it's worth my while.

I know that I am different,

when I stand on a crowded street.
I know the fullness of winning,
I've tasted the cup of defeat.

I am a martial artist.

They say I walk with ease.
Though trained for bodily harm,
my intentions are for peace.

The world may come and go,

but a different path I'll choose.
A path I will not stray from,
no matter, win or lose.

I didn't write this, Karen Eden did. I found it a few months ago while browsing the online catalog at centuryfitness.com. They have a bunch of items featuring this poem. I have a copy of it in front of me on my desk and often read parts of it in between tasks here at work. I'm always very high on spiritual stuff and such, but I especially like reading it while doing my lunchtime horse stance session. One day I'll have it memorized and will repeat it to myself during the horse stance :)

Many of you probably already knew it, but for those who didn't, I just wanted to share.



[Mat] said...

I like it.

Oniyagi said...

Thanks, that is good stuff. Something to keep you focused, kind of like the Litany Against Fear from the Dune series.

[Mat] said...

Man, that research on Kenpo is taking some time.

Turns out that Kenpo was use as a generic term back after the end of the second world war, when americans where in Japan. All styles that didn't have a name (including Chito-Ryu - the style I'm practicing) were called kenpo, at one time or another. Kenpo or Kempo meaning fighting method

Turns out it's a mixture of different cultures, depending on the kenpo style your practice. Chinese (the term is chinese) japanese, Okinawa, hawaiian and american.

It originates around year 1600 through the Mitose family and was later named Kosho-ryu. Origins are always blurry in martial arts.

Part Kung Fu, part karate, part kickboxing. In chinese, Kenpo means "fist law"

In the west, all kempo or kenpo styles are recognizable by their black gis which signifies a separation from "traditionnal" karate forms that have white gis which have begun their movement towards the sport karate form. The black gi is a way of saying that kempo is still deeply a defense martial art. Not a sport karate.

All kenpo style are derived from Mitose, a japanese born in hawaii.

Kenpo also finds its roots in Bodhiharma (the indian guy) - roots in chinese history. The kung fu part

From japanese/Okinawaiian history, it takes its karate part

In Hawaii, since many countries went there to escape the war, a great quantity of training method came together and were mixed. (here's a link : http://www.dragon-tsunami.org/Dtimes/Pages/article29.htm)
So, some japanese Jujutsu was incorporated.

James Mitose was born in Hawaii. And his martial art background is somewhat blurry too. Here's a link to that :

Howevert he learned kenpo or karate or jujutsu or name it, all modern kempo history comes down to him. Unless the kempo style is known as say (shorinji kenpo) derived from shorinji, but more rooted in self-defense (fist law)

anyways, I haven't finished that research and it's proving quite interesting. I haven't cross-referenced anything, so don't take it for cash, but it's a good starting point.

anyways, have a good day, I'll continue that research for a while. I'll look it up in Habersetzer's book and post it some day. I haven't gotten around to doing that yet.

FrogMan said...

Hey Mat, very interesting findings indeed. We are definitely rooted in self-defense, much more than say in a fighting sort of way. As you can find on this page (http://www.studiosunis.com/en/sec_art/art_inf.asp) Professor Cerio alaso trained in Hawaii so he rooted his style also in stuff you mention here, again, very interesting stuff.

The explanation of the black gi is also interesting, I'd never heard of it. Maybe interestng to know too that in our system, the Nick Cerio's Kenpo, beginners are not allowed to wear the black gi when they start. It's only after they've earned their blue belt that they are allowed to wear a black gi (progressions is white, yellow, orange, purple, blue...).

Thanks for sharing this!


supergroup7 said...

Thank you for sharing that poem. I have not read it before. I like some of the sentiments expressed within it, but it does not echo within me. I guess that I have found a similar, but different path than Karen Eden. You see, I don't feel "different" from other people. I see myself as just another human being in this whole world filled with people. However, I chose to express myself through my training rather than in skiing, dancing, baking, acting, etc. etc. It's not surprising to me that my training in the arts brings out so much good mentally, spiritually, and physically. It's just part of the package.

Todd said...

I like that poem as well. and the book that it comes from is great for students and teachers of martial arts alike. the stories have a very deep meaning and are good for any one to read.

Anonymous said...

I think the poem is great, it shows that martial artists are different, but not because they can hit harder, but because they have trained harder.