In the course of my career, I have been a researcher trying to publish new ideas to the scientific community. At this point I probably have a little over 30 publications in various scientific journals, conference proceedings, book chapters, and non-peer reviewed articles in trade magazines, and that does not count thoughts I have blogged or white papers I have written. Through all of this writing I have learned that new ideas are difficult to come by. Even if you apply a seemingly new idea to your area of research, you often find that the idea is not new. Whether you figured it out or not on your own, someone probably did it already!
So goes my expectations for the way I am trying to portray martial arts on this blog. I have not yet found it explained this way, but I’m ready for it to turn up. What have I found so far?
This is going to sound a little comical, but I have found a lot of talk of fighting. Go figure. In certain cases, I have found discussion about classes being offered that take both the “spiritual” and self-defense aspects of martial arts into account. Getting warmer. However even in these cases, I find certain things missing that would classify the teachings by that school or person as “Integral” according to the theory of the class honoring AQAL.
I guess the biggest difference between what I am talking about and what is out there right now on the web is that I am trying to use martial arts as an all-inclusive tool to understanding Life, if one should choose to use it that way. Life includes a lot of things. After all, it’s Life! So while I am advocating that people are learning to fight, the understanding of fighting itself differs at each Stage of Consciousness. So does the purpose of fighting, as does it’s symbology. However, fighting only covers the “martial” part of “martial art”. There is also the “art”part where there are many opportunities to figure things out. To say that I teach martial arts for “spiritual” purposes is also true. However, again, it is partial. My class still includes things that many people don’t think of as spiritual. I happen to see all actions as part of the necessary and perfect expression of All That There Is, which therefore makes them automatically spiritual, but when I start talking about driving to work and making dinner afterward as spiritual, people tend to get lost because they usually only associate fancy meditation techniques with the term.
Let me reiterate: the intention of my class is to make the student a better fighter, but also a better meditator. Moreover, it will also make the student a better driver, a better cook, a better parent, and a better coworker among other things. Students in my class probably won’t be better fighters than if they had gone to a Gracie dojo to learn, and they won’t be better meditators than if they had gone to a Buddhist Temple, but if they wish to specialize in one or the other, I can help them find that somewhere else. Instead, what they get is a rounded awareness of all aspects of life in the 21st century suburban and urban setting, and since all of my students happen to LIVE in a 21st century suburban or urban setting,this is very useful to them.
The beauty of Integral Theory is that you can drop it onto an existing path to self-realization and bring that path into clearer focus. My idea (which I have not seen duplicated in the same way yet, but am giving it time) is to drop Integral Theory onto an existing martial arts class and make that class a path to self-realization and broadening of Consciousness.
It’s lonely though, waiting for other classes to come out of the woodwork and start exchanging. If you feel like you would like to, please contact me.