Okay, so I was prowling around last night and happened to come upon a gods-awful stack of notes, sketches, writings, etc, that I've put together over the years in which I've been developing my own martial arts system (or, rather, "my own approach" to martial arts as not only a system of self-defense but also as a guideline to a way of life). Anyway, I decided, after reading over the first few pages of what I've thus far called "The M'kyo Jabala Handbook," that posting bits of it here might prove to be interesting one way or another.
Now, while I've said that these writings were done with the development of M'kyo Jabala in mind, they also tend to lean towards a "fantasy narrative" in parts (I learned when I started instructing my children that when you can immerse lessons in a story that fascinates them, the lessons are absorbed more readily... plus it's fun to imagine concepts that you're teaching to others as being the foundation of an entire priesthood in some alternate reality, y'know?).
Anyhoo... I won't try to explain any further, I'll just let you read and comment, question, or criticize as you will. On we go...
M'kyo Jabala: Practices and Precepts of the Combat Arts
For as long as there has been life there has been conflict – male and female, dark and light, predator and prey, war and peace – this is the way of the universe and thus, the way of the Balance. As such, conflict becomes harmony and, in turn, harmony regresses to conflict. When “life” first became self-aware – separating itself from the One Universal Consciousness – it immediately began to evolve, altering itself to provide for the things that it took for granted when it was held, tightly guarded, in the heart of the Balance. The need for sustenance, of course, was of utmost importance to this new, self-sufficient state of being; therefore, it began to hunt. However, in order for the hunter to be, so must there also be the hunted, and to this end – for conflict to become harmony – the hunted, like the hunter, also becomes self-aware and begins to alter it’s being in order to better protect itself from that which hunts it – defense mechanisms, as it were. So the Circle has continued from the beginning of what is known as Time and so it will continue until Time also returns to its beginning.
For countless ages, the hunter and the hunted, although possessed of free-will separate from the Universal, were still bound to and, in a way, dependant upon it for guidance in the development and application of attack and defense – in essence, the “spirit” took over from the mind to guide the body without thought.
As the ages progressed, so too did “life” continue to progress. Prey, out of need for continued survival, perpetuated its evolution to the point that it became a predator in its own right. Thus, driven by a similar need, that which was the predator progressed to a point where it was necessary to become more than what it was, being led farther away from the subconscious guidance of the Universe and closer to true “independent thought.” Consequently, independent thought became doctrine, doctrine then became law, and law thereby became widely accepted as “the way.” It is here, my brothers and sisters, that “life” began to lose true cognizance of its intended connection to the Balance; for when “the way” becomes accepted by the many only because it has proven effective in the hands of the few, we find that the predator can only prey upon itself.
When the Ancients became the predominant children of the Balance, they had traveled the Circle and Line to such an extent that a Triad was created in their perception of what had been and what is – Heavens above, Earth below, and Life in between. Within the bounds of this Triad, the Circle and the Line were reinterpreted and restructured again and again in a vain attempt to validate and secure their treasured “place”, despite the forces of Heaven and Earth that had guaranteed the physicality of that honor to begin with.
It was from this perpetual redefinition and – whether acknowledged or not – in accordance with the natural progression of things, the Ancients segmented their already skewed perceptions and, in essence, began to prey upon themselves. Thereby, a presumed need for martial or combat arts arose from the gifts originally bestowed upon them by that which is all. All of this, of course, continued to evolve throughout the Ages of the Ancients and, since one small group was able to prove that their methods effective while yet another group provided similar proof of the effectiveness of their own techniques, “schools” of martial arts soon became “The Way.” These schools, enrapt by the dogma of their differing interpretations of “The Way”, created what became strict forms within which were confined the rules of combat.
“Rules of Combat.” A conflict in terminology, my brothers and sisters; for, in a true combat situation there are no rules and “The Way”, as defined by an individual school of thought, becomes meaningless. Only that which is truly useful to one’s nature can be effectively applied and utilized in the true arena of combat and, as such, you cannot find your answers anywhere else but within yourselves. In the texts that follow, we will examine how and why this is so, and hopefully, return the “combat arts” to their beginnings where they belong and are best applied.
The Shodan Temple at Lunamere, Bellamoon
Posted on 2007-04-05 at 15:17:03.
Edited on 2007-04-05 at 15:29:06 by Eol Fefalas
Long story made short...I was writing a story a few years back about a girl named Aedyn Dai. At the time, Rob (Eol) & I were working together and he was working on stories about a Shodan priest called Ch'dau. Well, one thing led to another and somehow Aedyn ended up being included in one of Eol's Shodan side stories. In it, she met Ch'dau and learned the ways of the priesthood and became the very first female Shodan Priestess. "Lyskhala" is the Shodan name bestowed upon her. It means "she who paints with words"
Anyhoo, these stories/lessons are very inspiring and helped lead me to my current state of being...happy with who I am and where I came from with little or no fear of things that once frightened me. They gave me strength, encouragement and guidance when I needed it and I will be forever grateful I was exposed to the wisdom they hold.
