There are a lot of human traits we wish people had more of — honor, for example, integrity is another. But one great human characteristic that has been lost in the grand scheme of things is compassion. Simply put, if people had more compassion, the world would be a better place.
Thankfully, martial arts teaches practitioners the value of compassion and the impact it can have not only on our own personal lives but most especially the lives of others.
On the surface, it may seem that martial arts is just a combat discipline that teaches you how to fight. But dig beneath the surface and you’ll discover martial arts to be so much more. It has the ability to teach you a lot of things about life, and guide you down the path to becoming a better person.
In our martial arts training, we learn that our actions have consequences and that what we do can affect others. Let’s choose to do good, show compassion, and help those in need.
Today, Evolve Daily shares four things martial arts teaches you about compassion.
1) Protect yourself and your opponent
While martial arts can be quick and effective at subduing opponents, it also teaches us to take the path of least resistance. The solution to problems with the lowest measure of conflict, or at the very least, the most minimal amount of damage done – this is the correct path. Above all, martial arts even teaches us to avoid physical confrontation where applicable.
But when absolutely necessary, martial arts as a self-defense tool is the perfect shield to have in fights. When faced with a situation where you must physically defend yourself from an attacker, martial arts ensures you are equipped with the knowledge and skills to come out of the conflict victorious.
Yet unbeknownst to many, martial arts isn’t just about self-defense, it is also about protecting your opponent from his or her self. By choosing the most efficient method of victory, choosing compassion over hurt and ego, we practice being compassionate toward our opponents.
In this way, martial arts teaches us how best to use our skills and knowledge, where everyone comes out of each conflict safe and subdued.
2) Use your power for the greater good
By training in martial arts, we gain many abilities. And with those abilities comes great responsibility. Throughout our training, we then learn to use our abilities for the greater good.
The same applies to all aspects of our lives. This is the great thing about martial arts. Every lesson we learn during training can be applied to real-world situations. This is then where we learn how to use our God-given talents for the good of others.
Similar to using our self-defense and combat skills to protect ourselves and others, martial arts teaches us that we can also use our other gifts to help those in need, proactively.
Bibiano Fernandes, ONE Championship bantamweight champion, was raised in the martial arts gym back home in Brazil because he faced extreme poverty and had nowhere else to live. His coaches allowed him to live in the gym as long as he cleaned up after himself each night. This is a great example of compassion being shown in martial arts.
Had it not been for Fernandes’ coaches showing compassion towards a fellow human being, he may not be the world champion he is today.
3) Respect everyone’s life journey
Most of us are fortunate enough to have been blessed with a roof over our heads, food on the table to eat. Yet some are in a bad spot, having to scrape by just to survive. Martial arts’ lessons about compassion teach us to help out where we can.
Everyone has their own life journey. We are all met with our own problems and hurdles. Martial arts isn’t just a fitness program, it’s a way of life. And in martial arts, we are always taught to respect the journey, not just the destination.
Through hard work and sacrifice, we are capable of achieving many great things, for both ourselves and the people around us. By showing compassion towards our fellow human beings, we are able to offer respect to their individual life journeys.
Martial arts improves every aspect of our lives, whether that is allowing us to show more compassion, or getting us in the best physical shape possible.
4) Learn humility and respect
Humility and respect are two traits that go hand-in-hand with compassion, for respect is the acknowledgment of those around us, and humility the key to becoming a better person.
Many times during our martial arts journey, we will be met with opportunities to show respect and be humble. In fact, these are the key ingredients to a great martial artist. We learn this very early on in our training by always listening to our coaches and allowing ourselves proper guidance.
You can’t learn your craft if you aren’t willing to be humble enough to be shown your mistakes and then offered a way to improve upon them. And you can’t grasp all the knowledge that martial arts has to offer if you don’t respect your instructors.
In martial arts, humility and respect foster compassion.
Compassion is but only one of the traits that practitioners pick up when training in martial arts. Yet it is one of the most important.
So if you’re looking for something that’s so much more than just a workout or a self-defense system, give martial arts a try!
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