What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Martial Arts? For most it is self-defense moves and being able to win any fight. Although this may be true in many cases it does not demonstrate what the essence of Martial Arts is and what it can give to a human being.
The art of war or fighting was established throughout the centuries to create warriors. It was developed for the elite soldiers in the army. These special army units were taught how to fight in hand-to-hand combat situations. Additionally, they had to execute operations very precisely for they were life threatening and at the border of impossible.
Ancient fighters such as Samurais and Ninjas had to endure hard training and disciplinary tactics in order to be shaped to survive and reach their end goal. The knowledge that martial artists retained was so sacred during these eras because it was found to have such a profound impact not only on the physical aspects of the person, but also on the spiritual level and on the level of their personality.
Throughout the ages modernized schools for civilians opened up from Shaolin School to all other types of schools as they became a trend. It was shown that the positive effects of Martial arts were unparalleled in the development of humans in general.
So what really happens? How does it really affect the development of the personality?
- Ego & Trust
When a student enters a Martial Arts class or any type of class for fighting, his ego is lowered he must learn to respect the ones with the higher experience. In fighting Ego can destroy you. If you fight out of ego you will always lose. It is therefore essential to let go To walk into a danger zone and allow yourself to let go of your ego and fear is already a step toward your growth.
- Achieving Goals and Discipline
The hard intense painful training the student must endure forces a person to start pushing beyond their limits; whereas if they were on their own this would not have been possible.
Additionally, high-intensity exercise in general has been proven to enhance brain cells and affect mood in a positive manner. Although this a great benefit of training, it’s not the only one. Another benefit is that it boosts self-confidence as the student will see with discipline, hard work and perseverance that they are were able to achieve something they thought was unachievable.
- Anger & Emotions
The uniqueness of Martial Arts isn’t limited to pushing a person to achieve extraordinary physical aspects (endurance, strength, etc…). Martial arts goes deeper into the emotions of the person allowing them to channel their anger during the classes and release their stress and anger. The best form of release for anger or stress is by hitting a punching bag.
- Fear and Self Confidence
The last part is where it all comes together, facing your fear. After all, nobody wants to get hurt, we like to avoid it at all cost. The fear of getting hurt is tested and stretched during any fight, even sparring in a class setting. Facing someone and getting into a fist fight pushes all your buttons and sounds all of your alarms. Nonetheless, once a person starts to confront their fear(s) they start raising both their self-confidence and self respect.
The Benefits of these Martial Arts are countless.
Some of the great leaders of the world know the value of Martial arts, from top presidents of the USA to different leaders around the world, to state a few:
- George Washington: Skilled Wrestler
- Abraham Lincoln Wrestles With the Bullies
- Theodore Roosevelt Takes on Judo
- Gerald Ford: Boxer
Martial arts classes will and will always be primarily a system that helps students build a stronger and more disciplined character, before being classified solely as a fighting method.