This post is continuation of translation from Russian of part of the “Combat Machine” book by Anatoliy Taras. The previous post can be seen here.
Talking about human needs, it needs to be stressed that man is distinguished from animals not by his vital or even social needs, but ideal ones. In other words, the more our actions are guided by spiritual motives, the more human we are. In the long run (as this is not evident at first sight) men inherited the thirst for material well-being and sexual pleasures, the strive for power and glory from a primitive group of subhuman primates.
Indeed, what are the dreams of “an average man” eloquently called “naked monkey” by anthropologists? To work as little as possible – both physically and mentally, and to rest and entertain himself as much as possible. Entertainment-wise, positive physiological experiences are the most important, especially sexual and food and flavoring ones. To put it briefly, a vast mass of people are eager to “get high” most of all! Drink sweet drinks, eat good food, copulate with the opposite sex, loll in warm water, slug on soft bed or hot sand…
How is this different from the animal world? How is such behavior in principle different from the behavior of a pig grunting happily in a trough with warm water after a hearty meal? Why am I talking about this? Because it’s useless to advocate austerity, self-discipline, morality to those whose ideal is to “grunt from satisfaction” as often as possible. Yet when we talk about the Way of the martial arts, we need to understand clearly – it is inaccessible for “naked monkeys”.
Of course, in order to “learn the school”, meaning to master combat techniques, all you need is health, time and diligent work. Sense of conscience and other spiritual attributes are not required to learn the ‘naked’ technical part, i.e. attack and self-defence techniques. All a student would need is his vascular and breathing capacity.
However, in order to combine all three aspects of martial arts into one whole, to go far beyond the technical minimum of a particular style, the transformation of psychics and body via austerity, moral way of life, continuous psychic and physical training is indispensable. As a result a man will remain a solid warrior until he is very old, and not just till 30-35 years of age. But what is more important, his everyday life will become an ever-lasting happiness!
One Hindu (Kalidasa) said many centuries ago: “When you were born you were crying and everyone else was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying”.
Can a “naked monkey” lead such a life? That’s very doubtful.