Martial arts seem to be very popular nowadays. There are many forms of these arts. Although we know them generally as Karate, Tee Kwon Do, -judo, Kung Fu, Silat, Silambam, Aikido, and other more obscure ones, each art has as many different styles as there are masters.
The proliferation of different styles is the result of former students who open up their own school, possibly because they find that they prefer their own styles or are not too happy with their former masters.
I took up Karate once after being influence by violent films and stars like Bruce Lee. The chief instructor was a good man who actually taught his philosophy of martial arts and that was to refrain from violence at all times. I asked him why then do we learn such deadly efficient techniques of maiming or” killing someone. His answer. was that if we had enough practice of the techniques and knew how deadly they were, we would be disciplined enough not to use them.
I was confused when he said it. I understood what he meant by. refraining from violence but I did not see how one could be disciplined by learning to be violent. I am in no way clearer about it now. The whole point is that martial arts exponents today do not really know why they teach the arts at all. AU they know is.to teach the physical techniques. Only my first Karate teacher taught me to restrain my violent tendencies. My later teachers never did. In fact, they actually encouraged me to be aggressive and win tournaments so that they can strut around showing off how good they were as teachers.
I have given up martial arts training actually for I cannot find a real genuine master. It is easy to find one who is very skilled and can make me a really good fighter, much in the mold of Bruce Lee. However what good did Bruce Lee’s films convey? They were mere blood-thirsty sagas of revenge and aggression. Is this what we want of our society? I hardly think so.
Also, within martial arts circles, there is a lot of back-biting and ridicule of each other’s art. Each teacher will say that the important things in martial arts are discipline and humility. Then he will go on at length talking about how genuine his art is and how fraudulent the others are.
Most, if not all, teach violence, although they will violently. deny it. I have not met a martial arts teacher who can really tell me the true meaning of the whole thing. Perhaps such a person does not exist. So, for most students and teachers, martial arts are just another ego-building exercise a trip into violence.