Actually, you can see a sort of metaphor of American thought in the growth of the martial arts programs over the past 50 years.
We`ve had a number of topics, discussion, and mention of books like
"The Secret," and "Think and Grow Rich." They`re books that use some
version of philosophy, spirituality, and mental energy to connect with
the physical in order to accomplish something. Martial arts are the
same, although entirely different from, say, boxing or weight training.
Going back to the first series of "Kung Fu," most of the audience got
all caught up in the fighting parts of the show. It eventually led to
the ridiculous sequels to "The Matrix," where the punching and kicking
became meaningless. However, a much more important part of each show
(Kung Fu) was the development of the lessons from the past, and how
they worked in the present situation.
We now have a massive number of Baby Boomers entering old age, with
physical strength and agility declining. Tai Chi is becoming a big deal
for health improvement, but it still focuses on the body, not so much
the mind, the way it`s being taught.
I would suppose that bringing it all together, including the increasing
"yearning" for some sort of meaning of life these days, that if you
were to put together a martial-arts-based dojo that focused more on
connecting the body and mind to the universal energy sources, it would
I`m also thinking of such things as Quigong (Chi gong) and the emerging
link with energy physics, and wondering if the time might be right for
western culuture to look more closely at that overall, integrated
The focus wouldn`t be on martial arts. It might lean more towards the
idea of yoga, although not focusing on that either. It`d be more like
"live well, feel better."