Martial Arts And The Power Of Taking Responsibility

I don’t often have guest writers on BunkaiJutsu.  However, I’ve had a request from a freelance writer Katlyn Warner to publish her article on taking responsibility and how it is particularly significant to martial artists, especially children.  It covers a number of self development aspects of martial arts training I thought so I thought I’d share it.

Katlyn wrote in her email to me, “as the 2018 and 2019 book tour of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, a clinical psychologist and professor from Canada, has demonstrated, people across the world are crying out for the message of responsibility. In his books and lectures, he encourages people to take on more responsibilities to improve as individuals.
Recently, I had the pleasure to help oversee an article which looks at what embracing responsibility can do for us. This covers how taking on responsibilities in our lives can improve us as individuals, improve our mental health, and can improve our professional lives”.

As I’m a firm believer in martial arts for personal and spiritual development as well as for self defence, I thought her article was a good fit.  So below is the the Katlyn’s article, which I concur with.  I hope you enjoy it and please leave your comments below:

How Martial Arts Increase Responsibility in Youth

Martial arts offers brain-boosting benefits for students of any age, studies show. However, aside from simply allowing people to increase their physical

Teaching at martial arts seminar
Multi Style Seminar

fitness, develop form and engage with the spiritual side of martial arts, the sport has been found to actually help increase responsibility amongst martial artists. By learning about the ethics behind martial arts and how to carry out repeated, small moves, people who practice martial arts are building their sense of responsibility without even knowing it.

Task-Oriented Sports and the Connection to Responsibility

It’s no secret that sports can promote positive youth development, but the benefits reach much further than simply teaching kids how to play nice with others and work hard. One study, in fact, that was performed on various athletes from different sports revealed that the task orientation needed to perform sports was the driving force for both personal responsibility and social responsibility. What this means is that the various small, repeated tasks that athletes in any sport have to carry out leads them to develop personal and social responsibility (PSR) that helps provide them with a successful transition into adulthood. The mere ethical elements required for being a good sport also seemed to impact the responsibility of various different types of athletes, and that’s something that is incredibly present in martial arts.

Action, Reaction, and Conscious Movement

Anybody who’s taken at least one martial arts class will understand just how much the mind plays a role in the mastery of it all. Because martial arts is an art and a sport, it requires the participant to engage in repetition, just as a ballet dancer might practice their moves. This repetition is what truly builds responsibility in athletes, and it’s what really creates strong minds. Martial arts rely heavily on repetition for many reasons, but in part due to the fact that many martial artists have to perform under pressure and need to be prepared. However, it is believed that learning new physical skills is best done by making a habit out of it. As mentioned above, task-oriented sports tend to be the ones that increase responsibility the most. See the connection? Repeated movements require martial artists to engage in task-oriented athleticism which then increases their responsibility by making it easier to form habits, healthy ones, out in the real world.

Creating Responsible Adults

There’s no doubt that martial arts are beneficial for the mind, body, and soul. However, for young kids who are still in the process of developing healthy habits and working on integrating themselves into society, it can make all of the difference when it comes to responsibility. With the ability to raise conscious, self-aware, mindful, and responsible adults all while helping them increase their physical fitness and gain strength, there’s not much that martial arts can’t offer children and teens. Now, all you have to do is decide whether or not Bunkai Jutsu is the right kind of martial arts for you or not.

The Conscious And Subconscious Minds In Martial Arts

This is a very big topic which you could probably write a whole book about, so I will attempt to do justice to this topic but please accept that I can’t cover it all in just a single post.  There is much written about the subconscious and conscious minds, but this post will mainly focus on how the 2 parts of the mind relate in a martial arts context. Continue reading “The Conscious And Subconscious Minds In Martial Arts” »

Violence Never Solves Anything . . . . Really?

How many times have you heard well-meaning people say something like, “violence never solves anything”.

The idea that violence never solves anything has been has been around for a while in world of ever growing political correctness.  As a society, it’s a laudable goal to try and eradicate violence so that nobody has to be unnecessarily hurt and it is something that we should all work towards.  We’ll never achieve it of course as violence is part of the human condition and we are all capable of it given the right circumstances! Continue reading “Violence Never Solves Anything . . . . Really?” »

How Important Is Discipline In Martial Arts?

This post was actually stimulated by a conversation with one of my former instructors, Sensei Graham Mead, a man from whom I learnt a great deal and who I hold in very high regard. Unfortunately Sensei Mead no longer teaches due to health issues, but an older tiger is still a tiger!

Since I started teaching regularly in 2012, Sensei Mead has honoured me with a few visits to my Dojo to see how my school is getting on.  During the recent conversation, discussing the deeper meanings of martial arts philosophy over a few beers (as one does) it became apparent that Continue reading “How Important Is Discipline In Martial Arts?” »

Mind, Body & Spirit! What Does That Actually Mean?

The inspiration for this post was actually a page on my website for my own martial art classes in Midsomer Norton.  I have a “Why Karate?” page.  Admittedly this page is a bit biased towards Karate, but then it is my school that I’m trying to promote, not anybody else’s.  However, much of what I wrote on that page applies to all traditional martial arts, so I thought I’d expand upon it and share my thoughts here with the wider martial arts community! Continue reading “Mind, Body & Spirit! What Does That Actually Mean?” »

The Art Of Not Giving A S***! (Or . . . Accept As Is)

Many Oriental philosophies talk about mind, body and spirit; as they recognise that the 3 are all intrinsically connected.  For the sake of this post, I’ll be mainly focussing on the mind and body.

If one tenses, the other tenses.  You tighten your mind, your body will start to tense; you tighten your body, your mind will start to tense. Continue reading “The Art Of Not Giving A S***! (Or . . . Accept As Is)” »

Techniques Will Occur When A Void Is Found: Gichin Funakoshi

There are many quotes attributed to Gichin Funakoshi, but I come across this one the other day in his book, Karate Do Kyohan: The Master Text.  Near the back on page 248 (if you already have it), he says;

“Techniques will occur when a void is found”. Continue reading “Techniques Will Occur When A Void Is Found: Gichin Funakoshi” »

Spirituality In Traditional Martial Arts

Many traditional martial arts talk about Mind, Body and Spirit; or that training develops you spiritually. But what does this spirituality actually mean, how do martial arts help develop it and (probably of most interest to many readers) what use is spirituality in a martial context? Continue reading “Spirituality In Traditional Martial Arts” »

Being “Present” (In The Now) And Martial Arts Training

Many self development/spiritual teachers’ today talk about “being present” or “living in the now” (which is the same thing really).  It’s also part of Zen, which is often goes hand in hand with martial arts.  But what does this actually mean, how can martial arts training help you achieve it and what benefits are there for you from both a self protection and everyday life point of view? Continue reading “Being “Present” (In The Now) And Martial Arts Training” »