Tag Archives: Bruce Lee

Tennis And The Martial Arts

Most of you already know that besides martial arts, I also enjoy tennis and how martial arts can relate to the game, specifically my game of tennis.

Just the other day, I stumbled across a blog post written by Gary Bala over at TimlessTennis.netthat I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

“Fear not the racket, but the player who wields it.”

-A martial arts weapons philosophy showcased in the movie Ninja Assassin, and modified for the game of tennis.

“Most of what I teach comes right out of the martial arts – the physics, the fundamentals, the self-discipline – and your mind is your greatest weapon.”

 -Coach John Nelson, Univ. of Hawaii Men’s Tennis Program, College Coach 26 years, Master’s Degree in Education, 3rd degree Black Belt in Ju Jitsu

I. Introduction: The Brother Disciplines
Since the Bruce Lee movies of the 1970s, the self-discipline of the Martial Arts has captured the public’s imagination. Watching empty hands and feet used as lethal weapons at lightening speed, powered only by the mind’s will, hypnotized modern fans and observers.

The term “martial arts” actually means the “art of war.” And the term can be traced back to the Roman God of War, Mars. Chinese martial arts date back 4000 years ago to the Xia Dynasty. Martial arts is widely considered however both an art and a science. Many forms of martial arts are linked to religious beliefs such as Confucianism or Daoism or follow a code of honor. The purpose of martial arts is self-defense or defense of others. More broadly however, the goal of martial arts is to offer its students self-knowledge and a better understanding of man and nature.

The forms of the martial arts are varied and far-reaching. They are primarily found in the Far East (Japan, Korea, China). But they also touch the Middle East, South Asia and even the Americas and Europe: Ju Jitsu, Karate, Aikido, Judo, Kung Fu & Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Ninjutsu (Ninja fighting), Jeet Kune Do (hybrid form), Pentjak Silat (Thai martial arts), Kalari (Indian martial arts), Hikuta (Egyptian martial arts), Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts dance), Open-handed wrestling (Native American martial arts), Savate (French Kickboxing), and others.

All the martial arts share some common characteristics, among them: balance, posture, control, flexibility, timing, hand-eye-foot coordination, aggression, grace, power, agility, speed, strategy, tactics, and more. Indeed, many of these elements are shared with many other sports and activities such as soccer, basketball, football, even archery.

This article will focus however on aspects of the martial arts which make it unique, and relate them to the game of tennis. These key elements help remind tennis players of the vital parts of our own developing game. And they show how accomplished martial artists and high-level tennis players are learning and refining their craft on a shared platform with common goals – they are truly “brothers-in-arms.”

II. The “Chi” is Universal and The Core is “King”
In martial arts, it is believed that there is a universal energy or “chi” in all things. “Chi” is thought to be the source of all power and fluidity in martial arts strikes. In the human anatomy, the universal energy is believed to be centered in the navel. In tennis, the human core or trunk is the ultimate source of power and energy into the ball from strokes.

In tennis, power emanates from the ground up. It is created through well-timed use of the kinetic chain from feet, legs, hips, trunk, arms, hands, racket, all applied into the ball. Many call this “core rotation” in high-performance tennis. Compare this with the roundhouse kick in for example Tae Kwon Do. The roundhouse kick rises from the ground in a springing action, the legs and hips pushing through in an acrobatic move, resulting in a well-timed application of force towards the opponent.

The kinetic chain in tennis and the Chi energy release of martial arts are really two forms of the same process – gathering or coiling energy, and then releasing or uncoiling it, either at the tennis ball or at the martial arts opponent. The human anatomy’s coil-and-uncoil mechanism seems to have three axes points: at the shoulders, the hips and the knees. These same human axes points are used in many martial arts strikes.

To maximize the flow of energy and thus power, the marital arts also emphasizes “punching through the strike”. This means visualizing your arm or leg literally pushing through the opponent. In comparison, tennis emphasizes “hitting into and through the line of the shot”, and extending your stroke follow through or finish towards your target.

