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Discussion Starter #1
In one of the blog postings on infpblog.com I noticed reference made to esoteric marital arts (MA) and something along the lines of how the author had tried it but had not found any enlightenment so to speak (sorry I can't find the link).

What do others think? I have been a bit of a sensitive (typical INFP) wimp most of my life but have been doing hapkido for a couple of years and find it has really improved my life, both physically/health-wise and mentally/spiritually/discipline-wise...

Somethimes I dream of staying on a mountain to learn better MA, like in the recent film 'Black Belt' (a real thinking-persons MA film BTW), hopefully one day.
 

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I love martial arts and was doing it for most of my life before kids. I was learning kung-fu, 3 days a week, 4 hour each practice, for 4 years and before that I did aikido for 6 years. I will probably go back again soon with my daughters. I'm pretty adamant that they learn martial arts. I'd like to learn Pa Kua, but I can't find an instructor.

I do it for health reasons and not spiritual reasons.

I think the benefits for me was that growing up, I didn't have to worry about my physical safety. I had other stuff on my mind that I had to deal with and so will my kids and I don't want physical safety to be a major worry for them when they enter high school. It gave me something to be good at which helps with self-esteem as your growing up.

As for the spiritual side, I never really connected with many of the Eastern teachings the same way I don't connect with many of the Western teachings...neither really teach balance between ego and self. It's all about suppressing something which is why I prefer applied psychology.
 
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Yeah I actually got into esoteric martial arts quite heavily, spent literally 1000's and travelled to Malaysia from the UK twice pursuing 2 seperate esoteric martial arts.

I got burned badly, but it was a great journey to have experienced. Though because of that experience (and my experience as a muslim) i'm very weary of 'spiritual folk'.

One of the positive aspects of any martial arts is that it provides a practitioner with a sense of structure - which is essential to psychological health.

I initially got interested in esoteric martial arts because I was interested in finding an art that could teach me to kick ass, assist me in personal growth, and could lead me to 'enlightenment'.

After my experience I realized a few 'truths' regarding martial arts;

Matt Thornton (renowned martial arts instructor, and martial arts philosopher) came up with this concepts and perspective that I now agree with;

1) Aliveness.

In order for an art to be functional for the sport of the street, it has to utilize unchoreographed and uncooperative what's called the I-method.

You introduce a technique or principle by practicing it without resistance.
You practice that technique or principle in an uncooperative and unchoreographed drill, mimicking the same resistance you'll encounter from an opponent.
You pressure test that technique or principle in sparring (various levels of resistance), or self defence scenario replication (various level of resistence)

Every combat sports gym follows the above methodology, even if they don't articulate it as aliveness or the I-method. The only other way to develop functional martial skill is by getting into regular fights - which isn't sensible.

2) The warrior mentality vs the beggar mentality.

The beggar mentality is that you will 'bow' to those you deem of a higher status to you, and you expect others to 'bow' to you who you deem of a lower status.

The warrior mentality is that you don't 'bow' to anyone, and nor do you expect anyone to 'bow' to you.

IME esoteric martial arts can foster delusion when it comes to one's fighting ability because moves are practiced in choreography and cooperation. Skills aren't pressure tested in a contact drill, sparring, competition, or scenario replication.

It also fosters a beggar mentality, where deference to authority, and faith in authority is cultivated. If you question the effectiveness of the techniques you are encouraged to have faith in the teacher, or art - you aren't provided with evidence via pressure testing.

I think that arts based on aliveness, and the coach-athlete relationship are a healthier structure - spiritually and martially. And I realized that I have no idea what enlightenment is, and it's easy for people to present themselves as 'spiritual adepts' when they are surrounded by yes men, and keep statements and assertions vague.


If I had my time again I would have learned no-gi BJJ/submission wrestling for enjoyment and personal/spiritual development.

 

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That's a whole other part of martial arts I have little exposure to. My instructor was a tournament fighter & that's all he taught. Grueling lessons but I loved it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi infpblog - Thanks for responding to what I had seen on your website. I know what you mean about the suppressing aspect of certain religions. I have recently been thinking that to completely remove the ego as some religions advise cannot be good or natural, maybe to soften it a bit so as to get along with others is ok. Could you elaborate on what you have found in applied psychology in particular?
 

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If social connections matter, then so does the power that allows us to have them.

What power will that be

One power is self discipline

Another is being a warrior

The values one attaches to it is very important I'm sure we can all agree on..
 

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@MSmith, I tend to find my answers in psychology and I find my methodology anywhere I can.

For example, impact bias and happiness. Basically, we overestimate how happy or unhappy we will be when good things or bad things happen to us. So studies have shown that people who've won the lottery or loss the use of their legs go back to the level of happiness they began a year later.

So what does this mean? Basically, I publish my book or get a better job or take a month off and travel to Africa, a year from now, I'm not going to be necessarily any happier than I am now. So basically, goal achievement and happiness don't necessarily correlate. I read somewhere that happiness is proportional to the amount of control you feel you have in creating the life you want. So the correlation is goal achievement = increased self confidence = increased feeling that you can create the life you want = increase in happiness. So it's the process of goal achievement and not the goal itself that effects happiness.

Well this made me shift from focusing on goals to processes. So what process? There's tons of methodology that focuses on process based living instead of goal based living. I found the processes that complimented my personality type.

That's what happened after I started looking into Brene Brown's research on connection. Her research concludes vulnerability is the key to connection. Okay, I accept the premise. Now what methodology works best for me to deepen my connection to the people in my life and to new people that I meet. So you I read different about methodologies and test them out and see what works.
 

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I'm a few years late, but figured I'd post. Yeah I actually think INFP's are somewhat likely to venture into the World of Martial Arts. The term is a dichotomy after all. Martial -stemming from Mars the Roman God of War and Art of course. So it's like saying War and Peace.
M.A. is in between going to church and being in a gang as far as I'm concerned. Aside from the health benefits and socializing, most people who get into Martial Arts are in it because they feel they need it. Like abusive environments, maybe bullying and that is something that just has to attract many INFP's (I'd say all types, but particularly NP's for the reason I mentioned). So be wary of that.
I also highly recommend Jeet Kune Do and the Filipino Martial Arts to any one reading this. Those are the most versatile and badass. BJJ is a good sport, but it's not self defense at all, Japanese Jui jitsu is better for self defense. Progressive Fighting Systems is like the Walmart of JKD across the Nation and there are many affiliated schools all over, but it is still rare stuff.

Finally, Yeah male INFP and Martial Arts are a good fit if you ask me, just remember to establish healthy boundaries instead of getting really good at kicking ass, because you may trick yourself into never resolving a problem.
 
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