Author Archives: Josh Simon

Shodo – Integral calligraphy anyone?

khanji for do  One of the things I love about my co-sensei, Sensei Frank Smith, at the Integral Martial Arts class is his understanding that here in this group we do a martial ART for the purpose improving not only our bodies, but also our minds and spirits.  In Integral terms, I’m talking about first quadrant parts of the self: the gross, causal, subtle, and non-dual.  The great thing about having that attitude is it makes you willing to see the martial applications in all things and teaches you ways to use normal activities to improve your martial ones and vice versa.  In this case, we had a class on Japanese calligraphy, or Shodo last Thursday.… Read more...

Purpose of the Integral Martial Arts Class Log

 

For about one year now I have been teaching an Integral Martial Arts class at the Ridley Sports Club in Ridley, PA.   What has been most interesting about the class is that the practitioners and students are not actively knowledgeable about Integral Theory, yet they understand its suitability and application to the martial arts.  For me, Integral Theory has become a framework to explain pretty much everything.  For them, it’s this crazy stuff that Sensei talks about which they file away in their mental files.log_pic

This is not a bad thing, necessarily because it gives me great opportunity to explore Integral Theory in “normal” settings, i.e.… Read more...

Integral Martial Arts: A deeper look at the Purple Stage

More research behind me…. more insights brewing…
I have been reading about the Okinawan karate masters of the mid-1800’s to the 1930’s. They include the great ones like Tode Sakugawa, Sokon Matsumora and the masters of generations after them like Yatsusune Itosu and later. These people lived in a different world than exists today, even in modern Okinawa, let alone in the rest of the world. In their time, Okinawa was an independent nation state which paid lip service to both China and Japan in order to keep afloat. Meanwhile it leveraged its geography as a central stopping point between Japanese and Chinese trade routes to enrich itself and its people.… Read more...

Integral Martial Arts: Skill level and how it relates to Stages

Lately I have had a lot of time to hunker down and do some research on Martial Arts. I am not even done yet, and I have found a lot of things that have both clarified and muddied the waters of fitting an Integral Framework onto the Martial Arts.

I will give you a good one to think about. How are skill levels and Stages related?

On the one hand, skill level represents progress and development along a Line. In the Martial Arts someone’s proficiency in their art closely resembles the kinesthetic Line, if you think of skill level as being how good a person’s form, conditioning, poise, and accuracy is.… Read more...

Integral Martial Arts: Reconciling Chi

This is a post I wrote on Facebook about a year ago, and am transferring it here now. Keep in mind that I use Personal, Social, and Physical in place of Good, Beautiful, and True throughout.

Another area of martial arts which can sometimes be controversial is chi. Perusing the blogs and forums out on the internet will reveal much colorful discussion, sometimes bordering on uncivil, with regards to the existence of chi and what it does. As might be expected, the viewpoints on it are partial and reflect the Stages of the people who post about it, as well as our upbringing in martial arts.… Read more...

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