What is that “something more” that practicing martial arts can provide? Isn’t martial arts just about getting in shape and learning to fight? If you’re one of those people that writes martial arts off as people just learning how to fight, you’re missing the most important thing there is in martial arts. The latest thing in martial arts doesn’t help the perception of martial arts either. What you see on TV with the Ultimate Fighting Championships can be entertaining, it is really a combat sport. The distinction between that and the “something more” in martial arts I am referring to is important to understand.
Although having the ability to handle yourself when you get into a real life situation is important, martial arts goes way beyond that. The most important part is that ‘something more’ that martial arts offers. And you don’t find it many other places. Its really a world unknown to most of people that aren’t familiar with the eastern arts.
Many of these eastern martial arts are intertwined with centuries of Asian philosophy. These same martial arts follow ideas found within the fabric of the eastern way of life. Asian principles of energy and medicine go hand-in-hand with the principles of many martial arts. True martial arts are really about connecting with yourself. Studying martial arts takes you to a higher level of awareness about yourself and the world around you. That “something more” in martial arts opens new windows of understanding as you discover more about yourself.
Martial arts teaches you to think outside of the box. It shows you that there are no limits other than the ones you place upon yourself. Self-knowledge transcends and you begin to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. Every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. You learn to treasure the memory of your past misfortunes as they add more to your bank of fortitude.
Martial arts also develops your instinctive urge for expansion and growth. It teaches sincere and honest development of your full potential. By humbling yourself and dedicating yourself to being a student of the martial arts for life you begin to understand that the power of the journey is more important than the destination. These lessons are holistic. They can be directly applied in your work and into your life. After all, its just a path to find out more about yourself.
Adam Williss is a California-based martial artist. He is founder of The Dragon Institute and the author behind “Self-Defense Advice with Adam Williss”. He also acts as editor of Wing Chun Magazine. He is a US Martial Arts Hall of Fame member. His school has been recognized as offering one of the highest quality Wing Chun programs in the world.