Best of the blogs: George Ledyard on “Traditional Wisdom” (June 2006)

“Traditional Wisdom” exists in every culture. Any ancient activity pursued as some sort of personal development or spiritual practices designed to give insight into the nature of things have some wisdom accumulated from hundreds, if not thousands, of years of transmission. Warrior arts in traditional cultures always had a spiritual component.

In this modern age we see a head-long plunge towards the so-called rational and the material. Just as our impact on the environment is leading to the loss at an exponential rate of species that we will never see again and even species which we hadn’t even discovered before they were lost to us, I think that traditional practices are in just as much danger.

The modern person looks at something and if he can’t see the immediate use or benefit, it is discarded. Traditional martial arts in general were designed to teach the individual quite a bit more than simply destroying an enemy. This was why the martial arts have been kept alive all these years, even after it became apparent that there were far more efficient ways to kill each other.

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