Life Lessons Learned from Martial Arts

Bruce Lee Illustration

The memorable Karate Kid movies and the famous moves: wax on, wax off, paint the fence, and paint the house are some of the basis of martial arts teachings.

The “wax on”, “wax off” approach might come disguised as a set of chores, but just as often it is a general exercise that promotes valuable physical and mental attributes. A student learning karate might dismiss it as a waste of time early on, but appreciate it later.

Often this serves as a lesson to the skeptical student to trust the master and do all the things the master asks without question, therefore demonstrating that the instructor really knows what he is doing and is in fact effectively teaching the student. It can also be considered a life lesson, like your childhood. When you are young you might complain when your parents set limitations, you felt they were too severe, but only when you are an adult do you fully understand that your parents acted like that because they wanted you to become an educated person.

Lessons Learned from Martial Arts Quotes

The lessons: empty your cup, give time, and live in the moment, are useful phrases from great martial artists. Defining each of them, one can see the wisdom that it might bring to a student learning karate.

“Empty Your Cup that it may be filled” is a Bruce Lee quote that means to let go of your own preconceived notions, or to empty your mind of past knowledge and your own views for the time being and listen to your instructor and take in his ideas.

To “give time” means to actively work toward your goal without setting a limit on how long you will work.

“Live in the present” means you need to live in the now, give it your full undivided attention so there will be no regrets and thinking of the future just dilutes the present.

How Will I Gain From Martial Arts?

People who practice martial arts learn endurance, sportsmanship, confidence, concentration but above all respect. Martial arts at its core are the representation of respect. Self respect and respect for others is the foundation for all martial arts and an absolute requirement for most schools. Students are usually taught to use proper etiquette and train to use their art to bring out the best in themselves and others. The confidence and discipline that students develop naturally lead them to greater levels of respect for all.

Martial arts can be a refreshing and fun experience even if for just the socializing aspect that is part of the experience too. Either way, martial arts can improve one physically and more importantly, spiritually, as you get to know your own limitations, goals, and inner abilities.

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