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Zen proverb: "How am I supposed to know?"

A samurai once asked Zen Master Hakuin where he would go after he died.

Hakuin answered 'How am I supposed to know?'

'How do you not know? You're a Zen master!' exclaimed the samurai.

'Yes, but not a dead one,' Hakuin answered.

For us as martial artists, the point is that we only truly "know" anything through physical experience. If not real-world conflict, then dedicated partner practice with steadily increasing resistance. "Knowledge" contained in theory or opinion only is not knowledge, it's guesswork.

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Comment by Wael on January 15, 2014 at 7:59pm

Patrick, feel free.

Comment by Master Patrick Williams on January 15, 2014 at 7:47pm

Nice. May I repost.

Comment by Greg Kitchen on November 23, 2013 at 10:42pm

True story...love it...sometimes the richest nuggets of truth & wisdom are found in the simplest statements!!! 

Comment by Jasper on November 23, 2013 at 11:38am

Know thy self,

Only then will he who seeks ultimate knowledge come to understand the rest of the world.


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