In this day and age, I do think it is important to learn how to defend yourself. There seems to be more and more violence occurring in our suburbs than ever before and knowing how to defend yourself is important, but that doesn’t mean you have to learn how to fight. Martial Arts should not be about learning to fight, but learning to control your body and more importantly, control your mind.
When people think about martial arts, they often think it’s just about fighting. Learning how to punch, kick and strike. Or they look at swords and think it’s just about cutting things and swinging a sword. I don’t think that is the purpose of martial arts. It’s what we do in class yes, but the act of learning these techniques and practising them has a greater benefit.
By practising martial arts, learning the techniques, doing the push ups and patterns you fight to control your body. Can you push your body to do a higher kick, a faster cut, those extra ten push ups? Can you fight your body and stretch that bit further, hold that low stance a bit longer? Learning to control your body in martial arts, helps you in other areas of your life. That conditioning helps you to play with your kids longer, do better at school sport and in lots of other physical activities you participate in.
Fighting to control your body in martial arts also helps you fight to control your mind. You learn that hard work pays off, that perseverance and working through the tough times makes you mentally strong. You realise that you can do more than you ever thought possible. These are also lessons that help in other areas of your life.
So learning how to do martial arts to defend yourself is a great way to get you into martial arts, but I encourage you to look at the other long term benefits. How learning techniques makes you more physically capable and builds a stronger mind. It’s not about learning how to fight other people, it’s about learning how to fight yourself, and win.