What does it take to become a martial artist?

June 21, 2010

I was reading an essay by a writer contact of mine and it struck home. He asked his Father what he needed to do to become a writer. His Father replied that to become a writer one needs to write. That’s it!

So what does one need to do to become a martial artist? Well one needs to do a martial art! The problem and the difference between the two is that many painters, artists and writers are self taught. But how can you be a silat teacher if you have never experienced silat? In truth, you can’t. It is not like being a writer where all one needs is to put pen to paper and you are a writer. To be a martial artist you actually need to train in martial art, preferably to study with a teacher/master. You need to put in the hours of work that anyone needs to do to gain mystery of a subject. To be a writer you write, to be a martial artist you do a martial art…but to be a GOOD martial artist you need to put in some good work and combine it with some good tuition and training. I heard about a guy who wanted advice on creating his own style of silat, but he hadn’t started training in it yet. Sadly this approach to martial arts is what lets it down. The people who want to be masters before they are a student, who want the respect and adoration of their students before they have paid their dues and paid their respect to THEIR master. In our now society, people build a structure of self-deception which allows them to believe that the world owes them respect and that they should be a master of silt, and that it is just a freak of nature that they are not. It allowed them to justify their stance that they are good enough even when their teacher says they are not. They stamp their feet and go to another teacher who WILL give them the recognition they crave. In the end they move on regularly gleaning knowledge here, stealing some ideas till they have enough to create their own style, which they don’t really understand but which stops them feeling quite so inadequate, and allows the self deception and delusion to continue.

Glenn Lobo


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