Friday, July 17, 2009


We had a lot of fun playing with sticks and knives tonight at class.
That's right. PLAYING.

Guro went away from the usual cycle structured curriculum and has been giving us playtime lately. Most of us, especially those of us without children, forget how important playtime is.

Playtime is a chance to have unstructured exploration, to imagine and be creative, to express ourselves freely. Our kids learn so much about the world from playing. Some experts say that children actually learn more from playing than they do at school. I would tend to agree, at least through primary school anyway.

Playtime is an important part of mastery. We have to become familiar with the basic concepts and techniques we use in Kali Majapahit if we expect to ever master them and use them to express ourselves in a martial arts way. It is not enough to simply memorize the movements and commit them to muscle memory. That is the limit of most martial arts, especially the Japanese and Korean styles. FMA is so wonderful in that it demands we keep our childlike mentality and truly create and flow with our own flavor and style.

It goes without saying that this can only be done well after the basics are correct and the foundation is strong. However, unlike other systems, Kali Majapahit makes intermediate and above include this flowing and exploring. It is one of the best things about Kali Majapahit, and one of the most important parts of the training in my view. We must actively cultivate what Zen Buddhism refers to as "the child's mind" which is a mind of wonder, innocence, and curiosity. This is especially true for Kali and FMA, since playfulness is an integral part of the Filipino culture - FILIPINOS ARE ALL ABOUT LAUGHING AND HAVING FUN!

As I have said before, the dojo is our laboratory for the real world, and if you want the real world to be fun and enjoyable - YOU'VE GOT TO PLAY! Our dojo is a laboratory, a playground, an amusement park - make the most of it!!

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