Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Flowing Home to the Sea

The Tao is a great river flowing home to the sea.
Lao Tzu

Last evening I chanced upon a television show comparing the way of the Samurai to that of a Viking. They were trying to determine who was the deadliest warrior. All I could do was laugh at such nonsense, then had to remember such comparisons are for those who do not really know the arts...or for the Warriors, they just want to be on TV.

Lao Tzu often compared the Tao as a river flowing home to the sea. There are many rivers in this world, just as there are many forms of warriorship. They all flow home to the sea, returning to emptiness, the great Void, the Tao. To say one is better than the other is nonsense.

To study one form of Budo is to know eventually you will find the peace you are looking for. When you really examine those of us in the Martial Arts, we are seekers looking for some peace in our lives. It can be to lose weight, gain confidence or learn self-defense. Some form of insecurity drove us to study the arts.

To compare your art to another is to bring about great suffering for yourself. (unless you look at the differences to enhance your understanding of Budo and not to disparage the other art.) Simply study your artform without unnecessary comparisons on whose artform is better or worse. To cut down another Art and saying yours is better is ego-related, fragmented thinking and not in line with the Tao or spirit of the Martial Arts.

All Martial Arts have their strengths and weaknesses...just like a river has its deep and shallow spots, its fast and slow spots, its straight and curvy spots. And just like a river, it is moving towards the sea. So are you as you accord with the Way in your art. This why your art ends in '-do' , such as Karate-do, Goshin-do, Judo, Aikido, Tae Kwond Do, etc. These are all rivers flowing to the sea...going home. Just ride the current and you too will find your way home.
Take Care,


  1. Thats laughable. Its a well known fact that Viking sailed to Japan and fought several battles, all of which they won. Several Viking lived and married in Japan and in fact gave birth to the Samurai way of life.

  2. Do you have any links or references regarding this history of the Vikings and Samurai? Sounds interesting.