In the martial arts it is imperative that balance is exercised throughout training. Too much and the practitioner will strain and overexert themselves. Too little, and no improvement is made and training is rather useless. Centuries of martial arts have produced time tested well balanced training regiments, curriculums, theories and teachings. In contrast, modern mixed styles and students who disregard physiology and the research put into hundreds of years of martial arts training take one side or another. The following will be a discourse of the leanings by which many skew.
The lack of balance is not only in physical training, but also in mental training as well. The balance of mind must be present for the martial art practitioner for their success and well-being. Many are drawn to the martial arts for the competition, and many who join the martial arts already have strong personalities. The so-called type-A personalities who are goal crushers excel in the martial arts and often are the ones seen at the front of every tournament argument. If these individuals do not have respect, honor, courtesy, integrity, and morals drilled into them, chaos would ensue, and it has. Thirty, forty years ago, it would not be startling to see a chair flying at a tournament because a coach lost their temper or a parent wasn’t happy. Things have become much more balanced as the Taekwondo way has been accepted as the standard etiquette. There is a set of morals and to breach these morals would mean expulsion. The tenants of Taekwondo along with the character taught in class has done much to balance what could be an aggressive martial art.
Martial arts are after all quite aggressive. The martial artist is trying to defend themselves or another, to attack, or to compete. All of this training is aggressive and must be matched with a gentle spirit. When a need should arise for a heightened state, the martial artist can utilize at ease. In the realm of Jiu-jitsu and MMA, many of the practitioners know nothing of tradition and the character or morals to balance out the aggressive nature of martial arts. They are in a heightened state from the onslaught. Several arrive to their class from a pre-workout already teaming with adrenaline, ready to fight. This is not the spirit of training, it is the spirit to get hurt and to hurt. The lifespan of such training is lessened. There is no balance or wisdom in a skewed mindset.
In contrast, if one claims to be a martial art but then states, “No Contact”, it is not a real martial art. For one, there is no such thing. You cannot be a martial art and be no contact. You certainly cannot be Taekwondo and be no contact… This mindset goes for all Americanized, franchise, garbage programs. Whatever these programs allege to call themselves, they produce the weakest fantasy instructors and students in martial arts. Whether it is kung fu, taekwondo, karate or the like, passing a student to the next rank based on attendance in irresponsible. You don’t give points for trying and missing! Ranking in cardio kick boxing, having a color belt or less than master, rank students is also irresponsible! Tangent subsides… The unbalance here is, these programs have no application whatsoever. There is no aggression, no testing, no pressure of skill, and frankly, no skill at that!
Therefore, what must the balance be? In the martial arts, there must be a balance between a moral character and aggressive training that is tested and pressured for its skill. The practitioner must train these equally, always growing, learning, ever striving to be better. Remember, “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8