The whole person by Tony Heap

Part of the holistic development of the martial arts is indeed always striving to move forward, knowing that usually the practitioner can get by on what they have done before, but to be able to develop and learn it is necessary to become vulnerable once more. This becomes a way of pushing one's ego to one side, It could be said, that any success in practice only last for that moment in time To keep improving it is necessary to go back and continue to practice. An old Japanese adage says, "It is no good owning a tree and never watering it". It is however, thought that practising physical movements alone will never lead to spiritual evolution, nor will you ever reach physical potential, for it is thought without spiritual evolution the body cannot fully develop. Practising technique is a method of spiritual development, but the intent must be spiritual. Spiritual development can be seen as the growth of the whole person, it can be seen as a way of giving clarity to our right of choice. If our code for behaviour is formed by our attitude and desires, then an attitude that is formed by a holistic view of ourselves and life, must be better informed and spiritually evolved.


In the development of 'self', humanistic psychologist see that all the ideas, perceptions and values that characterise 'I' or 'Me', include a growing awareness of 'what 1 am' and 'what I can do'. C.Rogers saw this realisation of 'what I can do' and 'what 1 can be', as the real potential in human beings. He states, (1977, page.110),


"To remove a mask which you had thought was part of your real self can be a deeply disturbing experience, yet when there is freedom to think and feel and be, the individual moves towards such a goal".


This perception in turn influences a person's behaviour and their views on the world. It is also seen to focus the individual on the here and now.


Martial artists view the here and now as 'tadaima', since the future has not come and the past is gone only the present exist. Therefore each movement and moment has its own intrinsic value, and is not simply a step towards the future. Often by getting in touch with our spirituality we are getting in touch with our real self, which can sometimes be a painful process. It is a part of us that is often dismissed as it is often to mysterious and intangible to understand, it is however, a part of us that is so vital. C. Rogers saw that the individual who was in touch with his self and learning from every moment of his/her life as a person ever developing. He remarks, (1977, page. 124),


"A person who is developing trust in his own organism as an instrument of sensitive living; a person who accepts the locus of evaluation as residing within himself; a person who is learning to live in his/her life as a participant in a fluid, ongoing process, in which he/she is continually discovering new aspects of himself/herself in the flow of experience. These are some of the elements which seem to me to be involved in becoming a person".


 Developmental Aspects Of Martial Arts by Tony Heap 1995