In today's world of violence and the need for peace and security, where does the martial arts school fit in the community?
It is considered by most, if not all old world masters of the martial arts that if the encounter becomes physical, one has lost the spiritual. What!? No fighting! Isn't the martial arts about fighting, self defense, trophies and belts? Yes and No!!! The martial arts teach the student about self defense and today is often involved in some competition to test the skills learned. However, if one thinks that the martial arts makes one a superhuman, fighting machine, then you are so very wrong.
Let's start with self defense first. That is the most common reason one takes classes. Sometimes it is for fitness and socialization, but most often for personal safety and defense. All martial arts systems are effective. Say this again! All martial arts systems are effective. it is the practitionier that makes the difference. So, with that said, do you pay high dues and contracts thinking that if I pay this much I get more? No, you get ripped off. Read my previous blogs about quality schools. But, enough of that. That subject has been drilled into the ground enough. Let's look at another aspect of the martial arts.
Serious martial arts instructors and schools are not concerned with titles and belts and such. They are concerned about the personal internal growth of the student, who for various reasons, decided to take lessons. All will teach us the "brute" skills as it is known, but few today teach us to self actualize. Then there is the "place" of the martial arts community within the community they service.
At our school, Black Dragon Martial Arts, we involve ourselves in community service, education and safety for the common individual. Other instructors do the same. However, some schools are hype and bling and sell you a smooth deal, then the contract comes out. It is a business. They are in it to make money. This is not wrong, just different from the original philosophy of the Masters of old. Added charges for tournament teams, black belt clubs, demo teams are all a hype. Community involved schools do not worry or charge for all this. They include all this in a reasonable monthly cost as part of the education process of the student first learning abouth themselves, and secondly learning defense. Bling has no part in this. Do not be misled.
Today's martial arts schools, students and instructors should be vital members of their community providing not just a formal martial arts education at a schoool, but a true involvement in the safety of the community as well as other civic duties. Martial Arts make leaders. These future leaders should be a vital part of their community as they study the arts and also provide to the community, service that promotes not only safety, but a belief that together we are strong.