The Relation Between The Japanese Tea Drinking Ceremony and Martial Arts
In Japan, many traditions are followed on a day to day basis. Be it, a tradition to purify yourself before entering a shrine or bow in a certain way when meeting a new person, some traditions are designed for everything. Martial arts and tea drinking are one of those ancient traditions. It is practiced with similar fervor and is a part of Japan’s culture as well as history. The Japanese have practiced tea drinking for hundreds of years. It has been practiced for so long that some believe that it is a form of ritual of respect and focus. Martial arts and the tea-drinking ceremony are known to be particularly similar, and this is due to the kind of focus that is established during either of the practices.
The Japanese tea drinking ceremony is known as Sado. Sado is a practice that has long been associated with martial arts. In feudal Japan, Sado was known to have been only practiced and indulged in only by the nobility of japan, due to its tradition and ceremonious practice. The tea-drinking ceremony was known to be an activity of equality. This was achieved through the use of a crawl door of 2.5 square feet. For the tea ceremony, the guests would all enter through the same door, which would create a sense of equality among others, similar to a dojo. However, the tea room was one of the places in the household that would not permit the presence of weapons inside the room. Samurai from the feudal age of japan would be expected to leave their weapons outside before entering the tea room.
Relation to Martial Arts
In terms of physical benefits, the tea ceremony has no connection to martial arts. However, the tea ceremony focuses more on the mental stability and inner peace necessary. When you are a part of the tea ceremony, you are expected to be fully present in the moment. When participating in the tea ceremony, you are cleansing your five senses. The cleansing is something that occurs through the experience of making and drinking the tea provided in the service, appreciating the artistry of the ceremony and observing our surroundings can ensure that inner peace and Zen is achieved. This is the form of mindfulness that is required in martial arts. To thoroughly perform a tea ceremony, one has to have the ability to apply present moment awareness to everything that they do. This is a necessary skill in martial arts because the individual cannot grasp all the meanings and training when they are thinking about what they are going to do before they do it. The tea ceremony teaches an individual about how it is essential to be completely present at the moment and creates awareness. Tea drinkers also tend to enjoy what is happing at the moment. This helps in martial arts as they teach the student not to overthink and focus on what is occurring in the now.