III. The Universe is Balanced, Rhythmic and Harmonious 
For the martial arts, there is a balance, rhythm and harmony to all things in nature. And nature is a source of inspiration. Indeed, many martial arts strikes are in fact taken from the moves of the animals. Kung Fu for example is divided into animal styles (real and mythic): the snake, panther, tiger, crane, and dragon. Fighting styles in Kung Fu include, among others: the praying mantis and the drunken monkey.

One of the keys to the martial arts is the concept of balance and centering of the human body. The Ninja fighters of the discipline of Ninjitsu for example are legendary for their balance skills. They are known to practice their strikes on a balance beam. Similarly, the art of Aikido focuses on the body’s center, and teaches that all power and control protrudes from that center in a relaxed state.

Martial arts is essentially a rhythmic dance of timed strikes from perfect postures. For example in Karate, the kata is a precise, highly-defined and pre-determined sequence of strikes. In Tai Chi, the student learns a continuous pattern of postures that actually form a dance. Countless repetitions of the martial artist’s moves develops timing, rhythm and cadence. Bruce Lee once remarked: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Consider that, in tennis, some of the keys to high-level performance are the same: balance in stroke production, consistency in shot-making, and the rhythm that is offered by for example learning the Wardlaw directionals. Other concepts such as precise timing and good posture in stroke technique, and the value of sound repetitions of strokes, can be taken directly from the martial arts. And if martial arts exercises collectively teach a cadence or dance, then tennis teaches the cadence of the split-step in moving to the ball, which is essentially the “dance of tennis.”

For martial arts, the world is full of harmonious cycles – the changing of the seasons, the cycles of the sun and stars, and the release of human energy and exercise followed by rest and recovery. Both martial arts and tennis instruct students not only about stroke power and energy, but also about the importance of body recovery and healing. Rest, rejuvenation, ice, heat, nutrition, hydration, stretching, and massage are critical to consistent top performance in both disciplines.

IV. The Ready Position 
The “get-ready-to-fight” position in martial arts and the “ready” position in tennis are amazingly the same. The feet are spread comfortably shoulder-width apart. The knees are bent. The body’s weight is on the balls of the feet. The arms and elbows are also bent and relaxed. The hands are loosely out in front. Waist, back, neck and head are straight. The student is comfortable, relaxed and ready to move.

V. Watch, Listen and Breathe
In martial arts combat, the student must utilize every form of sensory perception – sight, sound, touch. He must observe, listen and breathe. He must gauge his opponent, anticipating his next move. He must exercise self-control. He focuses on his breathing to help still his mind’s thoughts. He keeps his back straight, his body balanced, and his head stabilized. He moves like the panther and strikes like the cobra.

Compare this with the high-level tennis player in a contested match. He must continuously track the ball, keeping the head stabilized. He must continuously split-step just before the opponent’s racket contacts the ball, so as to move to it with maximum speed and efficiency, appearing to glide on the court. He should seek to hear the sound or “pop” of the ball off of his racket. He may focus on breathing to quiet his anxiety and fears. His body is balanced, back straight and head completely still. His moves are cat-like, and he seeks at first opportunity to go on the offense with his shot.

Both martial arts and tennis encompass the two polar opposite styles of execution or “schools of thought”: in martial arts, the aggressive power style vs. the steady methodical style, and in tennis, the hard court attacking game vs. clay court point construction style. In martial arts, the power style is represented, for example, by aggressive chops of Karate or the flying kicks of Tae Kwon Do. Whereas the steady methodical style is represented, for example, by the graceful flips of Judo or the circular strikes in Aikido. In tennis, professional players divide, among other ways, into groups which excel at the hard court attacking game (Andy Roddick or Taylor Dent) vs. the clay court point construction style (Rafael Nadal or David Ferrer).

VI. The Power of Smooth
The “power of smooth” refers to a relaxed confidence and an unbroken fluidity, resulting in top performance results. It’s about maximum efficiency with minimal effort. It’s about operating with a deliberate unhurried purpose, without appearing pressed or pressured by time, the opponent or conditions.

In martial arts, one noteworthy example of smooth is the discipline of Aikido – known as the “throwing art”. In Aikido, the student learns a fluid, circular and harmonious defense to an attack. The Aikido student blends in with the attacker’s moves, and returns the attack with relaxed, loose circular throws and flips. Even multiple attackers can be repelled by a confident graceful practitioner who can re-direct one opponent’s attack on a fellow attacker.

