Octagon Lesson One – History
Origins of the Octagon
No matter what people like to think. Martial Arts training is the result of a time of peace, not warfare. Today, begin that war is a big profitable business there is much propaganda about war. It is also very common today to see soulless combat being taught as a martial art.
Most of it is honestly ineffective garbage well packaged for the consumer. The origins of the arts come from India and Buddhist monks who were disciples of the historical Buddha. They traveled to China and found the monks in poor physical health and therefore began to teach them the war arts, in a time of peace for health purposes.
An excellent book to read on the history is the Bodhisattva Warrior which I will LINK HERE.
Philosophy of the Octagon
Being part of a Buddhist tradition the Octagon and its movement are based on a Buddhist Tradition called the 8 Fold Path of Buddhism. it is believed if you follow the 8 fold path you can reduce the suffering of life, and make yourself SAFE,
It was this knowledge that lead to the ideas and theories of moment in the Octagon. And when you learn, understand and apply this movement you become SAFE from attack.
But before we can get to the Noble 8 Fold Path we must discuss the 4 Noble Truths of life. Below is a brief explanation. This is an oversimplification, but will work for the purposes of what we are doing here.
The 4 Noble Truths
- The Truth of Suffering. Life is suffering. We no matter how well we try to think and behave SUFFER.
- The Truth of the Cause of Suffering. We suffer for many reasons but the one which is the root cause is desire. Desire is a good thing, however when it becomes an obsession because the desire is unfulfilled we suffer greatly. Then the tendency is to have actions that make the suffering worse.
- The Truth of the End of Suffering. Referred to in Buddhism as "Nirvana" this is the way life becomes when the suffering ends. I can talk for hours on what this means. But lets just say here that this is when life has REAL meaning.
- The Truth of the PATH to end Suffering. The Path to Enlightenment, to the end of Suffering is the 8 Fold Path of Buddhism. This is the Octagon of life..
The Noble 8 Fold Path
Here is a breakdown of the Noble 8 Fold Path to Enlightenment.
- Right Understanding - Knowing that the 4 Noble Truths are indeed true and just the way life is. Life is a challenge to be overcome.
- Right Thought - Thoughts become actions and then become things. Control of our thoughts is a must for a life with less suffering.
- Right Speech - Speak only when your words are of value. Right speech means to avoid untruth, lies and gossip. These ways of speech only lead to more suffering. If you cannot speak the truth, then at least do not lie.
- Right Conduct - To never fight to achieve self ends or do unnecessary harm. Right actions in all things.
- Right Livelihood - Your work in life needs to be of value to you and your family. If your job does not give your life meaning and is a benefit to your family and the community, then it is not the right job.
- Right Mental Attitude or Effort - Avoid negative emotions like anger. These happen to us all but staying in the emotion is a choice. As Buddha said "you will not be punished for your anger, but by your anger."
- Right Mindfulness - Having a clear sense of one’s mental state and bodily health and feelings.
- Right Concentration - Using mediation or prayer to keep the mind clear and focused.
The Eight Fold Path is also known as the "Dharma Wheel."
These philosophical ideals are what lead to the movement, the natural laws of movement that are True Self Defense. "In true self defense there is no body contact."
More to follow.
Yours in the arts,
Grand Master Art Mason