You have been training in a martial art for a few months and now you are thinking that you would like to be a martial art instructor. After all, it cannot be too difficult to do since there are so many teenager instructors; as a matter of fact, there are more teenage instructors than there are adult instructors but that is the subject of another topic. Before you make your decision, here are some things to consider.
First a few definitions
- Martial Sport. A martial sport is a fighting game played for the purpose of competition. Participants pretend to fight but every precaution is used to preclude them from receiving even the slightest injury. Just as with playing paintball, participants like to think of themselves as actual warriors, but they do not have to deal with any of the emotions or physical dangers that an actual warrior may face. This is pure sport, with no relation to combat. Martial sport is mutual fighting with no intent to harm the opponent.
- Combat Sport. A combat sport is a more physical version of a martial sport where participants actually fight using full-power physical contact. To enable the participants to able to keep competing, there are strict rules to prevent injuries that may cause serious injury or preclude future competition. Therefore, while the fighting is physical and painful, it is still not realistic combat. Combat sport is mutual fighting with the intent to harm the opponent.
- Martial Art. A martial art is the way of the warrior; it is a system of study where participants learn the ways of the warrior. Being a warrior means learning to avoid combat, being mentally and physically prepared for combat if it is inevitable, having combat skills, and being able to apply these skills if necessary, and being able to deal with the aftermath of having to use, or not use, these combat skills. Being a warrior is a way of life, not a sport to be played periodically. The reward of a martial art is not the winning of the fight, but the enlightenment that comes from preparing for the fight. Depending upon the style, a martial art may be as close to actual combat as possible without being in combat. A martial art is unwillingly fighting for the purpose of self-defense. A martial artist does not willingly enter a fight; a martial artist fights because he or she is attacked or is about to be attacked.
- Commercial martial arts. These are martial sports that are taught as businesses, the primary purposes of which are to obtain and retain students, and to extract as much money from them as possible.
- Combat martial arts. These are the combat sports that are used in professional, semi-professional, or amateur fighting. The primary purpose of these arts is competitive fighting.
- Traditional martial arts. These are martial arts that are taught in ways that are as near as possible to the original arts. This is not the 19th or 20th century, so 21st century martial arts cannot be taught in exactly the same way as they were originally taught. However, rather than being watered down to something other than a true martial art, they have just adapted to the fit modern threats and the time constraints on students’ time. Sometimes traditional martial arts are taught commercially, but the schools still try to maintain the integrity of their martial arts and they usually struggle just to break even.
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