Discipline and Martial Arts: What You Give and What You Get
In every aspect of life, there are always two ways of how we look at things. Whether it’s a choice or decision, event, circumstance or situation, we pose two crucial questions that shape the actions and steps that we would take in the future. One is what does it require? And the other is what’s in it for me?
We are especially dodgy of the first question because we don’t like it when something is being required of us or if we must sacrifice something. On the other hand, we love asking the second question. Often labeled as the “most self-entitled” generation, millennials and the older xennials are drawn more to what they get out of something and what benefits them. At least, according to many experts.
In Martial Arts, these two poignant and significant questions are vividly present and impossible to ignore. And surprisingly (or not), the answer to these two questions is the same: discipline.
Discipline as Both Root and Gain
Yes, the undeniable truth has been laid down upon you. In Martial Arts, discipline is that “something” that you “give” so that you can attain a certain degree of success. To achieve a higher level of skill, precision and consistency, you must sacrifice a whole lot and have discipline. It’s what you must have, be and do.
We can all agree that there isn’t a world-renowned or highly respected instructor or grandmaster who will dispute this truth. Discipline is the cornerstone of every martial arts student’s foundation. And it’s mostly difficult to excel without having a solid foundation. Every kick, punch, chop, block, lunge, and swing is perfected through rigorous training and skill development. It goes without saying that this can only be achieved by having discipline.
Discipline is that nagging feeling that wakes you up in the morning and gives you that jolt of excitement on your upcoming training. Discipline is what runs through your fingers as you strap on your boots, gloves, and gear minutes before a sparring match. And discipline is what keeps your feet grounded and helps keep your adrenaline in check as you enter the ring for your first competition.
Discipline is what it takes to be an awesome martial artist.
At the other end of the spectrum, discipline is what you obtain when you engage yourself fully in Martial Arts. Yes, you have to have discipline when sparring, when doing the routines, and in just plain showing up for training - especially on days when you just don’t feel like it.
And in the process of being a diligent and dutiful martial arts student, you become a disciplined person. One that’s not only disciplined in Martial Arts but disciplined in other areas of your life as well. You now become a disciplined person. Having discipline in one or a few areas of your life does not automatically make you a disciplined person. Having discipline in studying while being a lousy and lazy son or daughter does not completely make you a disciplined person. Being neat and orderly but ignoring your health and wellness only makes you an organized person. But to have discipline in most, if not all, aspects of your life makes you a disciplined person. And you can thank Martial Arts for that.
That discipline that you mustered to become an awesome martial artist is the same discipline that has now transcended and trickled to the way you approach your relationships, health, studies, career, business and just about every part of your life.
What it took for you to become who you are as a martial artist is also what you gained. It has been the root of your success and what you gain out of the whole engagement.
Engage to Elevate
The beauty of Martial Arts is that you reap what you sow. Because you invest discipline to be a good martial artist, the process of bettering yourself in that field ingrains discipline in every fiber of your being that you cannot help but be a highly disciplined person, even before the process is finished.
And since Martial Arts is ideally a lifetime commitment in the sense that it becomes a lifestyle, there is a very slight chance that you will come out of this process and not be changed.
Once you engage in Martial Arts and agree to commit all the way, the discipline you spend will be a bigger gain which you get to cash in on your journey.
As you elevate your level of skill, passion, commitment and love for the Arts, your transformation to becoming a disciplined person is completed. You’re welcome, says Martial Arts.