In tennis, the top professionals exhibit relaxed, loose, graceful strokes with confident purpose. They never look hurried, pressured or off-balance. Indeed, they “play the ball” and do not allow the ball or the opponent to “play them”. They play with soft hands and loose face muscles, especially at the time of split-step and just when the opponent makes contact with the ball. When faced with attacking power, they return the opponent’s power at him. When faced with opportunity such as a short ball, they are deliberate and decisive. They move forward fluidly and cut off angles gracefully.

VII. You are Always the Student Forever 
In martial arts as in tennis, you are always the student forever. Coach John Nelson, 26 years college coaching, Master’s Degree in Education, and martial arts black belt, put it this way: “The more you get into the martial arts or tennis, [the more] you realize that you don’t know it all. Anyone who thinks that they know it all is finished. They’re not going to continue to develop. So you always become a student.”

VIII. Victory is Vital, But in the End, More Vital is Your Growth and Passion 

Winning is naturally vital in a martial arts contest or a tennis match. But victory will depend in no small part on winning the psychological test of wills against the opponent -who will impose their will on the other? Bill Tilden, in How to Play Better Tennis, wrote pointedly that in a tennis match: “One player…will ultimately impose his tennis personality on the other.” The very same is true in the martial arts.

Both martial arts and tennis are asking the student to test their own outer limits and fulfill their own highest standards. What are the limits of the student’s fatigue, fitness, endurance, flexibility, and strength? What are the student’s highest expectations of his play, his shots, his execution, his strategy, his self-discipline, and his confidence and relaxation?

The final goal, of course, is advancing to a higher level in skill and ability in either the martial arts or tennis. On that score, your worthy opponent makes you better and stronger, as does each of your valuable matches and practice sessions. And your growth and passion for the discipline of the martial arts or tennis is all that can ultimately drive you to a higher level.

IX. The Mental Contest
Andre Agassi, in his autobiography Open, wrote poignantly about the mental battle of tennis. And amazingly the very same applies to the martial arts: “Tennis is the loneliest of sports…In tennis, you’re on an island, with no clock. You can’t sit on a lead. You have to win the last point to win the match. You’re out there, you can’t talk to anybody, you can’t pass the ball, there are no time-outs. There’s no coaching, you don’t have to be good, you have to better than one person and that person is on the other side of the net.”

X. Conclusion
Martial arts and tennis share the loneliness of battle, the fight to the finish, and the solitude of victory or defeat.

Both disciplines are about hard work, self-discipline, and problem-solving.

And both are ultimately about self-knowledge, and your own highest standards for yourself.

…and they are about the lessons of life and the nature of man.

Timeless Tennis: A Blog
www.timelesstennis.net

Sources:
1. Tennis Kung Fu, by Master Bruce Wang, Ph.D. (Lulu.com, 2008)
2. The Complete Martial Arts, by Paul Crompton (McGraw-Hill, 1989)
3. Coach John Nelson, Univ. of Hawaii Men’s Tennis Program, College Coach 26 years, Master’s Degree in Education, and 3rd degree Black Belt in Ju Jitsu
4. Ron Miller, GottaPlayTennis.net, Tennis Instructor 20+ years, and former Martial Arts student of Goju Karate & Aikido

Antidote To March Madness

 

“Always be able to kill your students.” – Masaaki Hatsumi (Bujinkan Ninjutsu)

Did he really say that?  – TheMartialArtsReporter

“A good martial artist does not become tense but ready, not thinking but yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come.” Bruce Lee

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” Muhammad Ali

“Courage is being afraid, but then doing what you have to do anyway.” Rudy Giuliani

“The one who has conquered himself is a far greater hero than he who has defeated a thousand times a thousand men.” The Dhammapada

“Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

“Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” Napoleon Bonaparte

“The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.” Navy SEALs

“Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win.” O Sensei Ueshiba

“The measure of a man is not in how he gets knocked to the mat, it is in how he gets up.” Unknown, but could have been me. Really.