As for being married...yep we both are, and happily so.
Eol is my cosmic brother and I love him thusly.
(actually, more so than some of my blood relations )
I have one other friend who I feel this way about and she is my 'sister'. hmmm...that would make her and Eol like brother and sister too!! Hey Rob, Carrie is your sister by association. Never thought about it like that
Posted on 2007-04-05 at 18:18:17.
Grugg Mun is Fandatory RDI Staff Karma: 356/190 6171 Posts
M’kyo Jabala, unlike many other “standard” combat arts, does not have a specific set of rules or techniques to establish a distinct method. Instead, it utilizes all ways and means to serve its end; thereby making it “free”. As a combat or martial arts form it possesses everything, while in itself it possesses nothing. Rather than restricting practitioners to a strict, clearly defined set of rules or techniques – and thereby limiting the natural progression of the individual – M’kyo Jabala encourages the practitioner to explore a broader scope of open-ended techniques and incorporate or adapt those that suit them best into a personalized style, unique to that particular individual. In the practical application of combat arts this approach is essential to success, for without the constraints of “choreographed” movements, the practitioner is free to spontaneously interpret and/or adapt to any given situation without being constrained to specific, indoctrinated formulae which may result in an over-thinking of the situation.
More of this to come... was reading over it and realized that I needed to edit some things.
P.S. Yeah... we're just one bing happy family 'round yonder, ain't we?
“No way as way. No limitation as limitation.” – Bruce Lee
As I have mentioned, M'kyo Jabala is the culmination of my own study of several martial arts styles/systems, various religions/philosophies, and a "weird connection to the Universe" (e.g. the study of the energies that flow through, between, and around us). To that end, a lot of things that you'll find here, I'm sure, will sound familiar to some of you and call to mind things you've heard before. So, just so there is an understanding, here, I do not claim to have created all of the concepts and ideas discussed in these texts. My only claim to any of it is that I have attempted to piece it all together, present it to you, and allow you to take from it what you will. As the late, great Bruce Lee was so fond of reminding his own students; "Absorb what is useful..."
All of that said, one of the primary systems that I've based the M'kyo Jabala concept upon is derived from the Godai (or "Five Great Elemental Manifestations) - a system, by the way, which , itself, is based upon and leads up to the rokku-dai ("Six Great Elements") as used in esoteric Buddhist study.
The elements of the Godai are often, quite erroneously, confused with the elements that make up the Periodic Table used in the study of chemistry in Western science. In fact, the Godai elements are not meant to be used in such a detailed and destructive way as the ones of Western science. “Things” are not broken down so far that they become indistinguishable from their real form. The 5-Element code is actually a means of cataloging and grouping like concepts, aspects, strategies, energies, etc. In fact, the Western system can actually be reorganized and classified using the Godai system.
The elemental codes, in ascending order are...
r’rshi ..."wind", and...
a’sche the "void"
The Elements as Classifications of "Groups"
The five elements of the Godai, their symbolic representation, their appearance in the human being, and their use, in the teaching of the shoda’s arts are:
Ma’at “Earth” — represents the firm, hard objects that appear in existence. Rocks are probably the best symbol of the earth element in nature in that they are incapable of change, movement or growth, without the help of the other elements.
In the human being, the “earth” element shows up in the body as the bones, muscles, and other tissues. In the mind, it is confidence; and emotionally it is a desire to have things remain as they are; a resistance to change. When under the influence of this ma’at or earth mode or ‘mood,’ we are aware of our own physicality and sureness of action.
As a means of self-protection, which is based, as are all of the strategies of the shoda’s art of operating with natural laws, on the student’s emotional level or mood when the attack starts. "Earth," as a code for Enlightened Self-Defense action, represents our desire to hold our ground and ‘crush’ the assailant’s attack with our strength. We are calm and unbothered by their threats and we firmly resolve to stop them in their tracks.
Ushnu “Water” — represents elements in a ‘flowing’ or adaptable state. Aside from the common identification with natural water sources, plants are a good example of the “water” element in that they are, while incapable of movement, capable of adapting to their environment (i.e. turning their leaves toward the direct sun, growing their root systems in the direction of the most nutrient rich soil, etc.)
In our bodies, the ‘water’ element represents the blood and other fluids necessary for life. Mentally, this code represents the ability to adapt to and change our strategy, or way of doing things, if change is needed and what we are currently doing is not working. At our core, it is our emotionalism and ability to ‘go with the flow.’
