CLM 4, other than discussing a new training methodology, asks an important question…’why?’ When you read CLM 4, it may make you question a lot of what you have learned in martial art. Why? That’s exactly the question…why? Why have you studied? Why do you act as you do?
When you ask why…you can learn from it’s answer, if you look deep enough for an authentic answer.
Earlier this week I caught up with an old friend while I was up on business in Vancouver. Matt Dyck
Some of you Pramek fans will remember when I went up and taught for Matt’s old school in Vancouver years ago. These were great seminars and my first outside of the US (yes, Canada is outside of the US). We sat at a coffee shop for a while talking about martial art, life, kids, teaching, science. I was telling him about the Pramek rebrand and some of the concepts we’ll be using, and one of the new shirts. On the shirt, it’s very simple, it has written, ‘PURPOSE’.
After all these years, both of us decades into the study of martial art, movement, self-mastery, and teaching others…we talked about purpose. Pramek is still around, we’ve outlasted a lot of the folks we used to compete against. He’s got a new pursuit Primal Mechanics and is still teaching and developing new methods and ideas.
We sat there laughing, a little wiser, and a little grayer. We resembled youthful expats more than the starving (judging by that photo below, I was starving) artists we once were. In a way, we are expats, ronin that that martial art world turned materialistic industry has created over the years…the folks with no schools, masters, or homes other than those we make. We drank our coffees and asked ourselves if we are still doing all of this for the same reason we did when we first started decades ago.
Then we talked about one of the primary questions asked in a Pramek class…’why are you doing that? What’s the purpose?’
I told him about a lot of what I see nowadays – purposeless movement. Movement training in Pramek is, to steal a line from Sage Dynamics, purpose built. Loose movement gets grabbed in combat. Inefficient movement wastes bioenergy. Long term, the movement we use today either expands or limits the movement of our future self. More and more I see movement for movement’s sake, but one that doesn’t teach. It’s there for the camera, it’s there for the likes and the upvotes, but in terms of efficiency…or biomechanical understanding…it’s demonstrational movement. It’s movement meant to be copied, to produce really bad copies, or to produce flawed copies. The mimicry creates more likes and upvotes, but the original purpose – it’s lost. I know people who can teach movement, but teach it’s purpose, beyond ‘health’ – few.
This week, as your embark on your studies, ask yourself, whatever the study may be – ‘Why? What is the purpose of this education?’ ‘Why’ is a question of purpose. Purpose is a question of application. If you are picking up a kettlebell – think about what purpose those movements serve in your everyday life and how you can apply them. If you are learning a new movement, ask yourself how it fits within your life and how you can apply it. If you are learning a new technique, ask yourself how it will serve you best in your martial art pursuit.
Then, ask yourself – am I making this my own, or am I copying my instructor?
Find the purpose this week…and keep an eye out for a podcast on it 🙂