Author: Shushinkai

So what is the true Martial Artist? The one with power does not beat the one without power. Moreover, the strong helps the weak, creating peace and harmony."

In November, 1992, four seminars were held in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart by Kenshu Watanabe, Shihan, on the theme, "The Martial Arts Spirit". The seminars were all well attended by martial artists eager or perhaps just curious to hear from Watanabe Shihan on the topic that sooner or later raises itself to those seriously practicing martial arts over a long period of time.

During the four hour seminar, participants were exposed to a number of subjects which form the spiritual and philosophical basis of genuine martial arts, and the foundation upon which oriental martial arts are based.

The nature of Ki energy and how to accumulate, ignite and emit Ki through martial arts techniques was discussed. A highlight of the seminar was Watanabe Shihan taking the groups into the open air and showing them how to see Ki in the air. Although not everyone was able to see Ki immediately, those who did were able to extend their martial arts knowledge in a very practical way.

The next subject dealt with aura, and covered what aura is, how it can be seen and how to strengthen one's own aura. It was explained to participants that through vigorous and dedicated training in the martial arts, along with the development and strengthening of a number of human characteristics, aura could be developed to the point where other people would be able to feel the aura being projected by the martial artist. These characteristics covered correct sight, thinking, words, behaviour, life, effort, thought and meditation.

A session on breathing and meditation followed, in which Watanabe Shihan explained the differences between Buddhist and Taoist methods of breathing, and demonstrated how to correctly employ reverse breathing techniques. In discussing meditation, the seminar brought the principles of Ki circulation and breathing into practical application. Participants were introduced to the meditation techniques of circulating Ki energy through the aura body using the microcosmic orbit.

Finally the seminars turned attention to "self enlightenment", which is of great interest to most martial artists, because they understand it to be the ultimate goal of martial arts training, and the reason for so many years of study, self improvement, sacrifice and effort. Watanabe Shihan brought a very interesting viewpoint to the seminars; one that reflects the ancient traditions which have to a large extent become lost in modern martial arts, particularly those developing away from their oriental roots.

"There are many Martial Arts and Western fighting systems. Although the postures and the movements are distinguishable from one another, it is nothing more than the strong beating the weak, the fast defeating the slow, the one with power beating the one with less power : the beast fighting art.

All this is related to natural-born ability. It is not related to true Martial Arts Spirit.

So what is the true Martial Artist?

The one with power does not beat the one without power. Moreover, the strong helps the weak, creating peace and harmony."

Drawing examples from ancient texts of old masters, Watanabe Shihan illustrated the practical consequences of achieving self enlightenment.

The many martial artists who sought to extend their studies of their own chosen art through attending the seminars were treated to an unusual and thought provoking experience. For many it prised open the door to further development, and no doubt many have already begun exploring for further supplementary reading and experiences.

In conclusion, Watanabe Shihan emphasised the true pathway of the legitimate martial artist:-

"As a martial artist, one has to polish one's spirit through a lifetime training of the martial arts in order to become a true person who dedicates one's life to universal peace and harmony."