Find Out Who You Really Are – With Martial Arts
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
You can’t get much more authoritative than Aristotle. It is widely accepted that it is important to know yourself. This will help in both your professional and personal life. Knowing yourself, your emotions, limits, issues, boundaries, and dreams is key to living a happy, successful life.
Martial arts will reveal a lot about a person. Stepping onto the mat in a martial arts studio is like stepping into a small universe, a microcosm of the actual world in which we live. There are all types of people, and there are all types of martial artists. There are obstacles in life, good days, bad days, challenges, opportunities to help others, etc., and there are all of these things in martial arts training.
As an instructor or a long-time practitioner, you have come across these different people and situations and have seen it all. There are those students who get excited in the beginning, but lose interest when the training becomes difficult in a year, two years, three years, etc. There are those students who come every day for a month, take a month off, come everyday for two months, etc.
There are students who get frustrated when someone is better than them, and there are students who welcome a challenge. Some students love to teach and help beginners, while others see it as a burden and are selfishly irritated that they aren’t getting as good of a workout that day.
Seeing a martial arts class, studio, mat, as a microcosm of the real world can reveal a lot of things about yourself that you didn’t know. How do you react to meeting new people? Do you assume you are better because you’ve been here? Or do you always think you can learn something from anyone? Do you quit when things get tough? Or are you determined to become one of the best? Do you look at the advanced students with angry jealousy or with admiration? How easily is your ego bruised?
These questions and many more can all be answered in martial arts. You will learn how far you can push yourself, and how tough you are. You will learn about your heart – it’s strength, it’s compassion, and humility. These are lessons that are very hard for people to see within themselves, but martial arts can bring them out in broad daylight for you.
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