Sunday, January 01, 2006

Blogs and Martial Arts

"Blogs are saturated with the personality of their creator."
--From Who Let the Blogs Out, by Biz Stone

"We become the form, we are the form, and the form is an expression of life within and without; it is life moving through us."
--From One Encounter, One Chance, by Terrence Webster-Doyle

I was thinking recently about how different these two activities are: blogging and martial arts. Yet they are both so satisfying to me. Maybe they emphasize two different ways of being that are both satisfying.

The presence of personality seems to be one issue where blogging and martial arts differ. Seems like in martial arts, you need to--at some level--overcome the quirks of personality to become part of something greater than you are. When you do forms--heck, when you line up and bow to the teacher--you have to put aside personality and willingly "become" that form, especially when doing a form with classmates.

But when we "become a form," we also shape that form--just the slightest bit--with our own energy and style. I noticed this when watching the black belts do forms. Once Justin and Chelsea were doing the same form and they looked quite different--Chelsea flexible and light on her feet; Justin deliberate and powerful.

It makes me wonder what my forms look like in comparision to my classmates'. I know that my Palgwe 5 form, my newest, has more power than earlier forms--I think this is because I worked on it quite a bit with Justin and am absorbing some of his style and energy.

Still, a form is a form. There's not too much freedom to alter it. (None, actually.)

On the other hand, as Biz Stone suggests, this blog probably is more "suffused with personality" than a form! I would say that writing a blog is more like sparring, the part of TKD where individual style and finesse matter most. Like sparring, writing a blog requires attention to someone beyond oneself. You don't write--or spar--in isolation!

Plus, writing a blog, more than writing other genres, really allows for creativity. I can post pictures and write about them, answer questions, make links, and write up my post in any number of ways (conversations, lists, a story, etc.) And I can write about topics and in a style that refects my personality, or at least some aspects of my personality.

Luckily, though, blogging allows time for thinking and revision. (Due to the busyness of this day, I've written this post in a couple of sittings!)

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