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Why are you a martial artist? I'd like to know what motivates people to study the martial arts?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2011.03  

Asked at 2011.03.02 22:08:42
Are you into martial arts because you like to fight, are competitive or enjoy tournaments, or bouts?
Is it fitness and health that motivates you?
Is it spiritual?
Do you want to be able to defend yourself and others?
Is it because you like to be a showman and entertain others?
Perhaps you're artistic and enjoy perfecting the techniques of your chosen style?
Or is it a way for you to maintain self-discipline and a sense of control and personal strength, achievement or self worth in your life?

I'm genuinely interested and would value your honesty. Thanks.
answer Ken C  Answered at 2011.03.02 22:08:42
I acatually got invovled in the martial arts formally as a means of staying fit ( I had a relatively sedentary job as a consultant computer systems engineer and applications developer) as I absolutely detest gyms and wasted countless hundreds of dollars on gym memberships that I rarely used.

As a British ex-military guy with a police background, I already had exposure to techniques and concepts, but no structured training or formal philosophical instruction. My job used to take me around the world on one year assignments, so it was tough to formally train until I got a four year gig in California.

I had always had a passion for doing community work and spent many hours volunteering for a variety of non-profits and good efforts as a kid, teenager, and young adult. When I began training formally in TaeKwon-Do and HapKi-Do I saw the tremendous impact it had on peoples lives and was truly impressed by the positive change it brought about in so many individuals. That motivated me, and within a year of beginning my formal martial arts training I was putting in a 40 hour work week at my regular job and 15 to 20 hours assisting and helping out at my martial arts place.

My primary motiviation and goal, beyond my own continued training and advancement, is really the difference I see martial arts making in the lives of the students who come to train with us - even if they only stick around for six months or a year. I've witnessed many signficiant life changing adjustments in students over the time I've been teaching and I know I've made a positive difference in the lives of quite a few who had largely given up on themselves for a variety of reasons.

My father, who is now dead, always used to ask, "will you make a positive difference in the world, or will you just simply exist and survive?" At his funeral, ex co-workers from years ago came to pay their respects and I was impressed by their stories of his friendship, support, and the quiet encouragement he provided so many to excel or succeed. So I guess in part, I'm trying to live up to the example he set. I'm trying to "made a positive difference."

For me, of the three paths martial arts takes - mental, physical, and spiritual - it is the spiritual path that drives and motivates me. I would probably be best described as agnostic with respect to traditional religions, but I have a strong sense of community and an over-riding desire to help make this world a slightly better place. Hopefully, I pass that on to some degree to my students who will some day carry on my legacy.

Ken C
9th Dan HapMoosaKi-Do
8th Dan TaeKwon-Do
7th Dan YongChul-Do
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