4 November, 2009
Unfortunately, cinema and video games have distorted the image of martial arts, turning them into disciplines that only teach us how to strike, dislocate joints, break bones, strangle, use weapons ... Despite this appearance, when we start in A martial art we discover unknown aspects that can expand our initial vision of the subject.
When we start practicing any martial art, the first thing we learn is to greet, that is, to show respect. From here begins a path of learning on two fundamental axes: the position and the attitude. The position reveals our inner state; The way we move, talk, gesture, sit down, etc., configures a body language that says almost everything about us, especially those who are a little attentive to reading it. Attitude is what conditions the posture, which transforms it, which makes it possible for us to express emotions through the body.
The fact of going dressed in a specific uniform is a way to facilitate the change of chip between our daily life and martial art. Before the class, we have to change clothes, which is a kind of ritual that symbolizes leaving behind who we are, what we are dedicated to, what status we have, ideology, beliefs, prejudices and everything that forms the our social self. In class we all look the same, we are all equal and we form a group with a common purpose: help each other to improve. The only differences are established for the seniority in the group and the technical grade, usually represented by the color of the belt. Differences are established to facilitate the organization of class and avoid misunderstandings or conflicts among students. They help to mark who has to start each exercise, where it should be placed and other practical aspects of the day to day. In any case, all students have the same opportunities to progress, it only depends on their ability and certainty, not on social factors such as economic level, studies, nationality, cultural origin, etc.
It is easy to distinguish a beginner student from another who already has a certain experience just because of how the practice uniform wears, if the belt is tight, as it leaves the well-ordered sneakers out of the room, to how dominates the space and why he knows where he should be so as not to disturb anyone ... If we look like his, as he walks, we will discover that with practice time the position is modified: the back always straight of the most experts , natural and fluid movements, a muscular tone just to keep the shape of each gesture but without rigidity. The care of the details, the delicacy with others, the care and use of the objects of practice with care, do not let them fall to the ground in any way when we no longer use them, they are some of the signs that identify a practitioner 'Martial Arts.
Attentive to what surrounds us
You just need to go out and frequent public transport, department stores or any place where there are many people to watch stopped people talking in front of a ladder blocking the step, bothering everyone, listening to a music too high, or shouting without a head consideration. It is common to cross with people walking distracted in one direction and looking into another place, leaving the supermarket cart in any way occupying the whole path without even being aware of what they generate around them. We are many people sharing spaces that are often too small and, therefore, we need some attention from all if we want to improve coexistence and civility.
Within the martial arts class, there is not enough space, we often have to roll over the ground, we have to have some physical contact with our colleagues, and we also use potentially dangerous techniques. It is for this reason that we ritualize our routines a bit: we dress uniformly, we greet with an inclination, we all start together doing some moments of concentration, warming ... and finally the technical work. We take care of the space to avoid accidents, we always wear clean clothes and in order not to bother our classmates, we maintain a class of attentive attention in order to take better advantage of learning and thus create an adequate atmosphere.
Martial art aims to transmit positive values through a physical discipline (posture) and an appropriate attitude (firm but calm). From here, techniques become tools to work with the body and improve our ability to use it, not only to defend ourselves against an aggressor but also, and above all, to prevent this aggression.
Getting used to being attentive to class can help us to see a risk situation before it is too late, to experiment in a controlled manner with the emotion of an attack can help us to familiarize ourselves with these situations and to maintain the calm. When we have experienced enough of these emotions, we can better regulate them (since they can not be eliminated) and if aggression is inevitable, we can protect ourselves without violence and intimidation, which is precisely what will make us responsible for the evil caused to justice , although we have acted in self-defense.
Martial arts allow us to study our body and our reactions in a controlled and safe environment, provide us with the tools to use the body in an efficient way and to internalize the right attitudes to deal with unforeseen situations. They also transmit ethical values and healthy behaviors, teach us to be more responsible, more patients and prevent problems before we already have them.
Naturally, this set of properties does not happen to be well-intentioned purposes that depend on oneself to become true or not. Martial art becomes a mirror where we see ourselves as we are, but not for admiration, perhaps only to ask who is the one we see reflected and in any case to help us to polish the defects that we recognize.
That's why we are talking about personal discipline, because there is a need for a firm commitment to polishing what we see in the mirror, the tools are there, our colleagues will help us, because they are also involved in the same research, and the teacher will offer us the Your experience and your accumulated knowledge.
That it is clear that this is a personal option for each student, he knows his motivations and only he or she should choose the orientation of his learning, if it is only a technical learning, a complete and fun physical activity or if, in addition Of all this, it is a deeper experience that can change our lives. In addition, not all martial arts are the same, some have incorporated a regulated system of sports competition and others that are maintained as traditional forms. Some use weapons and others that do not, some specialize in blows and others in the melee fight. To inform you, talk with the professionals and ask everything you need. All the paths begin with a step, spirits!
The martial arts in the youngest
Martial arts are a great opportunity for young people to work on emotional balance, personal fulfillment and the psychological aspects that condition the perception of their body. In addition, in this type of discipline you can find a way to help them in personal growth, as they integrate the physical and psychological aspects in a balanced and well studied way. Perhaps this is the advantage offered by these methods, which have centuries of experience dealing with the individual as a whole and not as isolated parts.
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