Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What makes a successful martial artist?

Martial arts has many roads, my friends. Consider how many different styles of martial arts there are - and how even the varying styles have variations! Within each variation of the variations there is a multitude of paths one can take to “success.” Because of this, we must have a broad view of what it means to be a successful martial artist.

If you were to ask a group of martial artists from different disciplines what they thought the “purpose” of martial arts is, you are likely to get a number of different answers. “Self defense,” “Fitness,” “Spiritual growth,” “Life skills,” “Self expression,” may be things you’d hear. Really, all of these are true to an extent - but what do I think the ultimate goal is? What do I think the PURPOSE really is in all of these things? Happiness!

Whether you are looking for self defense, life skills, internal or external fitness, what you are ultimately after is a happier, more fulfilled and empowered life. So in this way we could say that a “successful martial artist” is one who finds happiness in the way they practice martial art.

I think there are 6 key factors in being a successful martial artist.

1) Experience/longevity

2) Appropriate physical skill.

3) Understanding of technical concepts.

4) Understanding of the philosophical concepts.

5) Inner strength/character.

6) The ability to apply all of the above to ones every day life, in order to create a happier, more fulfilled lifestyle.