Come study Jeet-Kun-Do with Master Drogo in Harpers Ferry or Frederick!!
Gifts or Trade accepted in return for safe practice space and instruction.
China and Japan continue to influence ‘The West’ greatly in many ways. Chief among the ways Asia affects us are martial arts, culinary arts, visual arts (film and animation), and spiritual arts (Buddhism). Although Buddhism is a religion from Hindu India; it is much like Christianity is to Judaism, in that it spread and flourished better away from its origin.
Chinese had the ‘I Ching’ (Yi Jing) Book of Changes by 1,000 BC. It had 64 hexagram symbols for a divination and cosmology system, to balance life elements, process events, and change lives.
Three philosophical leaders emerged in China around 500 BC: Lao-Tzu, Sun Tzu, and Confucius. Lao-Tzu (Old Master Li Er Dan) is given credit for Taoist book the ‘Tao Te Ching’, Sun Tzu (Sun Master) for the ‘Art of War’, and Confucius for the strict civil commentaries called the ‘Ten Wings’.
Taoism (Daoism) is living in harmony with the Tao (Way), and choosing the path of Nature using the Tai Chi (Taiji life-energy) symbol (yin-yang opposite energies in dynamic balance), and 5 elements. The Five Trigrams: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Metal. Contrary forces define each-other, contain elements of each-other, and can even attract each-other (magnetism). Taoist 3 Treasures: compassion, moderation, and humility. “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao,” according to wu-wei (non-action under-standing).
‘The Art of War’ is a military strategy guide that views violence as evil and prolonged war as non-profitable; therefore the book is dedicated to avoiding conflict, and being swift and deadly when necessary. “If you know your enemies and yourself, you can win a hundred battles without loss.” (Chapter 3, last verse)
Yet for others, the clearly defined rules of Confucius allow for civic success, which to them is most important for structured living with social hierarchy. Knowledge leads to sincere thought, and then virtuous action. His humanism advocated reciprocity, in the form of the Silver Rule: “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” (Analects XV.24)
Beyond these Chinese basics, Buddhism (Chan Mahayana) was added later. Buddhism developed monastery schools for martial and healing arts; including: kung-fu, weng-chun, tai-chi, chi-gong, and feng-shui. Chan (meditation) Buddhism became known as Zen in Japan. Later in Hong Kong, Bruce Lee absorbed his weng-chun into his own theory of Jeet-Kun-Do.
In Jeet-Kun-Do styles are tools, and we should be fluid with them like water. It is a universal theory that allows you to use what works best for you, no matter what style it is. Styles are all fingers pointing to the Moon; it is not about the fingers, it’s about the glory of what is above.
In ancient Japan success in Shintoism (Way of the Gods) meant following the “spirit way” and worshiping nature gods (kami). Shinto faith was later integrated into Zen Buddhism (as with Taoism and Buddhism in China). The 5 elements of samurai (warrior) kenjutsu (sword method) are: Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, and Void. The ‘Book of Five Rings’ by Miyamoto Musashi (1645 AD) is similar to the Chinese ‘Art of War’. Japanese Martial Arts include: Kendo, Bu-jitsu, Ti-jitsu, Nin-jitsu, Ju-jitsu, Judo, Aikido, and Karate (hand peasants).
Zen Buddhism includes meditative kensho, zen riddles, zen satori (enlightenment), zazen sitting, kinhin walking, Rinzai, Soto, and Sanbo Kyodan. Buddhism asserts that pacifist religions and virtuous lives are possible without the idea of a creator god. The Universe is self-sufficient, and does not require any superior power to govern it. They do believe in enlightened souls, perfected spirits that have transcended karma; arihants, siddhas, bodhisattvas, and buddhas which are essentially saints, angels, or gods (depending on semantic interpretation). Gods are simply less important in Buddhism than meditation and compassion, to end the cycle of suffering.
– Master Drogo Empedocles, from his book ‘Way Too Much: Successful Living’
Master Drogo has been practicing Karate, Tai-Chi, Ti-Jitsu, Weng-chun, Kungfu, and other martial arts since he was in elementary school (25+ years).