I came across this article last week “The Death Of The Martial Artist (How To Tell If You Still Are One)” and I recommend it if you’re interested in the article (see link down below). The article basically talks about how a lot of martial art practitioners in modern day aren’t showing a lot of character and the coaches are encouraging more violence and not teaching much about moral and respect. Which sparks the subject of what makes a True Martial Artist.
In my personal opinion, what make a “True Martial Artist” is the value they want to pass to others. Yes, you can’t deny the fact that martial art was created for personal safety or for war, however it’s the value that makes people want to learn it. Soldiers aren’t learning martial arts primary to kill. (At least the sane ones aren’t.) It is a reason but not the main reason. I argue that the main reason is that they want to protect their country, their family, their belief and their freedom.
When you reach a high level of skill or have experience in an age of war or violence, you’ll appreciate the absence of violence and the absence of war. Veterans who have gone through WWII or the Vietnam War will probably tell you how they hate war and violence. True martial arts is suppose to build the person’s character, compassion toward another and to build a better community or nation.
“The greatest victory is one which requires no battle” – The Art of War – Sun Tzu.
Classical martial arts like Ju-jitsu, Aiki-jitsu, Ken-jitsu are now Judo, Aikido, Kendo. The jitsu (killing techniques) are removed. That’s why they called it “Do” meaning how to use martial art as a way of life. A way to cultivate your body, mind and soul. Using martial art principles and core and apply it into your daily living. That’s why Grandmaster Moy Yat will always say Kung Fu Life, how to apply Wing Chun principles into your daily living.
Moral codes aren’t written only for martial hobbyist but also for soldiers. In Chinese culture we called this Wu De (Martial Code of Conduct) or Bushido in Japanese Culture. These are all written by soldiers who train in martial arts. In the end it really boils down the character of the person and this applies to anything in life. If you want to be successful in anything, you need have good character. The same goes with martial arts.
“Only with a Righteous Heart can lead to a Proper Martial Way” – Yip Man