The way I view Martial Arts as a whole is finding true expression through movement, while walking the path of internal growth and putting positive energy into the world. It is a very pure and broad movement form, in the sense that the whole body is put to work; as well as the mind and heart. That’s where it becomes a way of life, because it influences the way you handle yourself and the way you treat other people. Releasing energy, giving everything you got and having a great workout is of course pretty sweet, but when you really get to the core of your body and its sensations, feelings and limits, is where it truly shines. It’s not just about “looking cool” and feeling more confident, it’s also about doing something you love.
In traditional Martial Arts you have this thing called “forms”. A series of movements defined by principles and teachings of a certain style. Now why practice these, since almost every movement is different from actual combat. They seem like a dance, not very practical.
For me forms are more than “just” movement practice. They are an expression of your own body and soul, power and energy. Making the body stronger, training coordination and breathing. They are tools that can lead to more freedom and knowledge in movement. They are meditational. Especially when you have practiced enough. Here the mind becomes quiet and you can flow in harmony. At first you will start by learning the movement and its principles. These will get integrated in your body; there will be a understanding of the principles and relaxation. There will emerge room for adaptation and change, emptiness. Make them your own.
Martial Arts are about so much more than the art of fighting. It truly is a vehicle for a better self-understanding and reuniting your body and mind. This is different for everyone; there are so many different types of movement, expressions and arts which can establish this connection. But when practiced as a way of life, Martial Arts won’t just make you stronger; it will bring you closer to your ‘insides’ as well. Only focusing on the external won’t do it justice, because the crucial focus inwards and finding harmony within these two opposites will give you much more.
These things won’t magically appear. They will show themselves through hard work and perseverance, facing obstacles in life, gaining insight and having trust in this beautiful process.
I don’t want to be the guy/teacher telling people what they should think, feel and/or believe, telling you what the truth is; I do however want you to find that out for yourself. My journey of Martial Arts is one of self-development, improving my attitude towards myself and others. Look at other(s) (movement) for inspiration and knowledge; there is something to learn from absolutely everyone. Walk your own road in discovery and spread the love wherever possible.