This caught my eye, because I am a Theist, I believe in a Higher Power however, most people would understand my belief structure as agnostic, of which I am not. I'm not religious, so if it helps you understand my belief as agnostic because I don't believe in a
To train in the martial arts represents a taking hold of bodily ownership, personal autonomy, and self-mastery; the control of one's own body and mind. Not giving over to a higher power, but retaining the power in the self. And while Wacquant may speak about this, in the specific light of oppressive circumstances, it still holds true as a way for one to grab hold “of their own fate and remake it in accordance with their inner wishes” (501). The martial artist is able to feel in control of one thing, one thing in a world of things that are out of their control—the freedom to choose to train their body and how they will use it.
This also caught my eye because I disagree with Professor John Callaghan, due to personal experience. A team sport does not equal a hive mind. As a prop playing rugby, I had a job within the team to run, hit up the ball, shrimp over it and get it back to my half back while in a ruck or in a maul. There were set plays in which I was integral. One was called Fireman and to this day when I hear the word, I have a mental flash where I should be positioned on the field. We drilled this repeatedly in training. Repeatedly. When game time came, I didn't have to think, "****, what do I do when I hit the ground?" I fucking shrimped and placed the ball as close as I could to where my half back could retrieve it. Granted, there was more communication than in an individual contact sport, but the result was the same, a play was called, the position was taken on the field and the move that was drilled over and over again was administered. I didn't have to think, I just reacted.
Professor John Callaghan argues, in an interview (Roberts), that he believes it is not possible for athletes to experience a spiritual component in every aspect of sport, such as group physical contact sports: soccer, football, rugby (Roberts np). However, it can be seen in individual sports where one can come to terms with their inner-self or spiritual-self (Roberts). As in traditional religion, not everyone has a 'religious experience' (Prebish 317)—a transcendental experience, but through a flow state one can come into contact with the spiritual and lived experience which does happen within martial arts, it can change lives.