The way of the warrior – what other path deals with our humanity in such broad interconnected terms:
• External observation
• Co-operative study
• Physical activity
• Physical awareness
• Mental approach
• Intellectual models
• Emotional awareness
• Personal development
• Independent thought
• Spiritual awareness
• Awareness of self in relation to others
• Healing of self and others
There are many approaches that offer something similar, e.g. calligraphy, meditation, yoga, archery, flower arranging etc. – the list is endless – in fact one can apply the common principle to any field of human activity. What I have noticed is that anything of value has generally already been co-opted into martial arts in some form or other.
So, for example, the principles of psychology are to be found in old martial arts training – originating from even older health models from Taoism and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) – and one can make a case that these old models of humanity informed the development of present western thinking in this area – and many others.
So, by being so inclusive, the sphere of martial arts has indeed absorbed what is useful – and in doing so has tapped into the oldest thinking of what it means to be human. In fact, the very idea of personal survival at the root of martial arts begs those same questions.
So, in learning to survive we necessarily expose ourselves to the other questions of – what is to survive?, why?, how?, how better to survive?, what does it mean to survive?, after personal survival what then?
Given than the practitioner is so disposed and open to such questions – itself a matter of personal humanity – then the way is quite literally open to exploring the way of humanity.