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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Does Martial Art training make you aggressive?

It is overwhelming for me to get emails from people from various parts of the world inquiring when the next training video or article would be put up or just to discuss different aspects of training. I am always open to suggestions on new articles or videos to be made on different topics from fitness related to martial arts. 

Today's topic was suggested by our Japanese student Sanjuro. He is far away due to his work but his will power to train is something that I appreciate. 

Does martial arts training make you aggressive is one of the biggest myths surrounding martial arts. I hope to clear the air on this topic. To begin with let me say that - Martial artists are the most peace loving people you will ever come across.

Martial arts have originated from the training for war, self - protection or rebellion over many many decades and in some cases even centuries ago. The purpose was to have an army or people well trained in unarmed combat and yet be highly disciplined. It is these arts that have lead to the training manuals for the first modern armies of the world. The disciplined training and intensive physical workouts are something that is synonymous with martial arts. Most oriental martial arts have a strong connection with meditation and spirituality. Martial arts are supposed to develop the Body (physical strength), mind ( character) and spirit ( soul). Though martial artists were trained to be warriors to defend, protect or attack enemies the training methodology further imbibes into them characteristics like - 

RECTITUDE   
COURAGE 
BENEVOLENCE
RESPECT 
HONESTY
HONOR 
LOYALTY

and so on. It is these characteristics and believes that also helps martial artists to be spiritually inclined. 

Yes we do train to kick, punch, throw, lock or break an attacker but that does not mean we go about beating up everyone we meet. With the intensive training under a true instructor comes the realization of the growing power and the responsibility  that comes with it. As it  is rightly said - There are no bad students but only bad teachers who misguide them. If the students are taught to go about picking up fights then it is the person teaching such things that needs to be blamed. 

Having dedicated 27 years of my life to martial arts and having the privilege of training under wonderful instructors, I have never come across even 1 aggressive martial artist. In my opinion prolonged training in martial arts tends to make its practitioner very calm and at times very complacent too. A true martial artists can never be provoked in to a fight nor would he respond violently at the drop of a pin. It could also be a knowing of the end result that brings in this complacent and calm behavior for eg - a grown up would not be intrigued or find challenging a jig saw puzzle that is meant for a  4 year old child. 

Training in martial arts is one of the best stress busters compared to any other form of physical workout. So those training regularly are constantly getting rid of any frustrations or stress they may have. A relaxed, calm, patient, tolerant and content person is the last person to get in to a fight. In many oriental cultures martial artists have always been looked upon as ideal citizens, people they look upon as idols. 

A true martial artist is calm and peace loving however he or she will not stand and watch some wrong being done. A true martial artist would within seconds go from peaceful and calm to a mighty force to reckon with in order to stand against a wrong being done or out of self defense. Similarly it would take seconds to get back to the calm composure after the weak or self has been protected. 

I do agree there are a few martial artists with half baked knowledge or misguided knowledge that go about being aggressive or rude. Well there are exceptions to any rule and hence it is imperative to select a true martial artist as your teacher. 

In my personal experience I have seen a number of my students who are so calm that it tends to worry their parents as to how they will face the ever so aggressive world today. It is such an irony compared to the myth that exists. 

I myself am very patient, tolerating and calm. Sometimes I feel that people tend to take advantage of this peaceful attitude of mine. I tend to give a long leash for them to realize their wrong and make amends. However when I feel the water has gone over the head I do take a stand and part ways letting the person gently know of the wrong they have done or the reason for my actions.     

I would like to end by saying - 

A PERSON AT PEACE WITHIN DOES NOT GO AROUND SEARCHING FOR WAR OUTSIDE.

                                           TRY MAKING PEACE WITHIN..........

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