Why Martial Arts?
As a professional educator in the Martial Arts industry, I am often asked about the benefits of Martial Arts training, and why someone would choose to engage in an activity like Martial Arts.
The truth is I am torn in answering this question.
You see, for me and millions of individuals around the world, the Martial Arts isn’t an activity at all…
…it’s a way of life.
I know that sounds a bit absurd to the average person, but hear me out:
When I say that the Martial Arts is a “way of life” I mean only that true Martial Artists are engaged in an active pursuit of self-improvement…and that is a way of life.
Most people think about Martial Arts only within the context of their own limited exposure: what they’ve seen on TV and in films, what they hear on the radio, or what they see in their Social Media newsfeeds. What people see, in other words, is the physical side of the Martial Arts; the kicking, punching, throwing, fighting, sweating, bleeding, rough edges of a world that at its core…is about peace.
The truest pursuit of a Martial Artist is inner peace and emotional stability, and that sometimes comes across as disingenuous or incompatible with the hard, physical nature of the manner in which most modern Martial Arts are expressed.
But the logic actually flows quite seamlessly:
If the pursuit of Martial Arts is, as society may tell you, physical greatness…then take a moment to contemplate what that actually means in practice:
Physical greatness requires and demands inner strength, perseverance, patience, humility, willingness to fail, indomitable spirit, hard work, self-respect, discipline, and strength of character.
In other words…all the things that the Martial Arts is known to instill in its practitioners.
You see…we Martial Artists don’t kick and punch and throw for the sake of beating one another up…
…we kick and punch and throw because the physical demands of doing so at a high level require us to develop and grow mentally and emotionally far beyond our former selves. The physicality of the Martial Arts is the literal expression of our character development as individual human beings seeking self-improvement and enlightenment.