A Valentine's Day Post
I've been doing martial arts for over a dozen years now. That's longer than some, but not as long as other, better people. The question is why do I keep them? Why do I, and I assume the reader, spend so much time and energy away from easier pursuits. There has to be something to these arts. Myself and several other martial arts writers have joined together for a series of Valentines's Day posts on why we love martial arts. Their links will be at the bottom of this post. For me there is a two fold answer.
Mind, Body Connection.With everything in our modern society that pulls our attention in different directions, or requires us to separate out bodies from our mental activities, its good to go back to doing something that makes our bodies be fully integrated with our minds. I don't care which martial art you are doing, but at some point in your training, your body has been physically trained well enough to do the techniques. It is physically capable of doing the movements. At some point, it becomes more about the mental or psychological portion of the art. You have to start out thinking the opponent, rather than physically beating them. And lets face it, everyone, as we get older, will eventually loose the physical portion. However, if we can integrate our mental abilities into the techniques, they acquire a new, longer half-life and decay much slower.
When practicing (or even using) your martial arts, your mind has to be 100% there for the physical parts to work correctly. You cannot perform at your best if you are thinking about that TPS Report you have to write for work (Yeah, Office Space). You force your mind to thing about only one thing, or even more so, one small detail of one thing. This could be foot placement during a kick, or how to read the movement of an opponent's shoulder's to tell that he's attacking you. Whatever it is, your mind has to be all there, or you won't perform at optimum levels.
If it was easy, everyone would do it.This may be a bit elitist of me, but by being a martial art, I am part of a unique group of people that enjoys struggling, and coming out better for it. I've talked about this on the podcast, and I'm pretty sure I've said this on a post or two, but in our society where everything is becoming easier and safer, choosing to do something because it is more difficult, and has an inherent danger is becoming a rarity. It's good to remember that life isn't always about safety, and that you can only appreciate the nice, safe things, by knowing about the bad, things. By doing something that can, and will at some point, cause you injury and pain, you learn to appreciate life and everything good in it. I can't believe that I'm quoting the LEGO movie, but EVERYTHING is Awesome. Especially the difficult, hard stuff.
That's why I love martial arts.
If you liked this post, below are the other people that are posting on this same subject for V-D.
Mae-no-Sen by Katy Garden
A Beginner's Journey by Joelle White
The Stick Chick by Jackie Bradbury
Bamboo Spirit Martial Arts by Brian Johns