The First Installment of Seven on an Examination of Martial Arts and Chakra.
The Root Chakra
Martial Arts in all of its various disciplines has often been associated with the quest for enlightenment or spiritual growth. In order to attain functionality on a higher level spiritually, one needs to understand the basics and take it step by step from there. The following is going to be a basic explanation in the correlation between martial arts and chakra/spiritual energy. In this we will cover: The Relation, The Location, The Color, and lastly The Balance.
The Relation: Thankfully, the primary reason for martial arts' existence directly ties to the first chakra. This chakra pool is located at the base of the spine, just in front of the tail bone, and is associated with the color red. Its focus is survival; Martial arts at its core is designed to make sure that its practitioner does not get killed. This generally keeps their relation with each other from being too complicated. In this sense they tie in nicely, but they can clash quite badly if you aren't careful. With survival being the focus of the first chakra it is necessary to understand what that encompasses. It takes into effect food, water, shelter, and the rest of the basics. Essentially, all the stuff that ties you the most to your inner animal. Less sentient, more mammal. With the mindset of keeping you alive your first chakra agrees with you practicing martial arts, especially if you focus on the fact that you could very well have to use the skills you are learning one day to keep yourself breathing.
There is a problem that can rise up between them. Should there come a time when your life is in danger, your first chakra, or your instincts depending on how you decide to view this, probably haven't had the chance to learn to trust your martial arts knowledge unless you have endured some very grueling training. Even worse is considering the fact that in modern society most of your basic needs aren't exactly something that people have to fight for to stay alive on a daily basis. Your average person and even your average martial artist is incredibly out of touch with their first chakra. This gap in even the most basic understanding of the energy system causes a void in what people are able to do with themselves given a "do or die" situation.
The Location: It's interesting to look at the location of the first chakra in its correlation to martial arts. The first chakra pool is located at the base of the spine, the lowest of all the chakra pools. It is in this way that not only in intent, but in location, it is the most grounded to the mortal sense of the chakra pools. The same can be said about martial arts in its typical training paths. At its core and starting point, it is a means for keeping yourself alive, a very physical art. In its more advanced stages, it can be a means to spiritual enlightenment. On both the path of martial arts and chakra points, laying a strong foundation can be the difference between success in more advanced stages of training. As they have the capacity tie into each other , it is advisable to become wise in the ways of spiritual energy in addition to the physical training regiment.
The Color: Red makes perfect sense for this chakra pool, its existence is to keep you alive and is also a warning color in the natural world. It's the reason for its use as the stop color in traffic lights, stop signs, and a large number of warning or hazard signs. It catches our attention because it's wired into us. Some people use it as a "power" color. Due to its predetermined effects on us when someone wears it, it subconsciously demands our attention and can be used to make someone appear more formidable than they would otherwise.
The red chakra point relates to martial artists in that following the path of a martial artist, red is very likely a color that any and every practitioner in the arts needs to be prepared to see. Especially in early stages when control is less and people are trying to prove themselves. It comes in the form of blood, be it the martial artists own or that of their opponent, it is part of that way of life. This is a piece of the sacrifice that should be weighed before diving into the lifestyle. Not to say that every martial artist is a mad man intent on maiming others, but to practice arts dedicated to fighting, or origninated from the a neccessity to kill, and saying that you'll never have to worry about spilling the blood of another person is just naive. Better to be prepared and never have to see it, than be taken by surprise in any case.
The Balance: In order to balance the first chakra with being a martial artist one needs to first understand that you are trying to combine something that at its core is not intellectual, the first chakra, with something that is structured, martial arts. Like I said at the beginning of this, in the way that the first chakra wants to keep you alive and martial arts is designed to keep you from being killed, they fit together. To find the balance between the two, recognize that the first chakra's needs are met and understand that given the way society works now that they are not in danger of being taken from you. Even when it seems bad, it is probably not so bad that you are thinking of eating grass to keep yourself alive.
From that, look at the fact that the number one item that could still be easily affected is your health. For those of you who doubt that you are lying to yourself; Unless you have taken the time to learn what to look for in people and environments that can give away to potential harm coming your way. Even then, you can be just another victim of bad timing. With that, your first chakra is still relevant and can utilize your martial arts. In order for this to work, your training has to exceed your comfort point. It can't be luxurious or you are defeating the purpose. You need to sweat, bleed, and in some people's cases, cry. Push yourself in your training as if you were fighting for your life. Find someone you can trust to take you beyond what you are used to, hopefully for you that is your instructor, if not keep searching. Get in touch with your need for survival and meditate on that. Keep it fresh in your mind and try to understand it. It can, and will, take time so be patient. After a while you will find yourself coming to a place where you are connected to the natural world and not only understand, but respect your animalistic side, while being able to maintain control of it come push or shove in a dire situation.