Martial art skills are satisfying and the satisfaction may be attained from merely performing the skills. Martial arts seek perfection of movement and, once satisfaction is attained, the movements that lead to the satisfaction may be easily replicated.
Combat skills are fulfilling, but to feel fulfilled, fighters must fight and they usually they must win. Perfection is neither sought not desired, winning is the goal. Each fight is different and cannot be replicated. One fight may be a good experience, the next bad. Fighters are addicts, they are only satisfied with they get their "fix."
A martial art is a way of life that may be used for self-defense. Easily 95% of the people in the United States will never be in situation where they are forced to defend themselves, so, if they spend their entire lives training to use their martial arts in a fight, they will be wasting their time. However, if they spend their entire lives training in their martial arts to improve their lives, then all the work will be worth it, even if they never have to defend themselves. People, who train in a martial art to fight, are disappointed if they do not get to fight. People who train in the "way" or the "do" of a martial art are disappointed when they must fight.
Martial arts are not something one does occasionally for self-defense or to improve physical fitness, rather, they are a way of living ones life in a way that enriches its enjoyment. This is the true secret of the martial arts.
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