What is a Martial Arts Warrior?
To be a Martial arts warrior is simply not wishing to be one. One must first choose a Martial art discipline that holds to traditions. I know that most Aikido Dojos and Kung Fu kwoons hold to traditions and are not sports oriented, but as times change, instructor integrity changes as well. Make sure you find an instructor that does not do tournaments and that is strong on instructor integrity. A person with no martial arts knowledge might have a hard time and can easily be mislead by a fast talking, used car salesman type of instructor that wants your money.
Someone that wishes to begin training in a Martial art and that wants the true benefits from training needs to search out an instructor in their area that is 100% non-sports oriented, does not teach weapons to students below brown belt level and that has been around for awhile. An instructor that teaches weapons fighting to beginners is a RED flag. If the instructor teaches weapons self defense before brown belt level that is fine, but if to entice new students, the instructor teaches beginners how to fight with weapons, that is absolutely not proper and ONLY a way to entice new students to sign up for classes.
Now one must decide what Martial art they wish to pursue. Do you want to train in a Kung Fu style? or a Traditional Japanese style? Remember you must be dedicated with training with the art that you choose. However if later you find that you made an error in choosing your instructor, by all means get out as soon as you can.
BE CAREFUL WHAT SCHOOL YOU CHOOSE!
Make certain to stay away from schools that have 40 trophies in the window or an instructor that claims to be a 7 time world champion or has 20 certifications (FBI agent, Police Tactics instructor,etc.) in all styles. Callow instructors can and will lie to the public when marketing Ė there is NO regulation or anyone that will tell you its true or not. Yes, it is scary.. Some instructors are even arrogant enough to say when marketing "one of the BEST Martial arts instructors in the WORLD".
Remember that a lot of sports (Tae Kwon Do) Schools have the name of the school now as "whatever?? Martial arts academy". This deceives the public into believing that the school teaches Martial arts. DO NOT judge a school by it's name.
The MMA or Ultimate Fighting fad is NOT Martial arts, the fighters train and compete as Martial sportist. You can never be a Martial artist if you compete in that way. Training as an art, one's instructor is the person who judges your progress. Trophies and Championship belts mean nothing in the Martial arts world, however in the Martial sports realm they are everything because it's only about the ego and how much better one thinks he is over another human being. If you desire a status in your community as the bigest and badest then Martial sports are for you.
The truth is, not everyone is sports oriented and not everyone is ONLY out to get your money. What happens is if instructors start off teaching traditionaly but then donít have a lot of students or get greedy, they start to teach weapons to beginners and offer black belt clubs to get thousands from new students up-front or they offer cheap $8.00 wholesale uniforms to students for free if they enroll. They also offer FREE lessons to get you in the door! Don't take a FREE lesson! It would be like jumping into shark infested waters! It would be nearly impossible for you you to get out without being forced to sign something. In addition, there are so many NEW young instructors in all styles that they will say anything to the public to make themselves appear to be the best.
Remember, all TRUE Martial arts compliment each other. There is no best style and one wishing to be a Martial artist should know this and remember to train in a well rounded style.
Being a Martial artist is not just practicing in the Dojo or school, itís a way of life. There are many factors that make up being a Martial artist. These include common sense, courtesy, benevolence, truthfulness, humility, Courage and loyalty. One must be well rounded in their training. Flying kicks and trophies only produce callow, egotistical students, to be a Martial artist you must stay away from competitions. If you want to compete do a sport such as soccer or baseball, remember Martial arts were not intended to be a sport. Martial Sports have negative effects on students. The Martial arts do not. More-so, one must not have a strong desire to impress others or be in the spotlight! One is on the path to being a Martial arts warrior when he/she forgets about the desire to defeat others and begins to accept training as the constant challenge to oneself which it is.
Students who have been mislead and trained in a Martial Sport can convert and become a Martial arts warrior, however the time frame depends on how long one has trained in tournament competition or with an instructor that claims the best self defense system in the world. One can't go back and forth between a Martial Sport and an Art.
Unfortunately so many instructors have promoted Sports oriented schools for the last 40 years that it is what the public believes the Martial arts to be about. This is the furthest from the Martial arts! A true Martial arts warrior will have the control, the confidence and the strength of character not to need to "prove" himself/herself by fighting or competing.
The Martial artist's training is life long. Training to endure and to be stronger, faster and better. In the Dojo, endurance means perseverance of rigorous training. Outside the Dojo it is the quality of perseverance in one's life. The power of a Martial art warriors discipline is that it is self-discipline, and the warriors control is rooted in his own discipline. A Martial arts warrior is ready for any situation that he/she may meet in life. What does it take to be a Martial arts warrior? To start, it takes sincere and dedicated practice and discipline until one is self-disciplined.
To be a Martial arts warrior one must be true to themselves and be complete in what you are. The warrior lives in harmony which is rooted in control. Being a Martial artist is so much more then just walking the walk and talking the talk. Itís finding ones true self. Training in meditation, Ki energy, numerous self defense area, Kobudo, culture, learning terminology, reading, conditioning the body. There are so many areas that make up being a Martial artist. To begin, one must take the first step, but one must take that first step in the right direction. That direction is away from Martial sports and towards ones enlightenment.
The Martial arts warrior embraces the Tao and sets an example to all.
Not putting on a show.
Not justifying himself,
he is distinguished;
he is acknowledged;
He does not quarrel,
so no one quarrels with him.
Should he find himself in the company of loud and agressive persons, he is like a lotus flower growing in muddy water; touched but not soiled.