In the self-protection strategies of the shoda’s armed and unarmed combat arts, the ‘water’ element identifies both our defensive adaptation to the enemy’s attack and our ability to ‘flow’ with their actions. The feeling of being overwhelmed by their force or technique causes us to want to back up and create more space and time between ourselves and our assailant, as we attempt to cover and protect our targets from their attacking limbs.
Ts’stka “Fire” — as a code, this symbol represents those elements in a combustible, or energy-releasing state. It also symbolizes force and direction. Animals are a good example of the ‘fire’ element in that they are capable of movement and direction, though limited by primitive ‘programming’ or instinct.
In our bodies, this element is represented by our metabolism and body heat. Mentally, it is our directness, commitment and desire to be better than we are. Internally, from our heart come the qualities of will or intention, motivation and competitiveness as well as an outgoing or domineering spirit.
As a defensive strategy, ‘fire’ represents our committed spirit directed against our opponent as we take the fight to them. In reality, there is no such thing as a ‘fire’ technique per se — just as there are no water, earth, etc. techniques. There is only our energy level or emotional mood that causes us to move-in against the attacker.
R’rshi “Wind” — is the symbolic representation for elements in a gaseous state. Freedom-of-movement and an expanding nature are the keys here. Again, apart from the naturally identifiable ‘things’ alluded to by it, the ‘wind’ element is best symbolized by human beings. Human beings, in their lower or most common states of development, are capable of movement, direction and have intellect; the trait necessary for development, growth and overcoming the limiting tendencies of programming and the primitive instinct from our ‘animal’ nature.
In our body, the ‘wind’ element is our respiration and the processing of oxygen and other gasses between cells. Mentally, it is our intellectual capabilities and our ability to be ‘open-minded.’ Emotionally, we are carefree and not influenced by stress.
As a basis for self-defense, this element shows in our desire to evade, and stay just beyond, his reach. We naturally want to avoid any conflicts or, at least, a direct confrontation. Our strategy is reflected in our turning and evasive movements that allow us to flank him and smother his assault attempt if necessary.
A’sche The “Void” — is the code for the sub-atomic or ‘creative’ foundation of all that is. Actually, the term “void” is probably a bad translation when compared to the definition of what this element represents. The English language word “de-void,” as in the absence of any pre-determined shape or character, is much closer to defining the nature of this element.
Human beings in a higher conscious state are the representatives of this element, just as the sub-atomic material that forms the atoms that group into the molecules that form all other material things in the universe are the base example from nature.
In our bodies, the ‘void’ element is our ability to think and communicate with others. Mentally and emotionally it represents our creative nature, as well as our personal means of self-expression as we identify with and operate in the world around us.
As a self-protection method, the ‘void’ represents several tactics. They are:
Our communicating with the attacker in an attempt to diffuse the situation before it becomes physical.
The creative and spontaneous flow between the lower elements as we adapt to and alter our techniques as our emotional state changes from moment to moment. We literally ‘make-up’ the technique as we go.
Our ability to ‘let go’ of any pre-set techniques or mental chatter about “what we will do if he...,” and clear our mind so that we can see and pick up the sense-impressions and feelings that will tell us what he is doing or preparing to do to us.
The application of the strategy of altering the attacker’s perception of truth and falsehood. Our ability to make the attacker think we are doing one thing when in fact we are doing the opposite is key here.
The Godai elements, as codes for action in a self-protection situation, serve as a guide for the student, not in learning set techniques or ts’stkata as such, but in relating to their emotional moods and responses, and their influence over the student’s mental and physical options.
It must be remembered that, as human beings we have a ’natural’ way of learning effectively and efficiently. A physical, hands-on approach, coupled and followed by theory leads to an emotional feeling about that which we have learned. This feeling could be good (we like it), bad (we dislike it) or neutral (we neither like it or dislike it.) Unfortunately, we deal with stress (read: fights) in just the opposite way.
First we experience an emotional response about the situation, encounter, environment, etc. Based on whether we are attracted or repelled, etc., we form a mental strategy based on what we know and what we think we can do, and finally we go into action. Though taking several sentences to describe, the actual impulse to response time takes only a fraction of a second.
Beginning students, more often than not, do not understand the defensive strategies implied in the techniques being learned, let alone have an awareness of their emotional state at any given point. The Godai then, is a model that can be used as an expedient - as an example of the Enlightened trait known as "skillful means" - to help explain the modes in which we operate, their prompters, and the possibilities available based on what the body is, and is not, capable of when under the influence of each emotional state.
...you and I have discussed more than what I've got posted here, dear Kohai. This is by no means all of it... just need to get the rest of my thoughts/notes/etc in a more presentable format before I can post them here.