Unleash your inner warrior with the true meaning of martial arts training
The Term “MARTIAL”
Is quite often associated with the military and military pursuits such as fighting and war. The term “martial” is rooted in the Latin word “Martialis”, which is also the god of war in Roman mythology. The Chinese have a character that translates into martial called “mu”. Oddly enough “mu” literally means to stop fighting or lay down weapons.
Arts, refer to skills, expressions of beauty, and creativity. In combination, one could surmise that martial arts could mean to skillfully end conflict, or create peace. Anyone that has spent much time at all with Grand Master Pak, knows that maintaining peace is very important to him.
When you think about the ultimate goal of conflict, is to be at peace. Being at peace even in the midst of conflict is the ultimate goal.
The martial artist commits to the discipline out of love for it. The practitioner is beyond fighting. The true meaning of the martial arts lays in the student’s personal quest to evolve into the best martial artist they can be.
The martial arts take the student on a lifelong journey toward self-improvement of mind, body, and soul. The practitioner is challenged mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The sport is all-encompassing and leaves the student with a profound sense of belief in self.
Improving the Mind
Practicing the martial arts takes the student down a path toward personal development. We grow confidence, attain mental strength, and develop courage, tenacity, humility, compassion and kindness. The student enhances their character, developing honor, discipline, integrity, work ethic, and respect.
The martial arts student forms bonds with fellow students. Working in a partner environment, the martial artists build friendships and reach their full potential together. Despite titles, social status, education or wealth, all martial artists are equal when they face an opponent.
Conquering adversities is at the “core” of what it means to be a “martial artist”. Over time, students develop a type of “warrior spirit” that empowers them to face life’s adversities without breaking. Weaknesses are transformed into strengths, and fears turn into courage through our martial arts training.
Martial arts students embrace four guiding principles that enhance their daily lives. The principle of non-resistance, the principle of accommodation, the principle of balance and the principle of natural order give practitioners a definite path to follow every day of life.
- Non-Resistance. Rather than passivity, the principle of non-resistance promotes working in harmony with nature. Students cultivate sensitivity and discernment to naturally flow with life’s forces. In applying this principle, the martial artist’s opponent becomes a teacher who reveals the student’s weaknesses.
- Accommodation. The principle of accommodation embraces progressive overload, which simply means challenging oneself further after each accomplishment. Students push themselves to attain larger life goals. The martial arts student recognizes that growth is gradual and takes time. Rushing toward progress risks failure.
- Balance. The principle of balance also lends to the meaning of the martial arts. The student moves neither too fast nor too slowly; is neither aggressive nor tentative. They understand the reality of both good days and bad ones, which helps them to realize a balance in life.
- Natural Order. Many natural processes have an order, and this is the central concept behind the principle of natural order. Summer always follows spring, for example. Similarly, the martial artist recognizes that progress cannot be rushed and learns to avoid forcing his body to perform more than what it is capable.
The martial artist’s physical body undergoes rigorous training as equally as his mind. The athleticism developed through martial arts training is a result of engaging the entire body to build incredible strength and endurance. Speed and flexibility are also enhanced.
Martial arts students who commit to training jump higher, kick harder and punch faster. Hand-eye coordination improves. The clumsiness of the beginner student turns into deliberate, pointed actions in the intermediate and advanced students. Physical movements become smooth and effortless.
Physical power is a great equalizer and can be the difference between a triumphant win or crippling loss. This is true whether the martial arts practitioner is combating an opponent in the ring or handling a real-life scenario outside of it. The martial arts increase a student’s overall power.
Wisdom and patience is necessary to end conflict, and this is true especially for the martial artist. Making good decisions and consciously applying the appropriate techniques and learned skills to end conflict is a hallmark of the experienced martial artist. Students learn to think before they act.
Summoning bravery in the face of fear is at the heart of being a martial artist. Confronting fear leads to confidence in the martial arts practitioner. Without having the need to prove oneself, the martial artist encourages acceptance and peace.
Life-threatening situations are easier to handle for the martial artist with confidence. Rather than remain frozen and helpless, the practitioner is calm and thinks with clarity in order to arrive at solutions. The student with confidence knows he can either reduce the conflict or make it worse.
As is apparent, the true meaning behind the martial arts is less about fighting and more about developing oneself to one’s ultimate potential. The philosophies and practices that drive the martial artist are lifelong; the student benefits from all that makes the martial arts the discipline it is.