This video here explains in 7 short minutes exactly what it means to be a student of the martial arts, and why every man needs to learn them at some level:
That is easily one of the best videos that Lawrence Kenshin has ever made, and he has a long and distinguished track record of superb videography on the subject of martial arts, fighting, and human self-expression. In that video, Dr. David Tian put into the spoken word, with far greater eloquence and skill than I could ever manage, everything that I have spent the last five years trying to teach people about martial arts.
The fact is that every man wants, at some level, to be a warrior. Our modren society has buried that warrior instinct and soul deep beneath multiple layers of enervating comfort and soul-destroying propaganda, but the lion’s heart in every man still wrestles and fights and struggles to break free.
Some of us are fortunate enough to be able to let the beast out, in some way, shape, or form – even if it just amounts to pounding on a heavy bag once or twice a week to keep our striking sharp and our shins conditioned to pain.
But most men are condemned these days to spend their whole lives never knowing the joy, and the terror, of battle.
As Dr. Tian points out in the video, the moment that you spar – and I mean really spar – or fight with someone else, you will be faced immediately with your own inadequacies and failings. This is especially true when you run into someone with far superior skill, timing, precision, power, and resilience.
You will not be able to win against such an opponent.
You will be knocked down and beaten, repeatedly. You will be punished swiftly and severely for every single error that you make. You will experience pain and shock and trauma in the process.
What makes warriors out of men is not their willingness to expose themselves to danger and pain. It does not take intelligence, skill, or courage to do this.
No, what makes warriors out of men is their willingness to keep going back for more.
That takes guts as well as wisdom. And when you have that combination of wits, wisdom, strength, and experience, then you become truly dangerous.
The beatings that you take in the ring are as nothing compared to the beatings that you will take in life. Trust me on this – as someone who has lost far more than most men will ever gain, I know of what I speak.
The question that each of us has to answer for ourselves is whether we will pick ourselves back up and keep fighting, or lie down and submit and give up.