You may not like this kind of jokes, but try to hold on until the end ! This teaser of "Shaolin Soccer" movie is useful for what comes next.
Maybe not the best jokes you've seen recently, although I have to admit I enjoy some of them, but this short video carry a very important message.
At that point in the "Savoirs en Chemin" story, I had left Mongolia and reached China. One of the reason for that was my exploration of the martial arts world. Even though the link with this quest of knowledge for a healthy, happy and simple life may not be so obvious.
Now would be a good time to ask yourself : what are martial arts for you ?
Even though most of it has been said in the video, let's try to make it more clear and real.
Most of us see martial arts as nothing more than a sport or worst, maybe, something dedicated to fight or violence.
As for me, I totally share the vision of "Mighty Steel leg" : Everyone should learn martial arts !
What is so special with those kinds of practice ? What is the difference with any other sports or arts we may practice ? Whether it be soccer, running, hiking, dancing, painting or any other thing we would do. I really enjoy myself in all those activities, but there is something I found in martial arts that I haven't found yet in any other activity.
Of course, pleasure should be found at the origin of all our choice of hobbies. Without it, there would be a problem of mind spirit, and it wouldn't last long.
All sports or arts will make us move forward in some ways. Each one will develop some of our skills : strength, dexterity, flexibility, thinking, observation, art sens, health, some understandings, etc.
Those are also part of what makes us enjoy those practices : We improve somehow and it is an important part of our well being.
I only have a limited knowledge about martial arts, mostly with Japanese and Chinese influence, and from this comes the thoughts I'm sharing with you in this post. But already with this little knowledge I got, I was able to feel great benefits. I am sure it could be extended with the study of other kind of martial arts.
One of the thing that makes some of the martial arts so special are their history : They are the results of a very long and deep study of the body and the mind ; sometimes during centuries or more. And the goal of that study is not, as most of us may believe, fight or violence. It is often the opposite. Fight is just a function of those arts actually. A very useful one in the past of course, but much less nowadays. That is why focusing only on that part would make us miss the essential point.
Main goal of those martial arts will be understanding and global mastery of our own body and mind.
This can easily be explained by the fact that we need those for the fight function which was vital in the past.
Another explanation would be about health.
Health is an essential need for all of us, and it was so difficult to maintain in some old times... and somehow even today actually but for different reasons.
Through martial arts practice, health is greatly reinforced and that was a really good motivation.
This is why, entire generations worked for a deeper understanding of those practices.
As a consequence: when any hobby will help you to develop one or few parts of yourself, martial arts will make you progress in a global way. Whether it be physical, mind or senses skills, all of them will be improved and your global understanding of yourself, of life as well.
And this is not over yet ! Martial arts are also about the search of the roots of all movements, all thoughts. This of course to be then applied to fights. But, the effect is not limited to fight. We actually learn to apply all those understanding in all actions, all sports or everything we do everyday.
Most of us will probably never have to fight in our life. But practising a martial art will still be one of the most rewarding activity we will do in our life.
Hard to really understand how much we can gain without actually doing it. Health is already a good motivation, and it goes far beyond this benefit. On our martial journey, we end up discovering again all our usual activities. We learn the new one with much more ease. It can be any sport or just the action of walking, breathing, watching, feeling but also our social interactions, our self-control or everything we do as a job. In all things, we gain more efficiency, more understanding.
That last point is essential. This is a great value of martial arts : Being able to explain all those body and mind mechanism to seek understanding and then ability to apply them anywhere. Even though, their language may be some time a bit difficult or not so science friendly, it would be a shame to miss what is behind.
No matter which activity you choose, when we reach excellence, the core of what make the expert an expert are the same. I am no professional dancer, but when I see someone who is, when I look at their moves, I see the exact same core principles of the one being taught in the martial arts I'm talking about. Understanding that core of excellence, the roots of all move and thoughts, make us able to apply them in all parts of our lives. And it seems for me that martial arts are the best way to that global understanding.
It is still difficult to describe this thinking just by words. It is often said that those knowledges, also called "Theoretical field", need practice or "Martial field" to be understood. And same on the other way, practice get deeper by exploring this theoretical field. In other words, best way to understand this post is to experience it !
I hope these lines were able to make you feel how much martial arts can contribute to a better life. I see my own martial art not as a sport or an art. It is more like a base for everything I do, everyday. Something like a lifestyle maybe which help me understand more about myself and life.
You could find many books and records of people who think the same way. It is actually funny or interesting or motivating to see how much, whatever the origin, the culture, we can find same ideas about that thinking and many bridges between those theories. Sometimes it is just a mere change of names.
You may finally ask yourself about my pictures choice for this post. It seems they have nothing to do with martial arts... Or maybe they have ! For each and everyone of them, I could tell a detailed story about how much my martial arts practice improved deeply those experiences.
What about you ? You may be or not be a martial art player. Can you now understand that dream of "Mighty Steel leg" ?