Last November, we had the privilege of speaking with the multi-dimensional stunt man and martial artist, David Sepulveda Low. Read part one here: http://kungfukingdom.com/interview-with-david-sepulveda-low/
To briefly recap the story, after recovering from a traumatic head injury in his childhood, David dedicated his life to perfecting his mind and body through the discipline found in martial arts.
His passion and dedication to his training ultimately got him into show business as a stunt man, with some of his credits including TV series’ such as “Hospital Central”, “Todo Madrid”, and “Nip Tuck”, along with appearing on the big screen in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.
However, David’s life in front of the camera is just one facet of his experience in the martial arts -it soon became clear that he had much more to share with us and the world. His deep insights into the philosophical and spiritual aspects of martial arts are something that every practitioner of martial arts can further enlighten themselves about on their path in life. If you’re hoping to one day step in front of the camera you can benefit tremendously from his perspectives regarding the mindset that must be developed in order to succeed.
So, without further ado, let’s present part two of our interview with David Sepulveda Low!
Awesome to have you with us again David, we had a great response from readers to our last article with you!
Yes, it was a success! Thanks guys and it’s a pleasure to be here again.
We’ve covered all the normal type of questions with you in our previous interview, so let’s take a different angle here if we may…let’s start by asking:
How do you think someone’s mindset about martial arts should progress and evolve from when they first begin training to a few years later on down the line?
There is certainly not a right or wrong way in life. There are many paths to the top of the mountain. However it’s always helpful that the mindset is a POSITIVE one from the start no matter which way you choose.
Does a person’s reason or motivation to learn martial arts, in your opinion, have any impact on their ability to progress in martial arts?
Sure. How you start something is going to determine how you experience that something. But nothing is irreversible, where there is a will, there is way!
What would you consider to be the “wrong” reasons for one to take up practicing martial arts?
Violence begets violence. The martial arts is a survival, healing and refinement toolbox as I see it. It is totally fine to take on modern martial arts to became a “cool dude” or a “bad ass”, just use what you learn to serve others, protect those in need, end suffering and defend injustice. Become a superhero, not a villain 🙂
What do you think are the biggest overall misconceptions that the general public has about martial arts, and about martial arts practitioners?
There are still people that relate martial arts with being a violent person. In my experience this is only a product of the person’s own fear to confront his/her own fears. We all know by now: fear, money & sex make the world go around.
What erroneous ideas have you heard about the true purpose of martial arts even among martial arts practitioners themselves?
I am not one to say what’s right or wrong for others, I respect everyone’s ideas. I simply choose to share my own experience and it’s up to the receiver to relate to it as they will.
How do you think that the martial arts help contribute to one’s overall karma and spiritual development?
It depends on your level of personal commitment. You can just choose to practice martial arts as a sport, for fitness, combat and film work etc. Whichever you choose is great but you can also choose to use martial arts as a vehicle for personal exploration depending on your level of commitment which is not about winning trophies or any other material achievements, that is secondary. The true warrior path as I see it, becomes a karmic journey, a journey of exploration and clearing soul karma or literally, the exploration of the soul’s past actions through our present physical experience. A journey to “enlightenment” or completion of the soul.
Deep stuff! Now, let’s move onto the entertainment side: How does the martial arts you’ve done in film and television differ from “real” martial arts?
In a life or death situation there is no room for error, in film if you make a mistake all you loose is time, money and maybe reputation. In real life, a split second can cost your life. In addition, under high stress, fine motor skills might not work as well. Everyone reacts to fear differently, that’s why I consider paramount to educate our innate animal or survival instinct. Therefore real life defensive tactics should be quick, simple and effective, and if possible, practiced under simulated stress (safe environment scenario training). On the other hand, in film you must exaggerate the moves for the camera even if you are re-enacting a reality-based street fight scene. In addition, a staged fight scene is a non-verbal form of communication between the parties involved that has been previously rehearsed somewhat. On the other hand, in the real game of life you must be ready for the unexpected at anytime, under any emotional circumstances and any environment!
Can you tell us which projects you’re working on recently?
Lately other than fulfilling some contract side work, my focus has more been on implementing my martial arts and personal development training programs, which I call HUMANOXTM. Humanox are not only training programs but a “warrior lifestyle” movement; promoting human empowerment, tolerance and harmony within and among cultures and communities.
At the moment I empower kids and adults in a Hispanic community located in the heart of Los Angeles, California which is expanding outwards. Starting in 2015 I would like to share my programs and lifestyle through seminars, media and public speaking worldwide.
