Friday, June 11, 2010

Martial arts can never be a way of life

This post by Chiron is very interesting, and may be true for many of us, but upset others.
Money quote (IMO):
My point of view is radically different. Unarmed arts are part of a subset of skills that may be necessary so that I can get back to my family and friends, so that I can look at sunrises and have a good burger. That is life. Anything I do in training is to serve that. Martial arts or combatives or whatever can never be a way of life for me, only a tool to ensure that I have a life to enjoy my way in.
People study and learn martial arts for many reasons, and those reasons can change. Some have a goal, earning a belt, excelling in a sport, or learning to do the splits, and others are attracted to the mystique of something compellingly foreign to their own outlook. Many in the latter camp are also of the belief that they are gaining and learning something more spiritual than physical.
My attitude and point of view has changed over the years, as my aptitude has developed and changed. How has yours?


Rick said...

I haven't come up with a lot of answers, but the questions seems to fade away.

Patrick Parker said...

I agree completely - martial arts cannot ever be a complete "way of life" or "spiritual development" thing or religion.

I had a highly-ranked instructor one time tell me, when asked about spiritual aspects of aikido, "I've already got a religion, and aikido ain't it."

martial arts, as any man-made system, cannot bear the full weight of a man's soul.

I addressed this topic a little bit a while back on my blog...