Long ago, the martial arts were considered a lethal, esoteric art, which would allow a 10-year old black belt to mop the floor with a whole gang of thugs. Then, the martial arts became known more as a fun, physical activity; a great way to stay in shape and learn some important life skills and values, and an exciting theme for birthday parties.
Now, I think we are entering an exciting time where the arts still provide those amazing fitness and character building benefits, but the skills that students develop are real, and extremely valuable.
Look at the way the arts are being practiced more and more these days. Students are learning potentially life-saving skills. Take mount escapes, for instance. With techniques like these, students learn how to get out of very bad situations, situations in which, if the students do not know what to do, their geese are basically cooked.
I’m not trying to scare anyone; I’m just pointing out how incredible the martial arts can be. Hopefully we never need to use these skills, and in today’s society this need is generally very rare for most of us. However, simply knowing that we are learning how to deal with such adversities is what makes the martial arts so empowering.