As far as film projects go, I am open and have some stuff on the back-burner, however actively pursuing my “real life” motives have taken first priority. I have some close friends in the industry who are writing projects I am attached to as an actor or producer which I feel grateful for, but nothing concrete at the moment. I also would like to publish my first book in the near future, so working on that. My aim is nothing more than share my experience, research and lifestyle with the hope that I can empower others to find purpose and the highest level of excellence in their lives. The vehicles to spread my message are various, film being one of them, but the personal connection, being the most important.
On film projects, not a great deal at the moment. I have been working on putting together, in a comprehensive format, my training systems, philosophy and lifestyle. I do have some close friends in the industry writing stuff for me to act on, which I feel grateful for, but nothing solid at the moment. I also would like to publish my first book in near future, so I’m working on that. My aim is nothing more than to share my experience, research and lifestyle with the hope that I can empower others to find purpose and the highest level of excellence in their own lives.
Inspiring indeed! Can you tell us what different sets of skills one should have for “real” martial arts versus martial arts for entertainment purposes?
At the end of the day, it all comes down to actual experience in the field. It’s not much about skills but the mindset needed is what differs between “reality” and entertainment That said, the two main skills to have are: AWARENESS and CONDITIONING
Now, let’s talk more about the health and wellness side of martial arts; it’s is often overlooked by the general public, why do you think this is?
We don’t go to the doctor until something hurts, that is the general tendency we have as a society -a reactive one instead of a proactive/preventative one that is. The proper practice of the martial arts, at least the way I practice them, will assure you strong health (and save you lots on doctors’ bills!) all done the natural way. It’s all about restoring and maintaining what I call “ The natural flow of the body”
What are the real health benefits of martial arts training that you feel are the most important, that sometimes are missed even by martial arts practitioners themselves?
Emotional health. The ability to maintain true balance and harmony in one’s life in the midst of our “busy” and uncertain society as it is right now.
You’ve actually mentioned that martial arts helped you improve your overall health and well-being as a child. Could you describe some of the health problems you overcame through martial arts for our readers? (For example, what was the process you went through, can you explain, step by step, the progress/improvements you experienced?)
To explain step by step would take me a book (books are coming soon though, so stay tuned!) and besides, I don’t want to bore your readers! There are numerous life challenges, both physical and mental/emotional ones where I know that my martial arts training has helped me heal or overcome during difficult times, both during childhood and as an adult.
From basic scraps and sprained or dislocated joints to broken bones and corrective surgery. I have scars literally all over my body. I fell down a lot growing up, but here is a pivotal fact that determined my path in life. At birth, a vain rupture on my brain surface caused an internal hematoma or blood clot to form inside my skull, the clinical term is Acute Subdural Hematoma (ASH) and is considered one of the most lethal of all head injuries.
Thanks to fate, modern medicine and some extraordinarily strong and nurturing parents I was able to fully recover. It was a long and arduous process which lasted for the first 12 years of my life, basically most my childhood. This injury left me with drastic laterality and motor skill deficiency. The martial arts and in particular, Shotokan Karate, (which I began as an after school program in 2nd grade) played a very beneficial role.
Regardless of style, modern martial arts’ practice when you break them down, are in essence based on biomechanics and bioenergetics. In other words, the correct use of muscle tissue, joint/tendons and bones to generate power, internal power that is. It is the generation of this internal power (Qi) that can naturally serve to balance and heal your body/mind from the inside out.
Is there any relationship, in your opinion, between physical, mental, and spiritual health? If so, how, in your opinion, does practicing martial arts tie into or benefit the link between the three?
Body, mind and spirit is a trinity which is inseparable in every human being. Martial arts can serve as a vehicle to consciously educate all three as one unit; when you consciously achieve this unification, magic and reality become one.
That’s a good “Christmas-style” thought to end on! David, this is provoking material, such valuable knowledge you’ve shared here, thank you! Finally, where’s the best place for people to find out more about you?
They are very welcome to check out my social media pages: www.facebook.com/rampartfitness which is about my work in empowering the Hispanic community in Los Angeles and Humanoxtm training. In addition, they are welcome to visit my Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/mastery9
Wonderful David, please keep us posted on all your latest news. From myself and the KFK Team, we wish you a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful successful, New Year ahead in 2015!
Likewise guys! Thank you, we’ll be in touch.