The Third Installment in an Examination of Martial Arts and Chakra
The Power (Solar Plexus) 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: This Chakra pool, as the two before it and the four after it do, represents a decision point for the martial artist. Having decided to start martial arts, the first chakra. Choosing to stay with it instead of falling off the track, the second chakra. The martial artist reaches the third pivotal step. How to utilize this new found sense of power, and where to apply it. This is all in the course of natural development. More than likely, the martial artist will begin to notice at this point that they are becoming stronger, faster, and able to endure more than their friends who don't share the same passion as they do. It can be a confusing time, especially for those that have never had this kind of physical strength before.
One thing that stands out more than others in regards to this chakra point are the challenges. Not challenges as in internal conflicts, though that will still happen, but as in people seeming to come out of the woodwork to see if they can get a fight out of you. This was interesting for me as I was one of the aforementioned people who had never been what one would consider 'strong' before I started in martial arts. As such, I had never been the recipient of challenges by truly skilled people. Unless you count bullies as truly skilled fighters, which I don't. After training in martial arts for roughly a year I started to notice that the bullies were fading, probably because of the confidence that comes with training to this point, and the legitimate fighters were starting to come out.
Hanging out with friends who want to prove their worth against the 'martial arts master' as they may end up calling you, even if you still are a beginning student. Training either by yourself or in a small group. Don't be surprised if people you don't know vocalize a desire to have a sparring match with you. I will make the warning here that it is ill-advisable to have a match with someone you are not familiar with, especially if you don't have proper supervision. They don't know you, and you don't know them which attaches less importance on who you are as a person to them. In addition to that, there may be a rule that either you or them are very familiar with, but because it seems so basic it doesn't get said. That could easily make the situation spiral out of control. Martial arts is not a game, as fun as it can be at times.
The Location: This chakra pools location has a very easy representation of how it comes into play in day to day life. Located at the solar plexus it is a vulnerable striking point, as are four of the other chakra pools. Despite being a natural weak point on the body that doesn't stop people, mostly males, who are about to get into a confrontation from puffing themselves up and thrusting their chest out. All too often before a fight breaks out between two young men you can see them huffing and puffing, trying to show who is tougher in show before having to resort to fists flying. On some occasions you can even see them walking around in a circle or bumping into each other, pressing this point of their body against each other. While this could be a mere coincidence, I find it to be interesting nonetheless.
In addition to that, usually if someone is feeling like they are lacking power or confidence, you can see them walking around with their shoulders hunched forward and their chest in. Sadly, this is also a victims stance and invites disaster in the wrong settings. While I'm not saying that you should walk around in a constant state of bravado, strutting like a peacock with the best feathers everywhere you go, a little confidence goes a long way. For those who have reached this point in their training, they may find themselves walking around in a more confident manner than they realize.
The Color: Yellow is the color for this chakra, which is rather interesting. There are many different things to note about this color. To begin with, in American culture the color yellow is sometimes linked to being cowardly. Clearly that is not the case with this chakra, in fact it's the exact opposite. To have an underdeveloped third chakra has the effect of being cowardly.
One thing that is of no surprise about this color and fits in perfectly with being issued challenges is that this color is known to be an attention-getter1. Trust me, at the point of your training when you awaken to your third chakra you will be getting plenty of attention. Whether you want it or not.
Often you will see this color used in caution signs and tapes. This is both because of it's natural ability to grab your eye and that we perceive it already as a warning. Just looking at nature you can see examples of why this is with various snakes and insects. That could be an explanation as to why bullies tend to fade away once you get this chakra going.
Of course, there are many other great things about this color both in regards to martial arts and outside of it. It is supposed to increase mental clarity, boost energy, as well as metabolism, and obviously confidence. Also, it stimulates the brain and memory, which if you have been practicing hard should be evident in the forms and techniques feeling more natural and flowing easier. Along with that it boosts focus and should make you more analytical1. Once again, if you have been practicing martial arts hard up to this point it should be evident in being able to keep your cool in a fight much better than when you started and being able to read your opponents more.
The Balance: In order to keep this chakra balanced it is important to remember two things. One, no matter what, as long as you keep training in martial arts, or even if you leave, there will always be people who want to challenge you to prove their worth to themselves. Do not let that overwhelm you. After a while it shouldn't even faze you. Remember that you have the right do decline any challengers and walk away. In all reality, the only thing that you are risking is your health when you accept a legitimate, legal challenge or walk into the ring. While it is only one thing, it is a very important one so bear that in mind.
REMEMBER: Do not accept a challenge in the streets, especially if you don't know the person. That is reckless on behalf of anyone involved.
Two, with this new found strength in martial arts it becomes even more vital that you decide what it is you are willing to fight for. As you progress and become more skilled, it becomes more reckless for you to involve yourself in scuffles. Both legally and physically it could be a nightmare. If you have made it this far in martial arts, but haven't sat down and really thought about what is important enough for you to cause bodily harm to another person over, then now would be a good time to do it. As for myself, self-defense and the defense of those around me is all I consider important. There is no other reason to get into a fight with someone.