Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

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Give It Time
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Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

Post by Give It Time » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:24 pm

I'm putting this question here, because the discussion could go on non-staying-faithful direction.

Buddhism is a pacifist religion with non-harming being one of it's major tenets.

The Shaolin Monastery is a Chan Buddhist monastery located in China and their monks are some of the most kick a≤≤ martial artists in existence.

Which brings me to my question:

What's up with that?
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

Anon70
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Re: Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

Post by Anon70 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:35 am

No idea but you made me laugh :)

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moksha
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Re: Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

Post by moksha » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:40 am

Give It Time wrote:
Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:24 pm
What's up with that?
Some of the practices seem like a form of yoga in terms of stretching, balance, and achieving a centeredness.

No doubt the Shaolin Monks made for rigorous defenders of the faith, although perhaps not as violent and pro-active as our own ninja Orin Porter Rockwell.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Give It Time
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Re: Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

Post by Give It Time » Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:48 am

moksha wrote:
Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:40 am
Give It Time wrote:
Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:24 pm
What's up with that?
Some of the practices seem like a form of yoga in terms of stretching, balance, and achieving a centeredness.

No doubt the Shaolin Monks made for rigorous defenders of the faith, although perhaps not as violent and pro-active as our own ninja Orin Porter Rockwell.
Thank you, anon.

Moksha's comment also made me laugh.

In learning a little bit more about this. The legend is that Bodhidharma, one of the first Buddhist monks, brought Buddhism to China. The belief is that yoga, the Indian preparation for meditation, didn't work in China's colder climate. So, martial arts were a form of moving meditation. However, I kind of cry bull on the martial arts as meditation. I don't completely call bull on it. Just kind of.

Tai chi is a martial art that is a form of moving meditation. The intense physical training these monks endure, I can see as a form of strengthening the person body and soul. I can see sparring as practice in solving problems. However, sparring is where the line is drawn for me. It is impossible to spar without someone being harmed. So, the martial arts as meditation ends for me when the first blow is delivered. I do know that the practice is only to be used in self defense and I think that's fine, but it was my understanding that Buddhists were supposed to be pacifist to the point of Anti-Nephi-Lehi or the Amristar Massacre. It's better to die in the cause of peace than to cause harm to another sentient being.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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nibbler
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Re: Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

Post by nibbler » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:22 pm

A student said to his master, "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?

The master replied, "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war."

Not Buddhist, but it's along the lines of the question in the OP.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Red Ryder
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Re: Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

Post by Red Ryder » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:54 pm

Rigorous activity counter balances celibacy?
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Give It Time
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Re: Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

Post by Give It Time » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:39 pm

nibbler wrote:
Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:22 pm
A student said to his master, "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?

The master replied, "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war."

Not Buddhist, but it's along the lines of the question in the OP.
Good point. There is also a type of martial art where violence isn't met with violence, but the attack is diverted and then the defender uses the aggressor's momentum against him. I actually think this is an important skill. The basic tactic could be employed in many instances, but it would be in the combat training and practicing the moves over and over that the method gets seared into the muscle memory and brain. In this light, I can see being a sparring partner as service, but that also gets my mind kind of twisty.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Give It Time
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Re: Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

Post by Give It Time » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:41 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:54 pm
Rigorous activity counter balances celibacy?
This thought did occur to me and I think it's one of the most valid ones out there. Channel the physicality into martial arts. Broken ribs and sprained ankles aren't really aphrodisiacs.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Mad Jax
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Re: Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

Post by Mad Jax » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:31 pm

Buddhism isn't pacifistic, it's non-aggressive. There may be some sects of Buddhism that are but it's not universal.

Muay Thai is one of the most devastating martial arts and the vast majority of Thailand is Buddhist.
Free will is a golden thread flowing through the matrix of fixed events.

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Give It Time
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Re: Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

Post by Give It Time » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:53 pm

Mad Jax wrote:
Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:31 pm
Buddhism isn't pacifistic, it's non-aggressive. There may be some sects of Buddhism that are but it's not universal.

Muay Thai is one of the most devastating martial arts and the vast majority of Thailand is Buddhist.
What I've further learnt is Kung Fu started when a Buddhist? Daoist? monk went from India to China. The Wudang Mountains, specifically. He stayed in a monastery and noticed the monks were so out of shape, they'd fall asleep while meditating. So he taught them some exercises based on yoga to get them in better shape. He incorporated movement with the exercises and Kung Fu was born. The exercises are also meant as a study of animals in nature. They are to use their skills in defending themselves and protecting the oppressed--particularly the village where their monastery is. So, you're right. Non-aggressive, rather than pacifist and there's a huge difference.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Mad Jax
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Re: Buddhist Monks And Martial Arts

Post by Mad Jax » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:50 am

I think you might be thinking of Jainism when you talk about pacifist religion, though I hesitate to assume anything concerning another's thinking.
Free will is a golden thread flowing through the matrix of fixed events.

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