There is a strong connection between nature and oriental martial arts. This is the theme of the environmental awareness campaign that was spearheaded by a local martial arts club. I was among those invited to see the event and it was worth my time.
The day was dotted with several activities that promoted increased awareness of the current plight of our eco-system, more particularly the need for greener urban spaces and the upkeep of our remaining natural reserves. It kicked off with a ritual performance of martial art routines. Donned in combat suits – much like the perfect aikido gi that you can see at GoodByeNinja – the performers executed their routines with precision and synchronicity.
To complete the experience, oriental music was played at the background. It also helped that instructors were on standby providing brief explanation of the routines to the delighted spectators. I was especially inspired by how martial arts movements and techniques are closely linked to nature. In fact, many movements of the martial artist are derived from the actions of animals. The physical and mental strength of martial artists can also be mimicked from these animals.
Here are some fascinating animals that serve as inspiration for every martial artist.
Agile, precise and efficient, the leopard has always been a favored species in martial arts studios. These characteristics are what every martial artist dreams to develop. The leopard is a skilled hunter and moves with precision. It keeps silent and never wastes its energy on unnecessary movements. It also has an intent focus on its target and strikes quickly when the opportunity comes.
In the animal kingdom, the snake is feared because of its skill and kill-power. It may be small in size as compared with other animals but it turns this seeming disadvantage into his power. Though bare and soft, this reptile can instantly get hard as steel when the situation calls. This unique characteristic is a powerful advantage that can be used both in offensive and defensive stances. Furthermore, the snake has an awesome sense of awareness – something that martial artists are trained to master.
The only bird in this list, the crane is a popular inspiration for martial artists for a very long time. It may not be the fiercest in the animal world but the crane evokes natural grace. It exudes patients and keen awareness of the surrounding; and always ready to act or evade when attacked. As opposed to other animals, the crane is not the type that strikes first but is ready to be on defense when the situation calls. It also is a great hunter and snaps with deadly precision.
Perhaps, the most ferocious specie in the animal kingdom, the tiger is a favorite poster-boy of martial arts studios, clubs and schools. This feline species is known for its hunting prowess and superior physical attributes. It has agility, power and strength. The mere sight of it is enough to bring terror and fear to others. Another characteristic of the tiger that martial artists should find inspiration from is its watchful behavior. Like the crane, it does not waste energy on unnecessary moves, always making sure that it launches attack when situation calls for.
After the event, I was really amazed to see how oriental martial arts are closely linked with nature. Knowing new things about martial arts while pushing forth with an environmental advocacy made it a great day!