This past week during my classes I started thinking about my purpose and time in the martial arts. I always seem to reflect on this question as the month of March is the annual founding of my dojo, Ryer Martial Arts Academy, and even more inspiring this month marks forty years of formal martial arts training for my teacher, Master Zach Whitson. I asked myself what is the purpose of all this practice and teaching? It takes up a whole lot of my time and time is one thing I can never get back. So I set out to sum it up into one sentence and here’s what I came up with…
“I practice the martial arts to live a safe, healthy, and happy life.”
My first reason for practicing the martial arts is to know how to protect myself. I want to have the skill to survive if someone would ever threaten mine or my family’s safety. Secondly, I want to lead a healthy life. For over twenty years, the martial arts have been my vehicle to remain active and physically fit. The martial arts have influenced the choices I make even down to how I eat. Finally, practicing the martial arts makes me happy. I find enjoyment learning a new technique, trying to perfect it, and then passing this knowledge on to others. It’s the teaching of the martial arts that I enjoy the most. It makes me very happy to see other people experience the positive effects of the martial arts in their own life.
I know why I practice, but be sure that you know why you are practicing!