This I Believe

Denny - Austin, Texas
Entered on October 15, 2007

THIS I BELIEVE

I believe that martial arts is very beneficial to anyone that learns it. Martial arts teaches a person self-defense, keeps him physically fit, and most importantly, develops his character. Learning martial arts changes one’s life, whether or not he is conscious of it. Often people who have trained in martial arts become more successful and prominent than others who do not. Almost all forms of martial arts teach morals, values, traditions, and philosophy. These teachings are just as important, if not more important, than the punching and kicking techniques. These teachings are what make students of martial arts successful. People who have trained in martial arts gain greater confidence and a greater understanding of self-accomplishment, self-esteem; and through these, find direction and meaning in life.

The first thing people think of when hearing the words, “martial arts” is usually fancy-looking karate chops or flying kicks. Of course, there is a large physical component in martial arts. Any student of Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Judo, or Aikido will have to learn punching, kicking, stances, and forms. These techniques can only be mastered by practice and training over long periods of time. The dedication required to become a master teaches patience, which is, as they say, a virtue. Once mastering these techniques, a martial arts master can do what is necessary to defend himself. If he was put in a situation in which he has to defend himself or his family, the techniques he learned and practiced will save his life. Martial arts is like insurance. It is best if you do not have to use it, but when you do use it, you will greatly appreciate having it.

In martial arts, with training comes knowledge of morals, values, and philosophy. Martial arts teaches its students how to live in harmony with others with, for example, teachings on friendship and brotherhood. In addition, martial arts improves the mind’s focus and helps in self-control. Emotions such as fear and anger are better controlled through martial arts. Though capable of kicking someone’s butt, a true martial artist would not fight in the first place. He would control his emotions and seek a peaceful solution to any problem he would encounter. A true martial artist would exercise patience and forgiveness if someone provoked him. The philosophy and teachings he learned in training martial arts apply not only to fights, but to any challenge he would face in life, whether in his family, school, or business. Through training, martial arts teaches one how to control his emotions and focus his mind.

One exceptional method in focusing the mind is meditation. Traditional forms of martial arts emphasize meditation as a way to calm the mind and refresh the body. Scientists have proven that meditation reduces the stress levels in the body. Meditation clears the mind of all the troubles of the outside world that cause stress. People with lower stress tend to live longer and happier lives. When people worry, the body creates and releases harmful toxins into the bloodstream. Over long periods of time, these toxins lead to diseases and sometimes death. By learning to meditate through martial arts, one can free his mind from stress, even if just for a moment. Over time, this meditation will help the martial artist live longer, healthier, and happier.

Improving one’s body and mind are but a few of the many benefits of learning martial arts. By taking the time to train and become proficient in martial arts, one gains a life skill that will change his life forever. The ability to defend oneself, together with the confidence and self-esteem that comes with it, allows one to walk with dignity and self-worth. However, he would not be arrogant and show off his abilities because of the humility and respect he learned in his training. I believe that martial arts is beneficial to anyone who learns it. Martial arts unifies the mind, body, and spirit to make whoever learns it a better person. It has changed my life for the better, and I am grateful that I have learned it. I believe in martial arts.