Martial Arts, Life and Balance

Balance: Myth or Reality

I often hear People, especially Martial Artists talk about balance.

"You have to have Balance in your life"
"You have to eat a Balanced diet"
"You must keep your relationships in Balance"

It's a bit of a strange thing to say if you think about it because I don't think that I have ever had a definition of what is mean. The more I think about it, I'm quite sure that I don't know what it means.

You even get Christians talking about it.

I had one Christian brother give me a whole list of Bible verses that used the word "balance", to prove to me that it was a biblical concept:
  • Proverbs 11
  • Leviticus 25:27
  • Psalm 62:9
  • Proverbs 16:11
  • Isaiah 40:12
When I questioned whether he was sure that these verses were what he meant because they were about scales being in balance, he was emphatic that, scales is not what they are on about. I was not about to argue with him as the guy had a PhD. but to this day I can not see how they do anything to explained what is meant by a Balanced life.


I had another Christian who tried to explain his understanding this way:
Eccl.7:16-19 “ Be not Righteous over much....” Holding righteousness & wisdom in tension with wickedness & foolishness.

“as far as it is within you. Live at peace with all men.” Rom.12:18

God is not a God of disorder. 1.Cor. 14:29-33 & 40

Eph. 4:17-6:9
Rather than balance between light and darkness we are required to live in the light.

We are required however to keep some things in balance such as:
  • Our relationships Eph. 4:32, 5:21, 1.Cor.1:10.
  • Husbands and Wives Eph.5:22-33
  • Children & parents Eph.6:1-4
  • Masters and servants Eph.6:5-9
  • Our emotions ? Eph.4:26
  • Restraint Eph.4:29
  • Temperance Eph.5:18
  • Discipline Eph.4:25,1.Cor.7:5
  • Hard work Eph.4:28

Balance - Sometimes I think there is no such thing. In my life, there are phases and passages where one gives more, spends more, expects more mentally, physically, or spiritually. If I am sold out to whatever I am doing, balance is elusive at best.

Personally, I believe in priorities which rule out balance again: God, family, fellow believers and the lost in that order.

Balance for me is a mirage.
He didn't really convince me that there was anything that should be kept in balance. But he did convince me that there are a lot of things that need to be kept in tension and that we defiantly need to prioritizes everything. After all, he did say that "Balance for me is a mirage."

Balance and Judo

We talk a lot about balance in Judo.

You can't do Judo without balance and martial artist, particularly Judoka do like to compare that with life. But I've been thinking about that too.

Judoka don't really try to keep their balance. Our objective in a contest, is to unbalance our opponent and to that end if we lose our own balance we don't care; as long as they hit the mat first.

With that in mind maybe we should not talk about having our life in balance. Maybe we should just accept that our objective in life, like that of a Judo contest should be to treat life as a balancing act and that falling is not always a lose.

Just a thought

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