The four main practices used to achieve enlightenment are the way of the fakir, the way of the monk, the way of the yogi, and the way of the martial artist. In this bit of scribbling we shall go over what is special about the way of the warrior. After all, enlightenment is probably a pretty nifty thing to reach, and it would be a good idea to speed up any individuals progress on the way to enlightenment.
It is said, of the four paths to enlightenment, that the way of the martial artist is the fastest. This is an interesting viewpoint of enlightenment, for one would think that a path dedicated to things war would be the slowest. After all, learning how to maim and destroy one’s fellow man would seem antithetical to pursuing enlightenment.
First, the warrior deals with the things of the world. He does not turn his attention inward to seek enlightenment, but does his seeking in a much more overt manner, seeking out conflict and learning to deal with it. This entails, ultimately, giving up the desire for conflict, none of the other disciplines seek out conflict in this manner.
Second, the warrior is concerned with what is real in this universe. We could have a good discussion concerning what is real, but in place of that mental exercise let’s just say that the universe can be described as objects in motion. The martial arts are the only one of the four practices that deal directly with a universe filled with moving objects.
Third, the warrior is much more active in adhering to his discipline of choice. I say this because the discipline of studying the martial arts is an active one. Simply, the warrior has something to do on his way to enlightenment, the other disciplines are somewhat lacking in the necessity for doing something.
Fourth, there is a built in guiding factor in the way of the warrior. Simply, if the technique does not work, the result will be noted as direct impact on the face. This ‘feedback’ device tends to always hone the technique towards perfection and enlightenment.
To conclude, let me point out that every method of enlightenment has its strengths and weaknesses. Heck, everybody knows that. So the point of this article is not to disparage other methods, merely to point out how glorious the one you are immersed in is.
You are the one, you see; you are the karateka and the kung fu student and the aikidoka and…the taijiquan practitioner. You spread a discipline, and you are in a hurry, no matter how slow you think you move, to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Godspeed you on your way.