Seishi Do: The Way of Life and Death

The life of a martial artist is the way of life and death. We discover peace through the art of war. In learning a martial art we first train our bodies to move, we become aware. Next we train to defend; whether it be ourselves, our loved ones, or the defenseless. A martial artist does not only learn the art of external warfare, but also is enlightened to the battles within. To become proficient in the physical art of self-defense is a fairly easy task, to tame the beast within and understand oneself, one's true potential and one's purpose is truly remarkable.

The art of fighting has always spanned a wide range of injury and control over another. Some may believe that a master of the arts is one who can easily kill with the efficient use of minimal technique, however, I believe a master to be one who is skilled in the art of both life and death. They evaluate each situation, determine the possible outcomes and execute their decisions according to the choices they wanted to make and not the actions that may have resulted from misguided reflex. A master is one who is aware of the many facets of conflict and may resolve such conflict in a variety of manners outside of direct physical intervention. Without mastering oneself, one cannot truly become a master of the martial arts. Those who choose to live the Way come to know it as one of several keys that allow us to open our own paths through life and death.

A martial artist will practice the art of Death to better understand the way of Life. We train first our bodies; properly trained, the body will remember to defend itself without conscious thought. In order to either take a life or save a life one must train the body. Second we train our minds; in reality our mind is always in training, however in this second stage is when the conscious mind becomes aware and we begin to further understand the training. Third we train our spirit; we learn to unite body and mind. It is through this practice that one's spirit will thrive reaching higher levels of awareness and peace within.

Seishi Do is more than a martial art, it is a concept. The goal of this ideal is to train well rounded martial artists, requiring a degree of proficiency in different types of combat. This art is structured purely for the benefit of organized learning practices and beautiful customs. The content itself is only structured within concepts. In this concept of Seishi Do, we find a balance of modern and tradition, of order and chaos, of the inner self and the physical self.

The more you travel the path the more you realize that the reason we learn the art of death is so that we may choose to live. We relentlessly practice so that we may never use the skills that we will forever hone. A true martial artist knows that the further you've traveled on the path of the Way, it no longer remains the path. The path becomes a part of you, surrounds you and carries you, you become the Way. Become one with the Way and you shall never separate from it, it will forever be merged with your soul. You do not choose to start the path or end the path; you may only discover the path. Continue the path or lose your way. If you do not yet understand the truth of this, continue the path and you will.

Steven M. Epler
Sponsored by The Pasco Corn Maze at All Seasons on Road 68