“The Transmission Outside The Scriptures.”
Sounds Heavy, I know, but here’s another application.
That’s a phrase used in Zen Buddhism to describe the phenomena of enlightenment. But a transmission beyond name and form, or formality, occurs in all successful forms of teaching.
When I teach martial arts I’m looking to be a vehicle for the transmission of certain knowledge and skills based on my own learning and development. This knowledge can be conceptual and fluid or specific and fixed. My success as an instructor is in “filling the cup” as fully as I can according to the students capability, and sometimes, expanding their capability to receive more.
I’m not the one who’s looking to create “Warriors,” or even “Fighters.” That’s someone else’s job, a necessary one, but not mine.
For myself, martial arts training and practice have been about personal development: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
As an instructor that’s what I’m ultimately looking to be, a doorway to the students personal development along those lines as well. I can’t step through for them, I can’t go on the journey for them, I can only point the way and give them some supplies.
“Make me a kick ass fighter.” For that you have to go to the “ThrowKickPunchFaceDo” gym down the road, and good luck to you! I’m not the right instructor for everyone.
This transmission I’m talking about does not come from a belt, certificate, book, awards, or video. It really doesn’t come from the outside at all. It’s realized and appropriated by the student, regardless of the medium, or it is not. Those externals do not verify the internal.
A group of martial artist called the “Dog Brothers” have a saying that goes like “higher consciousness through hard contact.” It sounds both humorous and scary, but it does allude to the truth of the matter, higher consciousness.
There are lots of “Black Belts” and “Certified” people out there teaching martial arts that lack higher level skills, or lack the other characteristics that I believe separate “Martial Artists” from plain ol’ brutes.
They might be able to train you to do stuff, follow the outline, go by the numbers, but are they transmitting the experience “beyond the scriptures?”
Anyone can learn “techniques.” Doing the moves in order, at extreme ranges, just makes you an athlete.
Are you becoming a better person through your martial arts training? A better citizen, lover, parent, neighbor? That involves mindfulness, focus, awareness, persistence, insightfulness, tolerance, even compassion. These are the qualities you should be developing through your martial arts training; they also play a role in the ability to possibly physically defend yourself from violence.