Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dreams, Reality and life as you know it...

Its been made into a big deal for serious practitioners of a martial arts to have dreams... well at least in Silat. You know, after you pass the initiation, you'll probably get to dream of a final showdown or test somewhat with the tok guru who has long passed away. That sort of thing. I sort of waited and waited, but never got such a dream. Frankly, I'm happy. Because everyone I know who fought in the dream with the Tok Guru always woke up injured. Typically because they cause the injury to themselves. I'm happy I don't have to poke my throat and suffer for a month to graduate.

Funnily enough, I noticed even westerners dream. Well the ones who posted their dreams on Aikido usually have things like Osensei in the mix, or them vs serious fighters. I don't really know what to make of it, but hey it probably means that they love Aikido so much they still want to train in their sleep.

So... what has dreaming got to do with anything? Well I dreamt of an encounter last night. I was in my old kampung house with my wife (which is odd cause she's never been there and it has long since been torn down). I hear a woman screaming outside the house for help. I look out and see 4-5 armed men, potentially aiming to sexually assault her. I go back in and look around for a weapon. I pick up my kali sticks and go out.
The men notice me coming and they too hold sticks plus each one of them had a sharpened metal rod which they threw spearlike at me. But it didn't bother me, it felt that it wasn't important even to dodge it, because I knew it wouldn't hit me. Anyway, the fight ensues and I start hitting them. But it wasn't like real hitting. I know I was hitting them everywhere, but it didn't cause injury. They were obviously in pain, and losing their weapons but they didn't suffer cuts or blunt trauma or anything like that. Soon I notice someone is missing, and so I stepped back and notice he was flanking me. Finally after a few minutes everyone has lost. And I look at them in annoyance. Each look contrite and apologetic. So I told them to go and think about this. A couple look ready to turn over a new leaf. But I couldn't find the girl. I left hurriedly hoping the police don't ask me about this. I feel bad that if the police ask me to identify those men, that they will not have a chance to become good again as I will be forced to help the police apprehend them.

If you know me personally, you will realise how far out of character this is for me. I will be the first to advocate an eye for an eye. And I prefer to have rapists, murderer's (even the rempits who cause injury and death from snatch thefts) to be hanged. Saves the tax payers money and rids the world of parasites. Yet, I felt bad if these 4 men who were going to rape that girl, get caught by the police before they changed their ways for the better.

Also, I was thinking as I left the house to confront the men. Why am I taking kali sticks? I've only dabbled in them. Why not Silat and Aikido? I've not been able to understand this at all. But its not strange to understand the need to have weapons when confronting armed men. Also, in the fight, I did not cause injury with the weapons. Only disarm and defeat the men. This in very unlikely to happen if you really used Kali Arnis to fight.

Dreams have meaning for some, and for most its just aimless fantasy to occupy the mind. I do not know how to interpret dreams but it is enough to evaluate how I feel about things. Also, I've thought about something long before sensei mentioned this in his various lectures...

When I see something, will it look exactly the same for someone else? Sensei will say, the high level budoka will see the truth behind the façade. Something out of nothing, and nothing out of something. In the lowest understanding, take the story of the the Lord who had 3 sons and wanted to see who would be his heir. He invited them to see him one by one. As the first went into the room, an apple dropped on his head. Without missing a bit, he drew his katana and cut the apple cleanly in half. The 2nd went in but did not cross the door. Soon enough, the apple dropped in front of him. The 3rd went in and as the apple dropped on his head, he caught it nimbly and took a bite. The Lord obviously made the 3rd his heir. For the simple reason, that he alone reacted appropriately to the situation.

You will get good someday from the constant practice. Even as we train our minds to see beyond the physical, we must be aware that the proper response is every bit as important as identifying threats. Remember sensei's tale about his frequent jokes on his TKD friend. Let us not be fooled.

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