Martial Arts is a very broad topic, so I’ll simplify it into how it relates to this blog. More importantly, what you can expect to gain from it at a holistic level.
At the surface, martial arts is about self-defense, physical fitness, and self-discipline. Although it is often categorized as sport, martial arts is fundamentally not a sport. It is literally the art and science of mortal combat. It’s philosophy is rooted in the pursuit of self mastery.
While the basis of martial arts is rooted in combat, I believe that it’s essentially one of the most comprehensive vehicles for self-discovery and personal development. Martial arts encompasses a holistic approach for healthy mind-body-soul development that is easily applied to your daily life for successful living.
Holistic practice is the way to self-realization. This is why martial arts is commonly referred to as “tao” or “do”, a “way”, meaning that martial arts is the way to self-mastery.
Martial arts seeks to discover truth and preserve life. This philosophy is engrained into every aspect of the martial arts lifestyle. A true practitioner doesn’t only seek excellence in martial arts skills, but in life skills.
While it’s true that martial arts practice develops skills that seem violent and combative, to initiate an attack is an aggressive act and an aggressive act is contrary not just to the spirit of martial arts, but to life itself. A martial artist has only one thing to perfect – the self. And there is no perfection in aggression.
Martial arts schools allow us to confront conflict thru an opponent. That opponent is not someone to overcome. It’s a training partner whose purpose is to help us more fully understand ourselves. They show us our strengths and more importantly, our challenges to overcome. They help us become aware of how we react to conflicts and reveal who we really are.
Training helps us connect with ourselves – our habits, our fears, our emotional responses and reactions.
How we respond in training greatly reflects how we respond to circumstances in life. Conflicts that take place in practice help us handle the conflicts that take place in our daily lives.
The mindset and discipline required to study martial arts carries over to all aspects of life. The purpose of practice is not to master a “skill”. It’s to help us master ourselves.
In that sense there’s only one opponent – the self, the ego. It’s the inner dragon that must be tamed. The true practice of martial arts is one of the best ways to enrich your life.
Find out how in related posts.