According to Calos Castaneda, man must become a warrior before he becomes a man of knowledge.
A scholar warrior has a trained body and spirit, as well as a sharp analytical mind.
Two obvious spheres for developing such properties are martial arts and academia, or science in general.
And what really interesting is this.
When I look at the academic discipline I am currently engaged in (political science), and the martial arts I practice (taekwon-do and aikido), I can see a subtle yet profound unity in purpose.
What is that?
- Part of the taekwon-do oath says: “I shall build a more peaceful world”.
- The main goal of aikido is to pacify an opponent, according to Tsuneo Ando sensei.
- It can be also claimed that the purpose of political science – at least how this discipline was originally conceived – is to make this world a place void of conflicts and full of cooperation among nations.
So on the one hand political science – whether directly or indirectly – strives to reinforce peace, or at least understand how it can be achieved. On the other hand, the highest purpose of martial arts is to create peace both within ourselves and outside.
Does this mean every academic should now put on a kimono and start kicking some ass? Or an aikido-ka should start digging in the theories of international relations?
Not at all.
What this simply reveals is that there are several paths towards the same direction. Yet while it may seen reasonable to choose only one of them, it is ultimately more efficient to embrace both a warrior’s and a scholar’s way.
Efficient both for ourselves and the world.