Why are martial arts so good at teaching life skills? We know that have been for centuries, don’t we? Martial artists have always been prime examples of good living, patriotism, and ethics. Values are an intrinsic part of martial arts study. It seems to teach it better than nearly any other method.
If you were a student in my school, you’d often hear me talk about self image. Self image is a powerful tool. Like any tool, it can be used for sabotage or for construction. A successful martial artist understands this, and utilizes their self image to live a happier, more fulfilled life.
My favorite example of the power of self image is the Marine Corps. These men are incredible! They are the picture of discipline, organization, inspiration, respect, courage, perseverance and adaptability. Long after they leave the Corps these traits stick with them.
Why? Because Marines believe that “the change is for life.” Those values are an intrinsic part of being a Marine. Being a Marine is like a mantle that, once donned, carries with it certain qualities.
So because the soldier has donned this “mantle” of being a Marine, he automatically takes on the inherent qualities thereof.
I admit, it isn’t a perfect science, but the essence of what I’m saying is true. So it is with us as martial artists. There are certain things that we know successful martial arts will and will not do. Because we have donned the mantle of “Martial Artist” so have we also donned the qualities that our lifestyle espouses.