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” -Mahatma Gandhi

“You carry on no matter what the obstacles. You simply refuse to give up … and, when the going gets tough, you get tougher. And you win.” Vince Lombardi

“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.” Vince Lombardi

“No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves.” Dwight Eisenhower
HTML tutorial

Celebrating The Life Of Brandon Lee, Who Would Have Turned 45 Today

Happy Saturday, everybody!

Where did the week go? I dunno.

I have been thinking about posting something about Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee.

Now, get this: I was planning on posting about him today, February 1, and during my research I find out that today would have been his birthday.

This cannot be a coincidence!

Brandon Lee would have turned 49 today. And here again somebody who left us on this planet way too prematurely.

He was a very aspiring movie star and according to acclaimed movie critic, Roger Ebert, after watching Brandon Lee’s performance  in “The Crow“, Brandon Lee clearly demonstrated that he might have become an action star, had he lived.

I totally agree with Roger Ebert.

You might remember that Brandon Lee was accidently shot and killed on March 31, 1993 at the age of only 28 while filming “The Crow“.

This is really sad, also because he was scheduled to get married to his fiancee, Eliza Hutton, on April 17.

Brandon Lee definitely had the looks for the Big Screen, but he was more than just another pretty face. After acquiring acting skills at the world-famous Lee Strasberg  Academy and being part of a theater group, he was able to put it all together with his martial arts expertise that he was taught by Guro Dan Inosanto.

Before starring in The Crow, which became a box-office hit after his untimely death, Brandon Lee actually performed in a number of productions such as Kung Fu: The Movie, Kung Fu: The Next Generation, Legacy of Rage, Showdown in Little Tokyo, and a movie that I really enjoyed at the time it was released in 1992, Rapid Fire.

I know that a lot of people have focused on the final fight scene  or showdown, but I really like the initial fight scene, because you get a pretty good idea of how Brandon Lee applies a lot of the JKD principles his father defined and how he uses any type of tool, weapon or whatever he can get his hands on to save his character, Jake Lo.

Besides the impressive fighting skills he put on display in the 5 min. clip  below, I also admire his philosophic perspective he so thoughtfully selected for his wedding invitations:

“Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless…”

Celebrating The Life of Brandon Bruce Lee, February 1, 1965 – March 31, 1993

The Eye Jab Is A Great Self-Defense Technique

Many times even seasoned martial arts practitioners are overwhelmed by the variety of self-defense techniques at their disposal.

More often than not the solution to a problem, in our example, self-defense could be much easier than we first think.

And that’s why today I thought it might be a good idea to draw our attention to a self-defense technique that doesn’t even require years of training, if applied correctly in the appropriate situation.

Bruce Lee  said it best, when faced with a choice of hitting your opponent in the ribs or poking him in the eyes, you go for the eyes every time.

The technique that I am referrring today is simply known as the eye jab.

You can use this effective technique to “buy time” during a surprise attack and to thwart an attacker.

What’s really cool about the eye jab is that even if you miss the eyes, your attacker will blink and will give you the opportunity to follow up.

Should your jab however connect, meaning touch his eyes, they will immediately water and your attacker’s vision will severely blur.

The rest is up to you.

Especially among Kali and Jeet Kune Do practioners this swatting finger jab is a popular hand technique.

And because one doesn’t require a lot of  strength the eye jab is a very practical technique. It does rely on speed, accuracy and timing.

Thus, if you have just halfway decent motor skills, you can do this one, no matter how physically fit you are.

Just make sure you are loose and not stiff during its execution. It’s like swatting a fly.

It’s also very important that your fingers of the jabbing hand are close to one another and slightly bent to avoid injury on the finger joints in case you accidentally hit bone on impact.

You should try to project toward the target without telegraphing it to your attacker.

The actual execution reminds me of a striking cobra.

I found a video clip with the legendary Paul Vunak, who puts it all together with an eye jab, elbow strike and head butt.

The execution is so fast that you might want to watch it a couple of times.

Use the eye jab responsibly and always stay safe!

Joe Lewis, The World’s Greatest Karate Fighter Of All Time

Whenever I ask people, who aren’t involved in martial arts and karate in specific, about the greatest karate fighter they will in most cases name Bruce Lee and/or Chuck Norris.

