Saturday, June 18, 2011

BOMP - Ch 13 - Michelangelo Principle

This year we are discussing the Book of Martial Power (BOMP) on Saturdays.

This is the principle that I learned years ago when I first started exploring martial arts.  I got a copy of Bruce Lee's most excellent book, Tao of Jeet June Do, and was blown away from the very first paragraph...
To obtain enlightenment in martial art means the extinction of everything which obscures the "true knowledge," the "real life."
Lee goes on to explain (though I couldn't find the exact quote) that martial arts mastery is not a matter of accumulation, but rather a subtractive process.  Instead of adding this technique on top of that one, and piling this artform on top of that other one, you begin stripping away the things that are not martially artistic. Just like Michelangelo said - chipping away all the stone that is not part of the angel of his vision.  As Pearlman puts it in BOMP...
Martial arts cannot be about accumulating practices that empower usbut rather ceasing practices that disempower us.
Figure out how your martial arts practice is holding you back and let go of it!
[photo courtesy of Wikipedia]

Patrick Parker
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