Rewards in Martial Arts

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"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."

-- Albert Einstein

Realising the rewards of Martial Arts

There are various ways how artists can express their emotions and sentiments like music, poems, theatres, cinemas, painting and others. Martial art is a system curriculum not just technique but also about inner balance and how one can work about one’s emotions. There's a deeper meaning in studying martial arts. Eventually, many martial artists deliver their emotions and thoughts through martial arts and the same applies to me. For me, Tang Soo Do is a way of life because I can express freely my thoughts and emotions by performing techniques and forms, whilst helping me in my daily life.

I was only nine years old when I first enrolled into a Tang Soo Do lesson. At that age, I was so young to understand and appreciate what martial arts is about. In fact, I had the concept that Tang Soo Do was a sport where I could show my abilities and strength to beat someone. Obviously as I grew up and moved on to higher belts, I realised I had the wrong mentality. Eventually I kicked off to show more interest and dedication and made my own research about the art, then I started to have a better understanding. This helps me to show more respect to my art and to my instructor, Mr. Ian Wallace, and to my mates. Now, that I am almost eighteen years of age, I have better knowledge of and appreciation in Tang Soo Do. Still there are other concepts that I will have to bring to light and understand.

Focus is the primal thing in a person’s life. Without Focus one cannot achieve anything in life, therefore once a person concentrates hard in what he is doing, he will have a goal and a success will follow. The person has to keep focusing until he achieves what task he wants to complete. One must always find a balance in life. When one is talking about self confidence, it's not just about self confidence but self-esteem. First and foremost it is important to point out that the level of self-esteem may range from high to low, yet these factors are sometimes taken to extremes. Usually someone who has very low self-esteem is said to have a major inferiority complex, where a person degrades his personality and suffers from self-humiliation. On the contrary, those with a superiority complex; those people who have a high self-esteem, are more likely to take pride in what they do, but this can eventually lead to arrogonace. Generally there is a link between these two extremes, where those who have the ability of believing in themselves to the full influence those with a weaker character. This could lead the individual into a depressive mood which eventually lead him to commit suicide as he comes to believe that this is the only form of escapism. In both cases, there is the problem of socialising; both might have difficulties regarding integrating with society. Those who feel useless would form a fatalistic approach where they deprive themselves from society and any social activities and recreation. These can also be identified as introverts. On the other hand, the individuals with high superiority complex may find it hard to integrate in society as they might reject any views which differ from their own. One cannot mix a high self-esteem with over confidence or egoism because these are as negative intentions. High self-esteem is a positive thing as one gets inner peace and also has the confidence to keep on searching and to do what one really wants in one’s life and pushes oneself to go for it. From my experience, I can say that Tang Soo Do has given me this self-confidence and inner peace.

Focus, balance and discipline are the strongholds of martial arts. Tang Soo Do encourages the student to overcome fears, to prepare to succeed and to invite a full life of adventure. One recognises that the best way to overcome fear is to confront it. One must be present in...
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