What is Martial Arts?
With the introduction of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), many people are confused about what Martial Arts is all about. It is about molding yourself into a better person. It is about testing your body to find weakness and strengthening those weaknesses to make a stronger you. It transcends the school and applies to all areas of life, from work to personal areas.
True martial artists do not seek out fights and look to prove themselves, but rather challenge themselves to improve every day. I have, over the past few years, steadily improved in my journey to becoming a black belt in Judo. Now that I have achieved that accomplishment, I have set my sights on obtaining a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. I know this process will continue until I die. This is the perseverance required to undertake a journey in the martial arts.
Body - Mind - Soul
Martial Arts is a difficult but rewarding journey that transforms your body, mind, and soul. The body is where the most obvious change occurs. When I started, I weighed between 325 and 350 lbs. After 4 years I was down to 250 lbs and feeling the best I had my entire life. I want to continue to lose weight, but more importantly, increase my fitness level and challenge my body to do things I never thought possible.
My mind took longer to see improvement. I struggle with anger issues. I rarely show it on the outside because I was taught to bottle my feelings up and never let them out. When I walked into the school, I was desperate to find a way to manage my anger. It turned out to be the best solution for me. Martial Arts taught me to channel my anger into practice. To let it out in small amounts to force myself to get better. I continue to improve my mind which has increased focus and enhanced my memory.
Shortly after starting Martial Arts, I found myself in church. While my presence in church was due to my daughter’s insistence, our continued attendance was due to Martial Arts. I learned that to be in shape physically and mentally, I had to focus on my spirituality. I personally am a Christian, but whether you are Buddhist, Taoist, or Atheist, getting in touch with your soul and its desires is paramount in achieving your best self.
This is why I believe Martial Arts is the best form of exercise and therapy available for me.