Martial Arts are More than Fighting

“Basically, it takes three things to be a good sniper, and a wicked shot is the least of them. Discipline and cunning are the important qualities.”

– David Reed

When I read the article by David Reed where he said this, I couldn’t help but think of a saying we used to have at the 2nd ID Scout Sniper School. We instructors would often say, “you can teach any piece of %$#@ to shoot, but it takes a lot more to be a sniper.” And while I agree with Reed that discipline and cunning are important, there are still other important things for a good sniper too.

I think it is the same with martial arts. There are a number of things to make a good martial artist, and kicking and punching are not the only things. Discipline is one of those things. A good martial artist learns discipline that can be used in all areas of one’s life. Honor, courage, fitness, good sportsmanship, tactical principles, agility, determination, self-esteem, and more can be gained through the practice of various martial arts, and to be a good martial artist, you will need all of these as well as learning how to strike with your hands, feet, elbows, knees and other body parts.

Just like learning to shoot doesn’t make someone a sniper. Learning to fight doesn’t make a martial artist. A martial artist should strive to be more, much more, than just a fighter. You gain these other attributes and qualities through your practice. You have the discipline to show up to every class, even when your friends encourage you to do something else, or you feel a bit lazy. You have the determination to stick with your learning to do the very best you can. You develop honor by first honoring your school, instructor and fellow students. This branches out to your family and then people in general. You have the courage to compete if your art does so, and the courage to stand up for what is right and stick to your principles. You improve your balance, agility, and overall fitness. You win and lose like a champion. Your self-esteem is strong as you walk a little taller.

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Training in martial arts provides so much more than just learning to fight. Make sure you are getting the most out of your training by putting everything you have into it. The rewards are well worth the effort.

Train Hard, Train Smart, and Train Safe.

Be a martial artist!