Feeding the soul - Mihai style
Mihai Cozmei thunders past at full speed on his horse, guiding himself and his steed inside the ring by the constant positional adjustments of his lower body and legs - in itself, it is a feat worthy of awe and inspiration.
Bow in hand he unleashes five arrows in a few seconds, each of them fizz through the air and thud into the bullseye on a static target: The question begs, awe plus awesome equals what?
For Romanian born Mihai, who has been involved in various forms of martial arts for thirty years, the answer should feed the inner spirit within us all.
"Basically I think the (martial) arts are given to the people to think about their souls . Because what is the meaning of shooting arrows-no practical reason," he laughs.
Mihai has a humble, kind way about him and believes it is not a spiritual act, because as he says, "it does not teach you about the god, and about those things, but it puts the questions. It puts you in that situation where you seem ok but your soul wants more."
"Teaching martial art is not just a simple job, martial art, or art, is something between the soul and the body, so practising honestly in an ancient martial art, I think you start to think about how you can feed your soul because you feel that behind all this reality, it is something about the soul. So, you can feed your body with the food and drinks for daily needs but the soul doesn’t work like this- so you start to think about what you really need to feed your body with."
"I lose my time just making money and I don’t know, having power, or playing with the things of this world, so I need something more. So an art helps you in this way if you are honest. If you practise an art to grow your ego, or for spectators to see how good you are, you lose your time because you are only feeding your ego."
The former electronic engineer and Zen follower who converted to Christianity now trains horseback archers of all denominations or beliefs around the world - one week he will be in the USA, Asia or Europe and the next training mounted policemen in Jordan.
"I am a Christian and teach many Muslims, especially in Turkey, Jordan and Malaysia. I get a lot of jobs because many Muslim people like to practise archery and the horseback archery, thank you god it is like this, but I try to explain the art in a universal way so I do not speak about particular things, In Muslim countries they will speak about Mohammed and the islamic way but I will teach in a way that everybody can understand, even if they are an atheist or a believer.
"I am a believer, but I have no right to be too particular, which is my choice, so I should be able to tell their heart in such a way that it doesn’t matter, so this is very challenging for me to teach and it keeps me interested in doing this art," he said.
"After many years of practice and teaching archery and horseback archery, I decided to start sharing my experience with all those who might feel the call of their hearts in this direction."
If you are honest and you practise more, you go deep, it's more rewarding….."
Mihai is in Malaysia for two more weeks and is conducting workshops around the country.Check out the link below for more details.
For those wishing to know more about Mihai and how he describes his "Shoot from the Heart" teaching style check out the link to his website below.