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Martial Arts is Good for the Soul
Posted on Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm
by IDMA Editor

It is really a privilege to work with people who want to learn something that you are good at and have spent a lifetime studying. I am really a professional student of sorts, training in the martial arts and then teaching it over and over to adults that realize it may be their calling. Although MMA's popularity, Ninja Turtles cartoons, Jackie Chan movies and even videos games like Mortal Kombat have motivated people to come by my school, their interest is really grounded in the same things I loved as a kid; Bruce Lee, Sugar Ray Leonard, Kung Fu theatre and Chuck Norris. For whatever reason their parents could not get them into martial arts as a kid, so many of my students have held onto that 'wow-ness' when seeing awesome punches and dazzling kicks.

Photo of Bruce Lee

Training in any of the martial arts or combat sports is beyond just a physical experience. Its training effects the deeper part of the soul. Certainly this is addressed more in those who study the traditional martial arts (i.e. kung fu, tai chi, karate, jeet kun do), verse the more progressive ones (MMA, krav maga, kickboxing, muay thai). Nonetheless, the mere practice of punching and kicking in any form has a soulfulness that is unique and not found in the conventional sports. Bruce Lee had a simple message in his teachings - The martial arts provides you with a better understanding of the world around us and how to feel rewarded by life. It isn't a philosophy that necessarily belongs to Bruce, but he was brilliant in communicating ancient proverbs in his logical teachings.

The soulfulness of practicing martial arts is in the Confucianist undertones, the sayings and the simple lessons hidden beneath the physical training. For example, when learning how to re-direct a straight punch in boxing (pierre the punch) to set up a counter, or in akido to flip an opponent, it becomes clear that the 'soft overcomes the hard; the gentle overcomes the rigid.' The challenge is to keep the soulfulness in your life even if your training has had to stop. Martial arts gives back on so many levels.

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