Friday, September 13, 2013

Katsujinken and polishing the fire engine

Some years ago I heard someone at church refer to apologetics without evangelism as being like spending all your life polishing and maintaining a fire engine but never using it to put out fires.
Similarly, we like to claim that we train martial arts so that we never have to use them.  Now, I understand what the folks that use that cliche are talking about - there is a tendency for martial arts practice to diminish our desire to get into physical fights and hurt other people.  We train so that we never have to use satsujinken - the killing blade.
But what about the other side of the coin - katsujinken - the life-giving blade?  What about the constructive, beneficial skills that budo builds within its practitioners?
Isn't it kind of pointless to practice martial arts all our lives so that we never have to use them (to help other people and to build a better world?)
Let's stay in the dojo and hone our swords - but then let's get out of the dojo and be a beneficial, constructive force in our communities. 
God knows, the world needs katsujinken right now.

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Patrick Parker
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