12/27/16

Finding Discipline and Zen in Martial Arts

Martial arts have been around for thousands of years and the practice will not be disappearing any time soon. Once taught to royals and warriors, martial arts also transcended geographical locations and social class. Unlike education, which was only reserved for scholars, martial arts could be learned by anyone who could find a master willing to teach them. This is where students began their long and arduous journey towards learning martial arts – and a lot of different lessons along the way.

taekThere are a hundred types of martial arts, but karate from Japan and Kung Fu from China are among the most popular. In the Western world, Kung Fu became popular because of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. The former was a Kung Fu master who inspired thousands to develop their skills and strength through discipline. Bruce Lee was a model to all and he became even more popular when he started to come out in movies. Yes, Hollywood may seem like an unfit venue for Kung Fu, but Bruce Lee made the martial art into a household name. Pretty soon, Westeners wanted to study Kung Fu as well.

The same thing happened with Jackie Chan who always breaks something or suffers multiple injuries whenever he films a new movie. His most memorable one was “Drunken Master” where he was taught Kung Fu by an old man who was a drunkard. This movie showed the training one has to undergo- lifting pails of water; climbing up and down hundreds of steps, scrubbing floors and other menial tasks.

Indeed, Kung Fu is not just about form and poise. It requires strength, agility, alertness and stamina. Jackie Chan’s character learned all of these later on when he realized that his chores were meant to be part of his training.

Benefits of Martial Arts

Nowadays, Kung Fu and other forms of martial arts are seen as a good form of exercise. It is an intense and total-body workout any way you look at it. The hours of training alone already constitutes aerobic exercise. Students who practice martial arts are also encouraged to undergo strength training by lifting weights in order to develop their muscles and strengthen their core.

Of course, knowing martial arts is a good way to protect yourself. Most martial arts, like Kung Fu, do not require the use of any tool or weapon. You can protect yourself by blocking and hitting your opponent or assailant. You can defend yourself at close range too, and offer powerful blows to subdue someone who is trying to attack you.

However, martial arts also offer discipline and self-restraint. Knowing that you can hurt someone with just one move teaches students to be more careful with how they interact with people. Finally, martial arts teach meditation and how to find zen or become centered in the midst of all the chaos and stress in your life.

Martial arts, however, requires some degree of physical fitness. If you would love to practice martial arts but aren’t ready yet, you can focus on conditioning or toning your body first before you begin. To keep calm or relax, music is a good way to soothe your mind. You can look for a new instrument to play at music stores Adelaide to keep stress levels at bay. Once you’re good and ready, enroll at the class you like – Kung Fu, karate, taekwondo or even jujitsu – and enjoy all the benefits of martial arts training.