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Do You Train To Fight?

cropped-steve-sepia.jpg“The end result of martial arts training is to fight” – is it?

Mine isn’t.  Mine includes the emotional intelligence to deal with confrontation in all it’s guises, to be able have resolve, determination and courage when needed, along with the patience, kindness, tolerance and compassion and their associated requisite skills when needed.

To keep the peace.

The calligraphy for ‘Budo’ and ‘Wu Shu’ is ‘to stop the spear’. The ‘Wa’ in ‘Wado’ means harmony and balance, as does ‘Aiki’ in Aikido, ‘Goju’ in ‘Goju Ryu’ and ‘Tai Chi’ means ‘Grand Ultimate’ as in the harmony of an enlightened mind.

‘Fight’ is contrary to all those ideas.

The 3 treasures of form and kata are ‘health’ as in both mind and body, brought about by good posture, breathing and an aware, focused and meditative mind. ‘Skill’, the construction of the form or kata is designed to combine ideas and movement to improve the skill level of the practitioner not necessarily in a combination that they would find in an everyday confrontation but would make them more than capable to deal with the lower level required at the time and ‘boxing’ being the physical application of technique in every centimetre of movement all the way through the form or kata.

It’s a fundamental difference that separates martial arts and thuggery.  If you just want to learn to ‘fight’ you wouldn’t go to a traditional martial arts school, if you want to learn self defence of both mind and body along with the emotional intelligence to cope with all of life including ‘keeping the peace’ in all forms, a GOOD traditional school is a good place to start.

Martial arts is an alchemy that works on all levels. There is no quick fix, but each day you should be better than you were the day before.  Transformation requires continual postural, breathing and mental training and daily technical study of the Art. Day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year with 99% input from student and 1% by instructor, the alchemy takes place.

Like I said, no quick fix, but like everything that takes effort, it’s life changing.

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