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Jeet Kune Do and the Art of Living

April 16, 2011

In the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee stated many of his philosophies. One that I found important is how we live our lives. He stated this, “The artless art is the art of the soul at peace, like moonlight mirrored in a deep lake. The ultimate aim of the artist is to use his daily activity to become a master of life, and so lay hold of the art of living. Masters in all branches of art must first be masters of living, for the soul creates everything.”

I see too many martial artists that focus only on their art and their techniques. Many have neglected this basic aspect that the masters of old already knew. When you master your life, then your soul and art, will begin to flow as one. That includes in peace as well. My samurai ancestors knew this. They not only mastered the art of fighting, but the art of living. They were artists in other arenas: painting & calligraphy being two of them. Poetry being another one and also philosophy.

Whatever your beliefs about life is, make sure that you master it. You will never truly be worthy of being called a martial arts master without first being a life master. Continue to learn beyond the skills of a martial artist. Bring in ancient and contemporary wisdom into your house of knowledge. Then think about how can apply it into your life as well as you apply martial arts techniques into your art. Bruce Lee was a master of life because he sought and applied wisdom from all corners.

From this wisdom of life and as you master it, you’ll be better prepared to move through it in a more free-flowing way. Nature does this naturally. Such is the presence of life that each of us should be aware of beyond what we know in our arts. Remember, in Jeet Kune Do, the expression of the art for you is what is important.

-Bob Choat

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