Black Belt but Never Struck a Blow

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Training in Martial Arts is about more than just fighting.

Submitted: October 21, 2018

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Submitted: October 21, 2018



Martial arts are part of an ancient tradition and have become increasingly popular in recent times. Many people feel safer knowing how to defend themselves in the case of being attacked by a stranger. A number of clubs advertise their courses by promoting just such a benefit. However, being attacked in this way is very rare and unlikely to happen to you. There is always a chance of course, but why bother to train twice a week for years just in the unlikely event that something bad will happen to you?

There is the fitness element of course, which is a great benefit. Martial Arts can improve stamina, flexibility, strength and overall fitness. But this can be achieved in a number of ways.

There is an element of confidence and knowing how to defend yourself and loved ones in the case of an attack can immensely improve your confidence. Many people walk easier down the streets knowing that they have little to fear from an attacker.

But the main benefits of Martial Arts are not the physical benefits but the skills we learn that we can take outside of the dojo and apply to our everyday life.

It is the mindset of continual, small improvements, that we learn in the Dojo, that we can take to the world of work and to school. It is the desire, not to be better than anyone else, but to be better than we were the day before that impresses bosses, teaches and our peers.

But it is also the other lessons we learn. We help each other, and are helped in turn. We learn to step out of our comfort zone by taking part in demonstrations or competitions. We are taught and then start teaching.

It is said that only one out of every 1000 students that start a martial art achieve their back belt. But anyone that continues training will eventually get their black belt. It is this perseverance, this desire to show up despite our setbacks, that sets the martial artist apart from anyone else.

It is said that a lesson is wasted if it stays in the Dojo. We train in martial arts because of the life lessons it gives us, not just for the physical benefits. I would urge anyone who doesn't train in martial arts to try it and anyone who already trains to apply the lessons they learn in the dojo to their whole life.

For further essays on martial arts philosophy, I have written a book called 'Positive Budo' which is available on Amazon. 

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