Joe Lewis? Not really.

That got me thinking.

Without a doubt, Bruce Lee was and Chuck Norris still is a formidable martial artist and fighter.

The exposure both of them received through television and movies made them household names, worldwide.

Again, Joe Lewis? Nope.

What amazes me about Joe Lewis is that as a U.S. Marine stationed in Okinawa in 1965 he started studying Shorin-Ryu Karate at the youthful age of 18 and reportedly attained his black belt in only 7 (seven!) months.

After his military service Joe Lewis returned to the United States and in 1966 he began his unmatched tournament karate career.

At times, he trained with martial arts legend Bruce Lee, who by the way did not compete in any tournaments.

During 1966 to 1974 Joe Lewis competed on the tournament circuit as well as a professional kick-boxer winning national and world titles as a heavyweight fighter. He is considered the “Founding Father of Kickboxing in the Western Hemisphere”.

Throughout his career he fought famous fighters such as Allen Steen, Thomas LaPuppet, Louis Delgado, Skipper Mullins, Victor Moore, Joe Hayes, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez and yes, Chuck Norris.

Joe Lewis was an original member of the U.S. World Karate Team that also consisted of Mike Stone, Skipper Mullins, Chuck Norris and his friend and student, Bob Wall.

Joe Lewis starred in a number of action-adventure movies such as “Jaguar Lives” and “Force Five” and has received numerous awards for his achievements in and out of the ring.

In 1983, karate living legend Joe Lewis was chosen by his peers and fellow fighters as “The World’s Greatest Karate Fighter Of All Time”.

YouTube Preview Image

Grandmaster George E. Mattson, Uechi-Ryu Karate Legend

Today’s post features another great martial artist who looks back on more than 50 (fifty!) years of training and teaching Uechi-ryu karate.

Uechi-ryu Grandmaster George E. Mattson is rightfully considered a martial arts pioneer and I am sure you will agree with me after reading today’s post.

Uechi-ryu karate  is a powerful, hard style, which even though it is considered Okinawan, originated in China. It was brought to Okinawa in the very early 1900s by Kanbun Uechi. It offers a lot of similarities with Goju Ryu karate. Uechi-ryu is characterized by upright stances, circular blocks, grabs, open hand and one knuckle techniques plus low kicking, often using the big toe.

As a 19-year-old stationed with the U.S. miltary on the island of Okinawa in 1956, Sensei Mattson was the first American to be taught Uechi-ryu karate and consequently the first American to be given a Black Belt Certificate.

Just several years later, in 1964, he was caught on film as a member of a distinguished group of other martial arts legends during Ed Parker’s Long Beach International Karate Championships.

Most of these martial arts greats have been featured or at least mentioned here before.

Check this out:

 How many do you recognize?

Front Row Left To Right: J. Pat BurlesonBruce LeeAnthony MirakianJhoon Rhee.

Back Row Left to Right: Allen Steen, George Mattson, Ed Parker Sr., Tsutomu Ohshima,Robert Trias.

For a true martial arts enthusiast, this is a truly epic photo.

I just think of how many millions of people, young and old, have been positively affected by these masters’ teachings. Nothing short of amazing!

But back to 9th Dan, George E. Mattson:

Master Kanei Uechi, the son of the style’s founder Kanbun Uechi, asked him in 1958 to introduce and spread Uechi-ryu Karate in America. Sensei Mattson complied and over-delivered.  He proceeded in opening a Dojo (school) in Boston and published the very first textbook on Uechi-ryu Karate “The Way of Karate” in 1963.

Since this time Sensei Mattson, who has led the North American Chapter of the international Uechi-Ryu community, has continued to teach  countless students from all corners of the world.  Many have gone on to become accomplished masters in their own right.

Turning the backs on the cold winters of New England, Sensei Mattson and his wife retired in sunny Central Florida.

Retired?

Not really, because in Mount Dora, not too far from Orlando, you can still watch this Uechi-ryu karate legend teaching at his Shubukan (“House of Warrior Training”).

Who’s The World’s Most Famous Martial Artist Ever?

Who do you think is the world’s most famous martial artist ever?

Are we talking about a martial artist becoming a famous household name?

