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To Know The Way Broadly

Many know that I am a swordsman and a martial artist. It has happened on occasion that others have referred to this as a hobby, or something I do for fun. And while it certainly can be and is often fun, I think that view misses the essential heart of what it means to study the martial arts.

One of my early aspirations in life that I have pursued and I hope embodied is to be a “Renaissance Man”, that is, a warrior, a poet, strong in body and in mind, a historian, philosopher, artist, athlete, and scholar. I seek not just to be a master of the martial arts, but of my business, my career, my home life; a “life master” as it were.

Recently, I have been revisiting study of the Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi. In The Book of Five Rings, Musashi says “When you know the way broadly, you will see it in everything.” The way, here, is do, ie. Tao, The Way, or The Path. What he means is that it is not the minutiae of skills in the study of the sword that holds merit, but recognizing that the state of mind it engenders lies at the heart of existence. It is in the DNA of life, and in mastery of the sword one can also find mastery of life itself.

I encourage everyone to find such grounding of meaning, and am confident it can bring value to all who seek it.

John Jacobs

Master Instructor - Haidong Gumdo

Blue Mountain Martial Arts

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