Just an opinion.

March 22, 2008

Many do not realize that the things they see on TV, on the internet, and in movies are not adequate representations, for they only portray the world as accidental and caricaturized. Martial Arts should not be portrayed as glamorous violence and amazing stunts, as those who study them will attest. Upon hearing that I am a Martial Artist, many ask to see flips and stunts, ignoring me when I try to communicate its less flashy but more substantial aspects, such as mental discipline, self-defense, and practice sparring.

Mental discipline is, I think, the most important skill to possess, for it can be of benefit to ones life inside and outside the studio. A disciplined mind will help in one’s job, at school, and in certain situations with friends. Inside the studio, discipline is a key factor for keeping focused on training, and overcoming physical limitations.

Self-defense is a phrase with a few meanings. To most people it means defending oneself physically or verbally against foes. Martial artists however use it more precisely to mean a combination of defensive postures usually leading to the opponent or attacker lying incapacitated on the ground. These self-defense postures are calculated strikes on pressure points all over the body, such as hitting points on the head, neck, arms, torso and, very rarely, on the leg.

Sparring is the most challenging and difficult part of the Martial Arts. It requires the ability to see an opening in your opponent’s defenses and to throw a kick with enough control, power, and speed to exploit the opening before it closes. Additionally, not many people understand the incredible amount of endurance needed to continuously throw kicks, and block the attacks of ones’ opponent for three minutes straight. Virtually continuous training is required for days to be ready to fight in national tournaments and local competitions.

Although we should not criticize the media for their virtually exclusive use of exciting and visually stimulating images that sell, we should however judge them for pretending to be a giver of truth and reality, which they are not. There should, therefore, be attempts to rectify this situation and return the arts to their proper place in the minds of the people.



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