Saturday, February 7, 2009

(Un)Caged Philosophy....

Over the years I’ve trained in several different styles. Each one has taught me something unique and valuable. During my training in the martial arts what I found was that:

  • The primary purpose of the martial arts is about improving one’s fighting ability and to prepare them for a real fight – While there is a trend in many martial arts circles to focus on the ethical/spiritual aspects, the improvement of physical fitness, and/or the “glitz and glamour” of competition, these are not the primary purpose of the martial arts. Despite what tree hugging crowd or the “hardcore” MMA crowd think, being a martial artist means preparing one’s self for the possibility of real life or death fight.
  • The secondary purpose of the martial arts is to build a better person – By their very nature the martial arts are a violent pursuit. To provide a balance, traditional martial arts typically include instruction in ethical and moral guidelines that are intended to develop within the practitioner: a sense of duty to protect others, humility, respect, dedication, and perseverance. In Chinese Martial Arts circles these ethical and moral guidelines are called “Wu De”.
  • A martial artist should train themselves inside and out – Not only should a martial artist be concerned with build skill in technique, proper body mechanics, strength, and explosive power but they must also be concerned with training the mind and building “Qi” Power (bioenergetics). A martial artist shouldn’t neglect anything that will further both the primary and secondary purposes of the martial arts.

The martial arts are more than just a pastime or a simple means to “get fit”. For many the martial arts are a way of life.

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