Martial arts — when people hear this they automatically think of kicks, punches, people getting hurt and etc. And because of the rise of MMA now a days some say its a violent art and some won’t recommend to try because of it, but the thing is, ever since the popularity of martial arts grew and even when MMA came to the global stage, martial arts helped shaped people ever since it became more on competitions.
One thing I can say about this as a Martial Artist who started in a traditional Art that is Aikido in 2009 then trying other arts such as Taekwondo, Karate, Penchak Silat, Wushu, Russian Systema, Muay Boran, Brazilian Jujitsu, and trying MMA now, the journey of a martial artist is hard but a fulfilling one. Here’s a view of what martial arts give and how it affects us.
1. When Ego leaves, Humbleness enters
In every gym there’s always this tradition of bowing or showing respect to the gym or the coaches upon entering. To the beginners they often question why they have to do this even to the practitioners some don’t actually know the reason behind this.
In Japanese martial arts the bow means lower my self to you as it symbolizes exposing the nape, the vulnerable part of the neck to others and imagine doing something like that during the times where the sword was a weapon its means much respect especially when you have to keep your guard up different arts have their own perspective bowing but no matter the style the bow means I am Humble and ready to learn.
Another way of ego dropping that often happen is when one martial artist is being corrected. Often times the martial artist will not accept the teaching because how they perceive their ways is better and right that no matter the amount of comments they get from someone who is more experienced or from their coach; this is one of the struggles that some gyms have where one student or martial artist stay stiff, and an example of this could be like a judo student learning wrestling and because that judoka thinks that his style is more better. There’s this saying that the more you feed your ego the more deeper you fall, and by ways of being corrected in combat or in competition then they will finally know that they were wrong. That’s why in competitions or sparring it’s where one martial artist will truly learn.
In martial arts one can never improve if they let their ego win. To some they say reasons why they lost and some even don’t show up in classes because of that but the truth will always be defeat is not called defeat but a lesson. Ego has no place in Martial arts and if one tend to walk that path time over time something will make them humble. But when one is humble in defeat, one becomes better and stronger and from this humbleness is learned.
2. The Bliss of achievements
I remember my first day in Aikido when I was struggling with the techniques. It was so disappointing yet when I get to master those techniques till I got my blue belt, it was an amazing achievement. The feeling of bliss and self confidence can be achieved through martial arts. When one starts in any martial art they start with zero experience. Some who even start are big and skinny but when they give it a year they get fit and masculine. This is one aspect of martial arts which some don’t see. When they think it’s all about fighting they don’t know the half of it; the sweat, the pain, the endurance, the hardship of just getting that perfect kick and submission to people know that when one masters a certain skill or gets a belt it means they work hard for it, and I’m pretty sure every martial artist know this. That happiness inside when they finally get that technique right, when they kept working for it for months, how one improves over all when they started with nothing, that’s the incentives that not mostly everyone notice. the medals and belts fighters win is because of the hardship and giving all heart in training and from this achievements and self betterment.
3. Coaches, Seniors, And Team
-Coaches are the parents of the dojo and seniors are like the brother or sisters in a team, just as parents the Coaches, Krus, Sensei, or Instrutors see and know what one student by guidance needs since they see what they are doing and been checking each one’s progress, the seniors help the coaches in helping others grow faster just as older brother and sister do to their sibblings., a team is a family where they help each other grow and learn, a team can be just more than a team they can be a support system, a team can never function fully when one isn’t growing and from this you get a package of supporters and a 2nd family
4. A Martial Artist
The title martial artist is a great name to bear whether one’s a starter or a coach. In that title holds discipline, respect, and attitude. A true martial artist works by example and not by word, by actions and not by say say; an example is when one can say they can stay calm in battle because that is how it is then during combat; they are the ones swinging. The thing is when one says they are martial artists they must embrace it with utmost discipline. A dog that bites is scarier than a dog that barks.
Being a martial artist also gives respect to your art but as well as the founders, the coaches and your team, if you train muay boran as an example you live and move muay boran. If you move jujitsu you represent jujitsu. Being a martial artist is a scary title as well if you don’t have the proper mentality, the right attitude and discipline. It’s going to go south, as a practitioner for years one must live out the arts purpose and saying not just in the gym but outside as well. and from this being a better person and a helpful member of society.
As martial artist we must inspire, help and motivate others, and of course, must not forget what it truly means to be one.