Martial Arts takes many forms and styles but in a way all can be seen as a path to personal enlightenment and a path to balance between the spirit, mind and body. There are 3 main focuses or groups in martial arts, at least from my perspective, and all them are Escrita com Luz. They are Combat, Control and Destruction. All of them have different focuses but all have an inner beauty in them that I will try to explain now.
What are Martial Arts
Martial Arts are forms of combats styles that are commonly used for defense or battles using weapons or your bare hands. It’s history spans thousands of years and is practiced in places like a house, a dojo or even the army. Because of how long Martial Arts have been around a lot of styles were made and this is part of the reasons why I think Art is in the name. Martial Arts are fluid and changeable which is how these styles were born, different variations of past styles to create the new one in an effort to advance it’s reason for being; Combat, Control or Destruction. Refinement and expression of a style is what makes it beautiful and a path to a personal enlightenment through one of the 3 focuses which I shall go over now.
Combat/Defense are the martial arts that are practical in actual fights and aim to end the fight quick but not in a brutal or lethal manner. Mostly used for defense or sport, examples included the MMA and Karate. Those that practice this are open to physical enlightenment through the refinement process known as battle. There is also a purely defensive side of this Martial Arts but I want to focus on combat since it gives the clearest path to enlightenment. Physical enlightenment is when you focus and refine your body to such a degree that you feel fulfilled with the knowledge that you have become somewhat of an independent being. It is the accumulation of power in one’s body with the discipline and focus to use it. A fight is like music and to be able to keep with the fast tempo is like being in a higher state of mind and body, that is when you have reached physical enlightenment.
Control are the martial arts that aren’t practical in actual fights but instead aims to give the practitioner spiritual awakenings, mental peace and stability. These are the flowery and showy martial arts shown in movies, especially many eastern films. Examples included Wing Chun and Tai Chi. Those that practice this are open to mental and spiritual enlightenment. The martial arts that focus on Control move their body in way that not only promotes good health but a sense of peace with oneself. It can help center you and reach a place of calm through fluid control of your body. Some styles also promote a feeling of unity with the universe. The real power of Control comes from the accompanying philosophy. Like how Combat is a strong and finely made sword confident in it’s power and stable in it’s apex state of being, Control is a rapier flowing like water at peace with it’s current condition able to adapt to what happens.
Destruction are the martial arts that are the most deadly in battles and are often used in war. Their aim is destroy their opponent in quick and brutal ways, examples include Muay Thai and Silat. Those that practice this are open to physical and primal enlightenment. I already discussed the physical enlightenment but what is primal enlightenment and how can Destruction be beautiful. Well just how a surgeon can be artful in his healing ability so can a warrior be artful in his ability to cause harm. When using such a destructive style one taps into the primal force we all have as humans, the animal side or what Carl Jung would call The Shadow. Taping into and using this force in battle can be a form of enlightenment, maybe not as bright as the traditional enlightenment but it’s still a personal awakening to understand and look at the dark forces that haunt us all. The true test comes afterwards, if the practitioner falls to the shadow or rises above and truly finds enlightenment. To have faced and understood the side of destruction and surpassed it, is a mark of someone who has become whole. But not all practitioners reach this so it’s hard and dangerous.
As you can see Martial Arts can be a rewarding and deeply personal journey and that is why it is Escrita Com Luz, that’s why it’s an art.