What does it mean to be a martial artist?

What does it mean to be a martial artist and why are there people who learn those ancient sports? Is it to defend yourself? Is it to use a weapon? Is it to train your body and to show off in front of your friends?

Well, I suppose for some people that might be a reason but not for me. For me it means much more. I started martial arts as a kid back in Germany for a couple of years and started to train Kobudo for half a year in 2009 before I moved to the UK.

Even as a kid (I was 7 years at that point) it wasn’t about being cool, it was about the whole philosophy behind it. I loved the people from my dojo, it was like a big family and I enjoyed the time with them 2 or 3 times a week.
They showed me that Karate wasn’t all about competitions or self defence, it was also about you and how you see the world. That you have to be respectful to the people around you and that fighting isn’t the only way to deal with conflicts.

And since then I’m still fascinated by the whole concept.

Luckily I found a wonderful Iaido dojo just around the corner. And like I mentioned in earlier posts, I’m really grateful to be part of this wonderful little family.

Learning to use a sword isn’t that easy as you might think. Actually it is quite difficult, especially when you’re a woman, because that means you have to adjust some techniques because of the way your body is built. 😉

For me using the sword means also to cut myself free from the strips that the society has bound me onto. With that I mean that you learn how you have to live your life to fit into a society…simply to function without questioning.

Learning about the way of using a sword teaches me how to use my body, how to emtpy my mind so that I won’t be distracted by any thoughts while I have to face an opponent. So instead of thinking what to do I can simply react because my body knows how to move.

It is the emptying your mind part which is the most difficult for many people, especially when they start martial arts as an adult. When you start as a kid it is easier…don’t know why. But the thing is, that you see the world around you from a different angle when you’re able to emtpy your mind. Free from any judgement or preconceived opinions. You become calmer because you know who YOU are and what YOU can do. And with that I don’t only mean that you’re able to defend yourself but also to help your friends when they’re in trouble and need your advice. It’s because of your different view that people recognise you as a good person for new opinions in difficult situations. (Well, that might be just my point of view)

So what I’m trying to say is, that becoming a martial artist means for me not only to perfect my techniques, but also to become another person. And with that I mean to find myself and be able to be a person without a mask for every situation….just me. And that isn’t easy but it’s worth it!

Hmm, not sure if I was able to really explain what I wanted to say…but I guess you got the idea. 😉 I just blame the English language and my lack of knowledge for this blog entry.

Anyway, I hope you’re all well out there in the stormy world and have a great time.

Talk to you soon.


2 responses to “What does it mean to be a martial artist?

  1. And there was me thinking that you went twice a week to get away from me!!

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