What is the purpose of doing martial arts?
Why do we devote so much of ourselves to building skills, hardening bone and mastering emotions?
What will be the end result of this relentless honing of our craft?
A leap of faith
We take a leap of faith as martial artists.
Since the first day, we hang on to that belief, that certainty, that one day our skill will be more than ‘good enough’ it will be Great, that one day we might just inspire people to become more, to live more, to face their problems with their head up high and with that contagious optimism that somehow it will all turn out OK.
With this belief in our gut and a clear destination in mind, we spend countless hours honing our skill, our minds, our bodies and our souls, between the walls of our school, the trees in the forest, on white sands and on cold concrete rooftops.
We work to demolish the person we were yesterday, building a better version, the ME2.0
We strive for perfection, but never reach it.
It’s madness I tell you!
Being a Martial Artist is complete madness.
We work to develop our punches and kicks, when all it would take to feel safe on the street is carrying a knife and gun.
It’s like walking when you can drive, sending letters instead of texting, or working the fields.
In a ‘modern world’ where speed is the new currency, martial arts just don’t make sense. In the eyes of the 21st century consumer, self-defense is just action movie material.
But we are not studying self-defense, are we?
What we are studying is self-development.
The purpose is simply improving. Improving what we do, improving who we are, improving how we live, inspiring for life, in other words, kung fu.
Our hands and legs are limited. We can only use them with a certain reach, a certain speed and with a certain amont of power.
But our minds are limitless.
There is a certain peace of mind in walking, growing your own vegetables, being close to nature. It’s food for your soul. What we are doing is expanding our souls and by doing so, we unconsciously allow other people to do the same.
The master sword smith does not think ‘I am going to create the most beautiful sword in the world’. He thinks, ‘I am going to put my heart and soul in this sword, I will make it a part of me, and in that it will be a masterpiece’.
It’s not about winning your opponent; of course it takes skill to bash somebody who is trying to hurt you, who is trying to knock you out, or break your bones. Without question, it takes skill, sweat and blood.
But, towards the end of your life, you will ask yourself, what was it all for?
Did I matter to anybody? Did my kung fu change anybody’s life? Was I kind? Did I contribute? Did I touch people’s lives in a positive way?
You’re not always going to be strong, fast and invincible, nobody is. But as long as you are on this Earth, you are always going to be human.
Might as well be the best human you can be!