The Value of Silence in the Martial Arts
Karate, Gung Fu, Taekwondo…no matter what martial art…they need silence to grow.
My first hint of this was the ‘empty’ in Empty Hands, which is the literal translation of Karate.
Empty hands, and empty mind. A zen thing.
Not how many tournaments you can win, not how ‘bad’ you are, but how silent you can be.
A light bulb depends on space to create the spark that lightens society. Is not space emptiness? Silence?
The human being is a light bulb, a machine through which sparks energy. But he blathers so much that there is no silence, thus, he never turns on those extra sensory perception tools like telepathy.
He is left with the sound of his body, a noisy thing that obscures his real thoughts.
A human being must create silence, and then the light bulb can go on.
When there is no sound he can create silence.
When there is no sound he can listen…and hear.
Hear his own thoughts.
Hear the thoughts of others.
When I was in the city I found it difficult to work out. I had done martial arts in such a way, and for so long, that I wasn’t interested in speaking, and the speaking of others disturbed the silence.
Humans are a loud variety.
Their heads actually make enormous noises, but the noises are beneath the human band of hearing. Thus, he is guilty of noise pollution, a machine trundling through life making squeaking gurgling sounds that are deafening to animals, but nothing to himself. He has made sure he can’t hear his own noise.
When you create enough silence the world speaks to you.
You can hear the animals look at you.
Animals are silent. They know how to listen. They never bothered to learn how to speak. Their ‘speech’ is more in action, pose, posture, grin.
Humans are so miserable.
They talk and they talk and they talk, and the world never listens.
Try the martial arts.
Try them blindfolded in a room without lights late at night.
Move by using your imagination.
Do your karate or kenpo or aikido in silence, lessening even the slither of bare foot over carpet, doing without noise.
Until not even your breath can be heard.
Breathless Martial Arts.
When you finally succeed in making perfect silence, then will you hear the true martial arts.
Then will you hear the world.
Then will you hear yourself.
Al Case has been studying the Martial Arts since 1967. Tai Chi Chuan is perfect for creating silence in the Martial Arts.