I feel like martial artists that really seek to learn martial arts come to an understanding that there is more than what is just taught. There is more to learn. The question is what exactly is that more?
I have gone to various schools. And, I think I have determined why the search occurs. Let’s relate it to culture...
If your parents are from a different country and you move to the U.S., you have to learn how to assimilate to two cultures. But with each generation, the dominant culture (in this example, the U.S.) becomes your dominant culture, while the motherland culture begins to lessen or is lost.... Let’s say that a child/adult 3-4 generations down the line inquires about the motherland culture... who explains this? You have to find someone or go back to the motherland to learn on your own.
In each generation of Instructors and developing curricula, the essence of martial arts is lost. We alter the art to accommodate the desires of our community- for example, competition... when do I get my belt, when can I compete, etc... Or, we accommodate or own needs to run a business, and treat the martial arts as such. However, I believe there can be a balance in what is needed by the community and by an owner while still emphasizing what martial art values.
What is missing?
I always learned technique. Technique, technique, technique. And, I can't disagree, technique is a part of training that must be learned.
But so is
- Reality based training vs. situational.... where is it?
- Internal growth.. The understanding of being at peace with yourself, whether in life or in the Martial Arts. This was not taught to me in my journey through martial art schools.
- The focus on being aware and take what is given... use the energy of an opponent against them instead of muscle vs. muscle.
- Breathing!!!!!!! This is important in life and in martial arts... it allows for relaxation!
- Going inward outward vs outward inward.
- There is still so much more...
In the schools I have gone to, I received technique. I never received the training/understanding/concepts in the section "What is Missing" till now. I find this to be a very important part to training. In addition to this, a good consistent, and known curricula is important to have. Otherwise, what are you learning? Is your curricula available for you to see and practice or is it hidden? If it is hidden then why? You as a student have a right to know what you are learning!!!! And what to expect.
Just like culture, now we have to seek for Masters/Instructors who know what martial arts was and are willing to teach it while adapting to the needs of students, business, and community. Don't go for anything less!
Seek the truth!
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