Martial Arts: Stillness in Motion

Tranquility. Serenity. Calmness. These are aspects people learn, and gain, from training in martial arts. Regardless of difference, or similarity, between styles or art forms there is a common theme within practitioners who have trained with discipline: stillness.

Vince Bucarelli, a third-degree black belt with the Korean Martial Arts Centre (KMAC) in Barrie, has been training in Kuk Sool Hap Kido since 1995. He has experience in Kung Fu and Kickboxing, but has remained constant in this particular style because of the fluid motions and control.

“This art form has good control and good grasp of movement,” he says. “It’s not about strength.”

More recently, Bucarelli wanted to see if meditation was actually working for him. He tested a five-minute meditation session with a brainwave scanning device to see what the result would be. According to the counsellor, he “did not break” and remained focused for the duration of the test.

“She’s only found this kind of brainwave pattern in individuals that have been trained in discipline, in an art form, such as intense yoga,” he says. “And these are individuals who have studied it for years. And she said, ‘you have that exact same brain pattern.’ So, it’s like, wow, that’s interesting to hear from a counsellor.”

He is happy to know it is working for him and says the calmness is probably the best thing he has gained from being a martial artist. There is an aspect of martial arts that is good for anxiety and “helps with confronting daily issues that arise in a more focused way.”

“There is a lot that I’ve gained,” he says.

Bucarelli says the movement is “very therapeutic” for him and compares it to meditation. He says there are different types of meditation but most people are accustomed to sitting down. However, he says, when you are in motion, doing patterns (sometimes referred to as forms), you enter into a state and empty your mind and remain focused.

That includes weapon pattern. The weapon can become an “extension” of the user’s body.

“It’s a weird feeling to describe as you’re going through the motion,” he says. “That’s my favourite aspect. When I’m in harmony with what I’m doing – it’s incredible.”

The same can be said of the self-defence portion of training. There is a technical component of “breaking down” the movements and motions before bringing it together in coordination. He says there’s a point where “you just get into the mode of, ‘okay, you’re being attacked’” and proceed to run through the movement.

“You’re aware,” Bucarelli says. “It’s a whole different sensory perception that is exhilarating.”

It isn’t always easy to get up and train. He says there are days the body is hurt and aches “especially at 52,” he chuckles.

He says, despite that, there are moments when you can push through and other times you should just listen to the body and be okay with allowing yourself to relax. Bucarelli says learning to listen to your body, and acknowledging its okay to rest, is important too.

“Sometimes we push ourselves too hard and we ignore our bodies and I think it’s important that we listen,” he says.

Overall, he says it is a great style and has excellent value. He says gender doesn’t matter as it’s not about strength, rather, it is about technique.

He further states that it is more than a physical style. It touches people on spiritual and emotional levels as well. It is furthermore an intellectual challenge and “really pushes you to be the best you can be” so long as you are putting an effort in. He also says it’s practical as there are skills learned through this style that can be utilized in every day life.

Looking to the future of the Barrie KMAC, Bucarelli intends to focus on health and wellness for more than a physical plane. He hopes to incorporate a deeper emotional level in order to help those who have anxiety, are coping with trauma or suffering from mental illnesses.

“How can we utilize martial arts to assist and help people who are disregulated,” he asks. “That’s my focus moving forward: health and wellness.”

Provided by United Korean Martial Arts Alliance
Vince Bucarelli, Melanie Morel and World Kido Federation Grandmaster, Steve Seo.

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*Originally published in Talent North Magazine* When it comes to being a family there is so much more possible than who has married whom and which cousin is the oldest or how many siblings you have. T