Learning Leadership from Martial Arts - II

 The principles I’m sharing today are not rules or steps that most of the times are offered and used separately instead of integrally in Western leadership teaching methodology. The Eastern principle has it usually all interlinked. Therefore, bellow you will see elementary pieces of a whole personality of a martial artist. They are refined and presented separately only for the purpose of a more straightforward understanding:

  • Control: The martial arts teach self-control of the body and the mind (ego). Martial art practice starts with hard training, where a student (e.g.: karate, kick boxing, tai chi chuan, wing chun, savate, escrima, aikido, sambo etc.) normally has to endure the threshold of pain from received and given punches. Only when relaxed, one is in control of oneself and of pain, consequently of others too.
  • Trust: There is a saying in martial arts: “Trust your friends to beat you so that your enemies cannot!” A martial artist has firstly to trust in himself not to injure others – only then others trust him not to be injured by him.
  • Stability: A person cannot fight successfully and master the opponent without stability and balance in place. It means that we should properly adjust our stance: how we ‘shape’ our body to ‘adjust’ our bones that have to support the muscles in a relaxed way. With our stance, gaze and movements we communicate our mental, physical and emotional state to those that are able to read it. Should or not we show what our thoughts are?
  • Adjustment: Not only a Chinese proverb says “The grass abates in the direction from which the wind blows!” A martial artist has to keep adjusting to the surrounding and to the opponent. Any hesitance on his part will result in time lost and thusly giving to the opponent an opportunity and the advantage to attack.
  • Responsiveness: The martial arts were originally created to give a physically weaker person a better fighting chance against a stronger one. When a person is challenged he/she could ‘allow being surprised’ or indeed ‘be surprised’. The response is one or the other. In a fight you have to be aware and respond to the environment, opponent and also to your fears. You have to adapt to them all.
  • Least of effort: Like in Nature also in martial arts the energy is spent wisely and deeds are done in most efficient ways. In a fight there is no time for recuperation of energy spent unwisely. You get tired and you lose.
  • Steering: In the martial arts it is very important to be able to integrate all the power and capabilities of entire organism to effectively carry out an activity. To do so we need to relax. Each movement requires to first relax tension in our musculature. Only then you can steer the opponent force. But to steer others we need a coordination of our body and our spirit/mind to internally steer us. Only then you can with proper reaction to the external stimulus steer others.
  • Responsibility: Practicing the principles of martial arts can empower with extreme capabilities that can be used to different ends in different situations: to cure, to immobilize or even to kill just with a pressure or hit to certain places on opponent’s body. It is a hard responsibility as to how a person would use this knowledge and these kind of martial arts weapons.

body and the mind

And to be responsible a person has to be in control of his/herself …


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    1. Thank you so much for comment and interesting link.

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