I'm involved in the martial arts as you know, in fact to say I'm involved is an understatement I'm more immersed in martial arts to the point of obsession! The martial arts are my life and I give and take a lot from them everyday. Every action I take comes through my martial arts. Its taken me a long time to get to my current level of understanding and for many many years I have simply missed the point of how indispensable the martial arts can be in making a good life for myself and those I come into contact with.
For years I was like a miner digging for tin in a gold mine, I just didn't see that what I was focusing on were inessentials when judged with what was really important in life. Such things as trophies, competition, self defence and survival, are all things that the martial arts can bring but in the long term they are not very important. The thinking that martial arts is all about competition for instance is like buying a camper van just to go back and forth to the shops, sure it'll do the job but its capable of so much more.
I have found that the martial arts gives me an overview of my life as well as an inview on how to operate effectively on a daily basis. This is not a new idea either; the ancients understood this massively from the Taoist works of Sun Tzu to the Zen standpoint of Munenori and Musashi. But today we dance around the important parts of life and focus on what doesn't matter like TV, internet, sport or fashion. These things may have some value but they are not necessary to a happy life. They won't keep you fit in the long term, improve your relationships or give us a deeper sense of purpose in our lives. Most of what we see and use today in our lives as fixes and answers to our needs are no more use to a happy life that putting a bandaid on a broken leg.
We seek happiness but fail to understand that happiness is transient; it comes and goes like the changes in the weather. Happiness cannot exist without sadness to balance it. So any successful life has to be balance on both side of the coin.
Through the study of martial arts we can recognise the true meaning of our lives by sustained practice which keeps our bodies and emotions healthy our minds active and best of all it opens up that door to our spiritual selves and our place in the universe.
Have a good one