Or are we talking about a famous household name who happens to be
a martial artist?

Hmmm.

Let’s see who comes to mind:

1. Bruce Lee was at first a martial artist and then became a household name.

2. Jackie Chan pretty much the same, right?

3. Chuck Norris, same way, I guess.

4. Steven Seagal, dto.

5. Oh, wait, how about “The King” aka Elvis Presley?
Everybody, young and old, martial artist or not, knows about the singer, entertainer,
songwriter Elvis Presley.

But most people don’t know that Elvis Presley was a dedicated martial artist in the style
of American Kenpo for many years until his untimely passing in 1977.

YouTube Preview Image

So, again, who would you consider the world’s most famous martial artist ever?

Tell me who comes to your mind!

A Tribute To The Godfather Of Grappling, “Judo” Gene Lebell

It’s about time for a tribute to The Godfather Of Grappling, “Judo” Gene Lebell!

In case of an emergency, people normally call ‘911′.  Right?!

Well, when seasoned martial arts and wrestling greats such as Bruce Lee, Ed Parker, Chuck Norris, Bob Wall, Ken Shamrock, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, The Rock, Gokor “Armenian Assassin” Chivichyan and many many more needed grappling advice and training, guess who they called?

You guessed right, “Judo” Gene Lebell.

In 1954, as a twenty-two year old judoka, Master Gene accomplished something at the National Judo Championships in Japan nobody had done before:

He won the Heavyweight Title as the first non-Japanese weighing only 165 lbs.!

Master Gene repeated this extraordinary acomplishment the next year.

All while competing in a pink judo gi. So what’s with funky colored gi?
I’m glad you asked.

When Master Gene was in Japan the first time, the laundry service cleaning his gi messed up big time by somehow throwing in red clothing and so turning his white gi into the now infamous pink.

Master Gene had no choice but to compete in pink. The Japanese were outraged, because they considered it disrespectful. Traditions can be very strong.

Master Gene prevailed and the pink gi has been his trademark ever since.

So, when looking around a dojo you knew that dangerous guy was always the one wearing pink.

For years he continued to successfully compete in the Judo and Pro-Wrestling.

His proven skills have helped him in stunt-work in literally hundreds of movies along side with celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

Master Gene continues to share his vast knowledge in Los Angeles and at seminars around the country such as the Paradise Warrior Retreat with other martial arts legends.

Master Gene is certainly not your typical 77-year old.
He’s as sharp as a tack and as witty as they come. And he owns the mat.

And what’s absolutely amazing: His sleeper choke keeps on putting people to sleep within seconds.
Nobody does it better!

Or as the famous saying goes, “When in doubt, choke him out.”

YouTube Preview Image

Let me know if any of you have met “Judo” Gene Lebell in person.

Some Great Martial Arts Quotes

I found some quotes that begin with  Bruce Lee and end with Bruce Lee. Enjoy!

To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.
- Bruce Lee

You may train for a long time, but if you merely move your hands and feet and jump up and down like a puppet, learning Karate is not very different from learning a dance. You will never have reached the heart of the matter; you will have failed to grasp the quintessence of karate-do.
- Gichin Funakoshi

Aikido is not a defensive martial art. Being defensive is a terrible way to go through life.This means be proactive. It does not mean hit first.
- Dojo wall

The ultimate aim of karate-do lies not in victory or defeat,
but in the perfection of the character of its participants.”
- Gichin Funakoshi

A black belt is nothing more than a belt that goes around your waist. Being a black belt is a state of mind and attitude.”
- Rick English

The art of the sword consists of never being concerned with victory or defeat, with strength or weakness, of not moving one step forward, nor one step backward, or the enemy not seeing me and my not seeing the enemy. Penetrating to that which is fundamental before the separation of heaven and earth where even yin and yang cannot reach, one instantly attains proficiency in the art.
- Takuan

He who knows not and knows not he knows not, He is a fool- Shun him. He who knows not and knows he knows not, He is simple- Teach him. He who knows and knows not he knows, He is asleep- Awaken him. He who knows and knows that he knows, He is wise- follow him.
- Bruce Lee

Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion.
- Bruce Lee