Martial Arts

Introduction to Martial Arts

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

– Bruce Lee

Only when martial arts becomes part of a larger picture can we see the full potential and beauty. Traditionally, martial arts went hand in hand with acupuncture, massage, medicine, religion, painting, and poetry. But these are not the only things I am referring to when I speak of a larger picture.

Martial arts is more than just fighting. It is the means by which one’s character is moulded and personality is forged. However, I don’t doubt that at the dawn of martial arts, the main goal was to beat up one’s opponents in the most effective way possible. But then, indirectly, the alchemy of martial arts began to strike some chords deep within the spirit of many individuals, transforming living war machines into poets, artists, and philosophers. Certainly the gods of martial arts had lots of fun. Like skilled magicians, they stuffed their magic hat with a fighting method, and pulled out a way of facing life: changing one’s self and the world through a bodily discipline.

To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.

– Bruce Lee

Martial arts are a way, not The Way. There are hundreds of possible physical vehicles for spiritual transformation. Spiritual are those who are not satisfied with surviving, but want to turn daily experiences into sources of ecstasy.

Martial_Arts_Bow

Benefits of Martial Arts

A willpower that can’t be broken, the discipline to transform dreams into reality, the ability to get up with one’s confidence unshaken after being knocked down countless times, the commitment to fight not just for one’s personal goals but for everything and everyone deserving help. The warrior does not simply talk about “how things should be,” but acts in a way to make them happen. Being a warrior means having the strength and passion to follow one’s visions.

See 5 Ways Yoga Will Improve Your Martial Arts.

Martial Arts is similar to having a life coach. It teaches us how to live by embracing our spirituality. It improves our confidence by strengthening our mind. It builds a useful and effective body by taming each and every one of our limbs. It is truly a beautiful art.

Mental

Can you imagine yourself fighting a bigger, stronger, and more aggressive man? It’s a very frighting thought isn’t it? It’s not something you would feel comfortable doing right? It causes fear. The fear of losing your life.

Once there is fear, there is opportunity for mental growth.

Physical

Tame your limbs. You have 8 of them, yet most people don’t know how to use them properly.

Learning to use all the weapons in your toolbox will help build your physical body to be a human war machine. Prepare to get in the best shape of your life.

Spiritual

Letting go of any aggression you might be holding onto at the gym helps bring peace outside of the gym.

Knowing that you can protect yourself in dangerous situations brings a sense of calm when in unusual situations.

Learning how to master your breathe, and relaxing in different positions puts you in a Zen state, where nothing matters except the moment.

Okay, but I don’t need to Fight?

Bruce_LeeEven in a relatively safe society, even among people who probably will never have to face violence, its presence is very much alive. No matter how brilliant and sophisticated we get, in the back of our minds always looms the question of what would we do if attacked by a physical force that knows no common sense, doesn’t listen to good words and can’t be stopped by gentleness. The very physical nature of our existence makes it impossible to completely escape this primordial fear. Maybe we can ignore it, and maybe we can live fulfilling lives without ever having to face it. But this fear, however silent and dormant it may be, is something that always lives within us. Through the practice of martial arts, the warrior stares his own fears in the eyes. He challenges them and tries to overcome his limits and weaknesses.

To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.

– Bruce Lee

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