The Eight Vows of the Committed Martial Artist
Number 8: Treat yourself right. The only true investment you can do for yourself is yourself. High achievements, physical performance, victory or defeat, they all depend on how much care you have for a body that, after all, is everything you have.
Number 7: Train everyday. If sporadic training was enough to become a martial arts professional, everyone would be a martial arts expert. Choose what you want to be: a martial arts amateur or a serious and committed athlete. When training everyday becomes too hard for both your body and mind, it’s a good sign you are on the right path.
Number 6: Stay committed. Once chosen what you want, go through with it. Changing style or school all the time is a clear mirror image of your personality. True Martial Artists go all the way of things.
Number 5: Wake up early. Train must become your priority, your first thought in the morning, before the Sun rises. When the world sleeps, high achievers train. Because it’s in the dark that bread is prepared. It’s in silence that you can hear you own self. And because it’s so damn hard that you will realize how hard is to win over your mind every single day. Training in the rain, hail or snow will just make this point rooted into your soul.
Number 4: Always learn. Evolution is the key to Survival. Take a look at our belt system, for example: beginners start with a black belt, then brown, purple, red, yellow and lastly, after years of hard training, you get the white. Even though I am the founder of a martial arts Academy and I’ve been training steadily for more than 24 years, my belt is black with a strip of white, and will always be this color, because
when you think you know things, maybe it’s time to go back and see them from a different perspective. The wise man never thinks to be arrived.
Number 3: Ask yourself why (and you will a clear idea of how long your commitment will last). Do you remember that fire that ignited your heart when you first started studying Martial Arts? Don’t ever forget that, because it will come to your help when you are uncertain of your martial commitment. Genuine vows last a lifetime. Ego based goals will be just like a firework in a summer night.
Number 2: Don’t take things for granted. Life is based on change, so is martial performance. The only way you have to be in control of something that is in constant change, is honoring that:
train hard, train well, do your best, as if it’s your last day on this planet.
Do it for yourself, do it for your healthy body, do it for those who believe in you, do it for those who would pay for that healthy body of yours. Remember: athletes on wheelchair are the most motivated and inspiring people on Earth.
Number 1: Obey the Code. The most important amongst The Eight Vows of the Committed Martial Artist.
Martial Arts often mean making difficult choices: the first you will be called to make is picking a side: Martial Arts or Fighting Sports. Both sides belong to the same world and, although different, they complement each other, just like the Dao.
Even though Martial Arts and Fighting Sports are bound by the same martial principles, they have their own Martial Code, as much as both extreme disciplines lead to equally high achievements.
- The code of the Fighter is “to use his skills to attack and defeat”: does not matter the context the Fighter is in: what matters is to unleash his full potential and terminate the opponent.
- The code of the Martial Artist is “to defend and protect only”: other purposes other than this are against the Martial Code itself. The Martial Artists knows his true potential and is careful not to engage in fights if not for the safety of himself and those who need protection.
The Martial Artist Code differs from the Fighter’s code, so choose wisely. However, it should be emphasized that even though Martial means “belonging to war”, it’s not because someone has a strong army that he or she has to declare war. Confrontation should be legitimated only upon attack, that’s why martial preparation should be always cultivated in event of war.
The one who saw war only talks about peace.
Remember: your battle can last one single day or several grueling years, but sooner or later it’ll come to an end. Fighting for proving to someone rather that to yourself is not part of the true Martial Code, although the need for proving yourself is and always will be an easy trick for your mind, unless you win over it. Choice is yours. Way to prove you are good are endless, and Fighting Sports can still be enjoyed safely when safe rules are met. Which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be what people is looking for from modern Martial Arts these days.
Life is long. Extreme Fighting Sports have judges. Martial Art’s judge is time