The art does not make the artist; the artist makes the art.
My introduction to martial arts was fashioned after a Japanese system. The hierarchy was a belt system: white – green – purple – brown – black. Throughout my twenties, I trained with the Martial Arts Conservatory in New York City and regularly attended tournaments. The Dojo was my sanctuary, even while I worked the long hard hours in the real estate business; by age thirty, I had rank in American and Okinawan Goju Ryu, Shotokan and was introduced to QiGong, Tai Chi Chuan, BaGua and Hatha yoga. Just after I had received my Shodan (first-degree black belt), I wandered into an Angolan Capoeira class; the Mestre was Joao Grande. What was this fascinating rhythmic athletic movement? It had lore and a mysticism that provoked my senses in ways I could not explain. I attended classes there and continued to practice at the Martial Arts Conservatory. I was constantly practicing but it was not until I was well into my thirties that I began to get a glimpse of the profound subtleties within movement. Continue reading Martial Arts