What Is A Martial Artist?
A Martial Artist is not a title or rank or certification. A Martial Artist may not even be a black belt.
A Martial Artist is a WAY of being that lives in the soul of the person. There is no ego. There is no trying to be a Martial Artist. One just is.
The Martial Artist places the Art above himself/herself, wishing and needing no credit or reward for the work. It is a work of love, not labor.
To become a Martial Artist takes time and a maturity that can not be rushed. One grows and matures into a Martial Artist as a seed grows to become a Redwood over many years. While many seeds may be planted, few grow into a martial Artist. There is no trying, just living and doing. There is no talking about it, but rather a modest self awareness in the doing.
While others may refer to someone as a Martial Artist, a Martial Artist would not refer to themselves as a Martial Artist because that is ego. He/she is the essence or spirit of the Martial Art itself, living the art naturally, effortlessly and completely.
The tenets of the martial art are not written on the wall for others to read, but lived by the Martial Artist for others to see and emulate.
The Martial Artist embodies the best of the martial arts in everything he/she does.
Above By Master Edward Rugh
MOST people think of a martial artist as someone who practices and trains in a martial art. It is not. The true essence of the martial art has nothing to do with kicking and punching it is about the way you life your life.
A true martial artist isn’t necessarily someone who is technically excellent either; it is a person who lives their life by their martial arts ethics both inside and outside the Dojang.
HEALTH: Do not miss the true meaning of practising the martial art. It is for health first and foremost. To have a healthy body, irrespective of age, and a healthy mind; achieved through a variety of not only physical exercises but breathing techniques and energy movement. This means that an 80 year old can get just as much benefit, if not more, from the martial arts than a 20 year old. Many, many clubs focus only on Olympic and Sport Taekwondo, however this is not the true martial art and gives no benefits apart from physical ones, which only the young can do. Practising solely sport dilutes the martial art and the overall meaning of why people of all ages and all abilities practice.
EGO: It is human nature to have an ego, very few people have control over this, however to be totally true to yourself and make correct decisions in your life you need to be humble. One of the reasons why bowing is so important in the martial arts is that because it is a humbling experience. You bow to your seniors because you are acknowledging the fact they have more knowledge than you about the martial arts. It is to clean your mind and get your martial arts head on. That is why you bow when you enter a Dojang, even if you are the first person to enter.
A martial artist never brags or shows off their ability or their knowledge. It is all taught quietly to their students in the Dojang. Humility and respect is the way.
POWER: Practising the martial arts, like a lot of things, can lead to positions of power. A lot of instructors abuse this power and lose their way. Human traits, including greed and a yearning for a title or position, can be detrimental to the martial art. Martial artists must always put others before themselves, not look to exploit their knowledge to others and try to pass on their knowledge so that they can benefit. It is very easy to fall off the Taekwondo path that is why it is so important to get on the floor and train under an Instructor. Egos generally grow when people are left to their own devices and have no one to keep them grounded. Get on the floor and imagine you are a white belt again, no matter what your grade.
MEANING OF LIFE: A true martial artist never forgets what is important in their life. Health is foremost. If you are healthy you can help others and should be happy in yourself. Family; your family, or people you count as family, are extremely important in your life. Always appreciate the people around you. We all take family members for granted but don’t. Treat those closest to you with the most thought and care and make sure they know how important they are to you. Friends; Friendships you make and carry all the way through life. Good friends who are loyal and caring are rare, so when you find them appreciate them. Surround yourself with good people who make you happy. Life is too short to let it pass you by and not enjoy yourself.
Kicking and punching is not important, simple things like health, family and friends, respect and discipline are. This is a true martial artists’ way. As a black belt if you can pass this mentality onto your students you have done your job.