Martial Arts Philosophies?
November 21, 2010 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Point me to the best resources (books, articles lectures) on the philosophies of various martial arts, particularly taekwondo, as they relate to non-violence, self-defense and peacebuilding. The more primary the source, the better.
posted by l33tpolicywonk to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
From the ITF website:
The philosophy of Taekwon-Do can be summed up by the last two phrases in the ITF Student Oath:

I shall be a champion of justice and freedom.

I shall build a better and peaceful world.

By practicing Taekwon-Do and living according to its fundamental values, we will become good citizens and be able to create a better world.

The development of the Taekwon-Do philosophy by our Founder General Choi Hong Hi was influenced by oriental philosophers such as Confucius and Lao Tzu, by Buddhism, and by the philosophy of martial arts. However, the fundamental values as expressed in the tenets of Taekwon-Do, are universal. In the Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do, General Choi showed us how to find a harmonious balance between the physical and the mental.
posted by aniola at 8:18 PM on November 21, 2010

as a primary source: 'The text in Chinese was a rough draft written by the late Grandmaster Ip Man
posted by clavdivs at 9:24 PM on November 21, 2010

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee.
posted by rmmcclay at 10:33 PM on November 21, 2010

The Art of Peace by Morihel Ueshiba, founder of aikido
posted by arruns at 10:43 PM on November 21, 2010

In Search of the Warrior Spirit by Richard Strozzi-Heckler. About his experiences teaching martial arts to Special Forces personnel. Comes at the question you're asking from an unexpected and moving perspective.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:02 PM on November 21, 2010

You said particularly taekwondo, which I never thought much about, but Judo has several guides on this topic Mind Over Muscle (by the founder), and the first chapter of Kodokan Judo (also by the founder). The rest of the book does occasionally tie in to the thought.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:30 AM on November 22, 2010

The Art of War, the Doctrine of the Mean, and the Hagakure are de rigueur in any martial library.
posted by ambulocetus at 5:22 PM on November 22, 2010

Takuan Soho's "The Unfettered Mind" has a great section about the moral issues of self defense and violence and the idea of limited violence being used to prevent larger violence.
posted by yeloson at 7:37 PM on December 9, 2010

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