Martial arts training has proven to be an effective method of developing the individual in a whole and positive way. Through physical training, the student develops a deeper sense of self-confidence tempered by the virtue of humility. Emphasis is placed on a wide variety of physical skills, including endurance, strength, and flexibility. Martial arts training also develops agility, hand-eye coordination, balance, and timing. The result of all of these skills is what we term “mind-body oneness.” Through training, the student begins to gain an intuitive mastery of the body through increased self-awareness.
Emphasis is placed on diligence which results in the development of discipline. Through self-discipline, there is improved concentration, which carries over into all aspects of life. Correct etiquette is taught, with the key concept being respect. The idea of mutual respect and regard for each individual is considered very important. It was, and continues to be, an essential part of traditional martial arts training. We feel that correct etiquette underscores the moral and philosophical underpinnings of traditional martial arts. The rei, or bow, is one example of martial arts etiquette which demonstrates mutual respect.
Through proper and protracted training, the student will develop self-defense skills. Self-defense is an integral aspect of all martial arts practice, but it is not considered to be, necessarily, the most valuable part. It is also not the only asset derived from training. Through practice, there comes a sense of accomplishment and growth. With development, confidence grows and leadership potential is born as the student begins to mature. The martial arts are also a microcosm of East Asian culture. With the study of the arts, one begins to learn and appreciate related aspects of the culture, such as the language, history, and philosophy.
In conclusion, we feel that the philosophy of the martial arts may be summed up best in this maxim of the late Professor Jigaro Kano, the founder of Kodokan Judo: Seiroku zenyo, Jitakue. ”For one to develop correctly and become an asset to society, one must abide by the most efficient use of energy, along with mutual assistance, cooperation and welfare, in the hope of social harmony and peace.”