Interview with Forrest Morgan, part 2

Ikigai has posted part 2 of the Forrest Morgan interview.

When I was reading part 1 of the interview, a lot of it hit home. Again, Mr. Morgan’s answers to questions in part 2 hit home.

MA: Do you have any tips for taking a dance or sport art and enhancing it to put it more inline with warrior training?

FM: That’s a hard one to answer in brief.  The short answer is read “Living the Martial Way”, but I know that is a bit of a cop-out.  So allow me to offer an answer only slightly longer.  First, recognize from the start that you aren’t going to get all you need from a sport art and certainly not from dance.  You will need to broaden your training.  Second, once you come to that conclusion, ask yourself why you are practicing the sport or dance.  If you get pleasure from that activity separate from any expectations of warrior training, fine, carry on.  But if you’ve been deluding yourself in thinking you are practicing a martial art when you’re dancing or playing a sport, it’s time to face facts and assess your tactical training needs more objectively.  Dance is dance.  Sport is sport.  Neither are martial arts.

The study of martial arts is personal. While I wasn’t jiving with the direction of my Kuk Sool training, I know that direction was more than fine for a lot of other people. I know some people from my old dojang just loved the workout, and without question the workouts are intense. I know some people study Kuk Sool because they love the acrobatics one can do. Some people like the traditional aspects. Some people just enjoy the social aspect. If you like just doing “fancy dancing” then that’s great and fine. The bottom line is: you need to be clear about your goals and ensuring that you’re working to meet them. When I started my martial arts training, my main goal was exercise — something to get me out of my chair and away from the computer so my body didn’t degrade into worthlessness, and that my physical activity was also mentally stimulating (e.g. jogging is boring). But over the years my goals changed and so I needed to continue my martial arts study along a different path.

The bottom line is: be sure you are honest with yourself and your goals. Continue to strive to meet your goals.

I suspect, however, that truly serious aspiring warriors in non-warrior dojos will eventually seek additional training elsewhere, just as I did, to fill the technical and tactical holes you can’t fill with a book.  Remember – all systems are artificial, so no one system can fill all of a warrior’s needs.

Emphasis added. I think the only person that can be served by particular system is the creator of that system. For related thinking, consider ShivWorks’ systems approach to building a profile.

Anyway, all good stuff here. Big thanx to Matthew Apsokardu at Ikigai for conducting the interviews. Good reading!

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