“The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them.” — Miyamoto Musashi
Martial arts at their core are made to help people defend themselves. They trace back to the beginnings of recorded time when people figured out that humans are really good at wrestling, and after that happened we all got excited to watch people beat each other up.
On a slightly more serious note, martial arts are simply there to keep other people from hurting us. This applies to both the physical realm AND the mental realm; a good practitioner of any martial art applies the things they’ve learned to their thoughts and ideas as well.
That being said, the main goal of practicing martial arts physically and mentally is to prevent the need for them. We practice defending ourselves so that we know how to avoid the situations where we need them. We learn to avoid the sketchy guy in the alley way and to walk around the drunk guy in the street.
True martial artists learn to do the same in their thoughts and actions. We learn to avoid the people who could break our hearts or ruin our mental health. We learn to say no to people when necessary, and we learn to truly respect ourselves.
The thing about this is that you don’t need to practice martial arts to learn how to do this for yourself. You can study philosophy and read and learn about things in order to grow your mind and remind yourself that you’re worth respect because you spend your time trying to become better. A person who’s trying to better themselves should never be looked down upon, including yourself. You shouldn’t hate yourself if you’re trying to become better, and you shouldn’t look down on yourself if you need rest.
I know I strayed a little bit from our quote today, but I think that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes it’s okay to do that a little bit because it brings us to better things.
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