Martial Arts is lots of things
What do you think of when someone says “Martial Arts”? Is it the image of people in white suits and black belts going through complicated movements, or is it more the sweat and grime of 2 people knocking lumps out of each other in a cage? Maybe you just think Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee films?
All three would be correct, each of these things are martial arts, but it doesn’t really tell you what martial arts means. Martial arts is so much more than just the punching and kicking that gets presented to us by films and television. It’s about confidence, discipline, self control, mental well being, courage and about a dozen others things.
Why do martial arts?
Over a number of years teaching martial arts, the main things I heard from parents and students was “I want him/her/me to be more confident” or “I want to have more self control”. I can’t remember a parent bringing their child to me and saying “Yeah, I want him to be able to beat the snot out of other people”. In fact I only once had to sit down with a parent because they felt their child wasn’t “learning enough moves”. My response to this was to ask how knowing more moves, or being able to do the best kick would improve their 4 year old daughters life? As it turned out her life was made better by being able to focus, do what she was asked straight away and be nice to her friends.
What is the meaning of martial arts?
There are hundreds of different martial arts out there, and I am pretty sure that none of them are just about punching and kicking. The physical part (the hitting stuff) is just the tip of the iceberg, it is the way that we can teach the rest of it. I once taught a seminar on board breaking (punching through a wooden board). This turned out to be one of our most popular seminars. I had students come from other schools just to join in. But what was the point of it? I can’t say that in my day to day life I have ever needed to punch through a wooden board or cinder block! But what is it really about is goal setting and focus, and that is something you can use everyday to enrich your life for the better. In fact the week after that seminar I had one of my students use the skills we developed there to secure herself a promotion at work, something she’d been putting off for years.
So when I think about martial arts, it’s about how it can change and develop a person, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Martial arts is about tapping into your own source of improvement, about learning who you are and how you can become better.
Is Martial Arts right for you?
Well martial arts really is for everyone, regardless to your age, size or fitness, there will be a type of martial outs out there to suit you. If you’re interested in trying it then first ask yourself; what do I want to get out of it? Once you have an answer ask yourself what else would you like to get out of it? When you have two answers, ask yourself a third time, what do I really want to get out of doing martial arts? Chances are that 3rd answer is actually closest to the truth, and rarely is it just lose weight or be able to hit hard. From experience, that 3rd answer, the deepest truest answer is a lot more profound than that.
Follow my guide to martial arts over the next 2 weeks. I will explain some of the different types, and help you chose the right one for you.
If you’re interested in adding some martial arts training to your fitness routine, or you just really want to hit something after a hard day at work, then get in contact!
Ben has been teaching martial arts to people of all ages and abilities for over 12 years. He can help you incorporate different aspects of martial arts into fun, effective workouts. Contact him on 07707 116372 for info on one-to-one training and small group classes.