Holistic Martial Arts. What does that mean?
The term "holistic" is being used a lot in different contexts, and for many different things. Most people seem to connect it with ideas of health, mental balance and positive thinking. It also brings meditation to mind, contemplation and ancient methods of healing and well-being. But what does it mean when we talk about
"holistic martial arts"?
First of all martial arts is about the connection of body and mind. It is not about sport or fitness in the general meaning of those words. It is not meditation nor does it have contemplation at its core. It is a combination of both sport/fitness and meditation/contemplation.
The arts of fighting have a rich tradition of considering not only conflict, but also the questions of why we fight and how we should be fighting to remain a good person.
Physical exercise blends in with essential questions of survival and health, but also with matters of morals, of manners, of mercy, and of responsibility.
At the core of our Missing Link training are ZanShin – the balanced mind – and ShoShin – the beginner's mind. Being calm and open minded even when conflicts escalate is the central motive in our training. It teaches how to cope with problems and stay healthy in the face of challenges.
And yes, there is a physical aspect to it. The way we hold ourselves, the way we treat our body and the way we move are very important in achieving mental stability.
We help to manage stress and anxiety, and we support the fight against common illnesses of the modern world.
Martial arts are philosophy in movement, rooted in Asian traditions. Many of them are not really applicable in modern Western life – we are not all buddhist monks living in a remote, peaceful place somewhere in the mountains, to stress a stereotype. But that makes martial arts even more interesting.
Different from meditative techniques, our training has a low entry threshold and offers learning experiences with a lot of sweat and fun, in a group of friendly people. There simply is no easier approach to ancient Asian wisdom than via martial arts.
If you want to learn more about the philosophy behind Missing Link and the way we work against "debodification" in a modern world full of technology and multimedia devices, have a look at the attached pdf.
It is an excerpt from the book "Missing Links of Martial Arts", detailing the challenges of modern life and what martial arts can do to help – if the teachers are able and aware.