Category Archive: Martial Arts Philosophy

A page to discuss the classic and modern Martial Arts Philosophies and philosophers.

Jul 01

KFEB #28 – The Master said “Learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous.”

This one is rather simple to ferret out where it comes from – pretty much any time that the words “the Master said” are used, it’s associated with Confucius. China would go through a major period in their history when people would do tests based on the different philosophies that made their way to prominence …

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Jun 24

KFEB #27 – A gentleman blames himself while a common man blames others.

I have always loved this one, although I never really understood it that much (beyond the intuitive level) when I was a teenager.  I’ve always tried to be a gentleman, and I’ve thought I’d succeeded on many occasions, but it’s not something that is readily available in a modern society; parts of, yes, but there …

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Jun 22

The Complete Book of Tai Chi, by Sifu Wong Kiew Kit

To be forthright, Tai Chi is not my primary style, but I love this book.  I consider this book to be akin to Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere (another review forthcoming) as it is a reference that helps any martial artist’s background in a conceptual manner. As the title suggests, this is a rather complete …

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Jun 17

KFEB# 26 – There is no greater lie than the lie that becomes necessary to defend another lie.

I have loved this saying since I read it – and, like most people, I have felt the sting of lies… Unfortunately, I have also felt the sting from lying… which only underscores the point. In a valuation of “lies”, which is what this KFEB entry is trying to say, the initial lie does not …

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Jun 10

KFEB #25) Do you know the fate of the praying mantis?

The entire passage is: “Do you know the fate of the praying mantis?  It angrily stretches out its arms to arrest the progress of the carriage, unconscious of its inability for such a task, but showing how much it thinks of its own powers.  Be on your guard, be careful.  If you cherish a boastful …

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Feb 18

KFEB #21 – It is impossible to please men in all things; our only care should be to satisfy our own consciences.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on the KFEB, so I thought it was about time.  This particular maxim, once again, comes from China; Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the era, nor the source.  That being said, this one is rather straightforward and could be rooted in most belief systems. I …

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Aug 31

The Unfettered Mind, by Takuan Soho (17th Century CE)

If you’ve ever read the Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) by Miyamoto Musashi, and most practitioners of Japanese martial arts styles have (or have been recommended to), and want to see how Zen Buddhism can apply to Martial Arts, then this is the book for you.  I highly encourage any reader to …

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Jul 20

Thoughts on the Kung Fu Exercise Book (KFEB)

When I was a young man of around 16 years of age, my Uncle (who introduced me to Martial Arts) gave a gift of slightly yellowed, handwritten pages of philosophical snippets; something that I have cherished ever since.  He told me that he was lending them to me to help me with my philosophical development, as …

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Jul 18

KFEB # 90 – What a man dislikes in his superiors, let him not display in the treatment of his inferiors.

“What a man dislikes in his superiors, let him not display in the treatment of his inferiors.  What he dislikes in his inferiors, let him not display in the service of his superiors.” – Confucius, The Great Learning Chapter 10, para 2. So, I’ve tagged this particular entry into the Kung Fu Exercise Book (KFEB) as …

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Apr 27

Empty your cup…

Most Martial Artists will have heard some variation on the “Empty your cup” at some point in their training career.  For those who have not, or would like a reminder, here are two of the many incarnations – Empty your Cup (long), A Cup of Tea (short).  Even if you are not a Martial Artist, you …

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