Recently I added a class to the schedule called Muay Thai for Body Mind and Spirit. The class starts off with a short meditation then moves into some energy work (like ci-gong or Tai Chi), then into some Muay Thai techniques and ending the class with some yoga type stretching.
I started this class because I wanted to make sure that we encompassed all aspects of Martial arts, the triangle of what Martial arts is really about; body, mind and spirit. It seems to me that there is a lot of attention on body and mind but the element of spirit is missing. I wanted to do something that would bring that element back.
When I travelled to Thailand the first time I was so unsure and didn’t know what to expect. I immediately fell in love with the pace of life, the culture and the way Buddhism played an important role in the lives of the fighters. It was a marvel to see the fighters, (even the young boys) train in the morning, go to school and spend time at the temples. I would watch as they sat on the floor of the temples in silence. Clearing their minds, they would ask the monks for blessings, and if they were fighting, praying that the spirits of Muay Thai would protect them.
It seems that on this side of the world we have developed some great Muay Thai skills, strong bodies and minds … But what about the spirit? What do you do spiritually in your life? Now lets be clear, when I speak of spirituality, I don’t speak of religion. What does one do to bring in some spiritual enlightenment into their lives?
For almost a year I have spent a lot of time with spiritual studies, yoga and martial arts that deal with moving energy. As I gather more and more information, more questions arise. I cannot begin to tell you how fascinating and life changing some of my findings are. If you are a martial artist, how much of your training regime is spent meditating and visualizing?
Every week I teach this class with the hope my students will receive some clarity or answers to some of the questions they may have. Its funny how we always ask everyone’s opinion about something that concerns our own lives. Like somehow they would know better. If we quieted the mind we would give way for the heart to speak. If we listened to our hearts we would always make the right decisions. No one else other than yourself really knows what’s in your heart. The mind has been programmed; our negative ego takes control without even being aware you are using it. It is like the negative ego is in stealth mode.
I hope that my students will come and try my class and that it grows into multiple classes a week. I enjoy teaching the class and of course getting feedback. Its funny, a few students came to me and said “I never knew I could meditate or stay silent. My mind is always racing and I don’t know how to relax”. They are surprised when they take my class that just 3 minutes of silence (although it feels like an eternity) can make them feel completely refreshed. I look forward to seeing you all in class.
Kru Mel Bellissimo
Student of life