July 14, 2024


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Thoughts on Martial Arts Insight by KJN Richard Hackworth

Thoughts on Martial Arts Insight by KJN Richard Hackworth

Famed Martial Arts Author and Life Coach Dr. Bohdi Sanders calls Insight the Art of Discernment

As an avid reader of his work, I have come to learn that we can conclude that Insight is Perceptiveness, clear perception, the ability to see clearly and intuitively into the nature of a complex person, situation, or subject.

As a martial artist I would say that Insight is basically the warrior’s sense of discernment. It is his perception concerning what is truly happening in any given situation, whether it is dealing with a specific person, situation, or topic. Clear insight is vital to the warrior because without it, the warrior will not have the perception or information that he needs to make well-informed decisions.

My life experiences have led me to know that in today’s world it seems that everyone has their own point of view concerning pretty much everything. It doesn’t seem to matter whether a person is informed on the topic in question or whether he knows anything at all about what he is referring to in the conversation; people still feel the need to express their point of view. Most of the time, people are merely repeating what they have heard someone else say, as this is an easy substitute for thinking for themselves. But a warrior must have focused thoughts and manage his insights through careful study.

This kind of sheep mentality that most people have just doesn’t work in the world of a true warrior. A lack of insight and searching for the truth has led to historic tragedies over the years. Events such as the Holocaust, the Inquisition, and countless wars, can be attributed to uninformed people simply going along with someone else’s point of view.

It can be said that “A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.”

It should already be evident to you that the true warrior is not one to follow the herd, whether in action or thought. The warrior thinks for himself and leaves others to do the same. But simply thinking for yourself is not good enough; you must develop the ability to be perceptive and to clearly understand what is happening. Developing insight is learning to read people and to comprehend their objectives and motivations. This is an intuitive ability that anyone can learn with practice and awareness.

When I refer to insight being an intuitive ability, I am not referring to anything mystical or magical. What I am talking about has more to do with being aware and reading between the lines to perceive what is really going on in any given situation or circumstance. This clear perception is vital, especially knowing how insincere and dishonest people can be. If you merely trust what people say, or the facade that they present to the public, you will find that many times you are being deceived.

Lord Chesterfield says, “The knowledge of mankind is a very useful knowledge for everybody…You will have to do with all sorts of characters; you should therefore know them thoroughly, in order to manage them ably.” To do this you have to go beyond mere surface information. Baltasar Gracian urged us to, “Look beneath. For ordinary things are far other than they seem…The false is ever the lead in everything, continually dragging along the fools: the truth brings up the rear, is late, and limps along upon the arm of time.”

Those simple statements teach us that real insight is the ability to look beyond the surface of things and to get to the truth. It is being able to see the true nature of things, whether it is a person’s character or his true objectives. Part of rational reasoning is basically what insight is. People do not make everything perfectly clear to those around them, especially if they are trying to hide their true goals or motivations. The wise man must read between the lines, using logic and rational thought, to figure out others’ true intentions.

The warrior knows that this in not being paranoid, but it is very important. If you take everything at face value, you will find that you are being deceived repeatedly. The art of discernment is crucial for the warrior. This is even truer when it comes to life-or-death situations. If you are targeted by a predator, you must be able to discern his true intentions, how dangerous he is, what he really wants, if he is mentally stable, etc. to know how to respond to de-escalate the situation. Without insight into the other person, you are merely taking a chance with whatever response you take.

I hope by now you can see that insight and be able to read a person that gives you the advantage. This is an art of its own. There are many books on the market that teach how to read people’s expressions, body language, speech patterns, eyes, etc. Law enforcement officers are trained to discern certain things in people that tip them off as to whether someone is telling the truth or lying. I highly recommend that you do a little research on this subject.

The sages throughout the ages have always taught us that we should listen to our intuition. Sometimes this is referred to as listening to your heart or listening to your spirit. It doesn’t matter what label you put on it, you should always listen to the still, quiet voice inside your mind.

Listening to your intuition and acting according to what your spirit tells you, is not a natural thing for most people. This is especially true for the warrior, who can be more comfortable figuring things out rationally than going with his feelings. It is a process that takes practice and faith. You must learn to trust your intuition just like you learn to trust in any of your other skills. As with listening to another person, listening to your intuition requires that you listen. Your intuition is not going to force you to listen. You must slow down, quiet your mind, and purposely listen to what your spirit is telling you.

As you can see, the traits of the warrior lifestyle are all connected in one way or another. Developing insight and listening to your intuition is greatly aided by meditation.

To your health, wealth, and success,
Richard Hackworth

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