In martial arts

By Strattera. August 18th, 2010

I’m no Tolkien scholar, and so I offer this comment with diffidence.

I’m not sure that “mortality is a gift” is necessarily an empty paradox. (See this post by Kate and this one by Stephen.) My martial arts teacher Shaizo Sensai had a saying, “Limits lead to freedom.” What he meant was that the specific rules and restrictions of a martial arts form allow one to develop capacities that one could never develop in free form fighting. He would show the helpfulness of limits by comparing a rich child who can do whatever he wants and a poor child who has obstacles to overcome; it was his opinion that the rich child has less of a chance of making something of himself than the poor one. And he did talk about mortality too: in his pidgeon English he’d say, “I lazy good for nothing if live for ever. Have to get good before get old.”

Still, he also said that sometimes it’s good to break limits. He admitted that free form fighters might do better in a real fight. And he also said, “Better to¬† be rich than poor if can.”

Maybe it makes sense to look at it like this: Mortality does have value, and so long as one is mortal, one should try to find and appreciate that value. However, once physical immortality becomes possible, the challenge changes, and one must try to find the best way to live without the limitation of mortality. Certainly, Saul shows us a man trying to do so. A very great man, in opinion. – Strattera

1 Comment

  1. c says:

    i deeply admire Saul’s way of thinking and how’s far he’s truly come, pllaying dodge balls with the government red tape system and the morally corrupted society minds who can not stomach anything beyond their tribal boxed up limited values.

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