I saw this one a T-shirt the other day. It was done for a high school cross country team (I left the school name out of this). It struck as a very cool perspective. Cross country runners are out there training, improving their technique, and running faster because they want to. I’d wager that there are many who continue running after their competitive career, either high school or college…maybe Olympics, for the same reasons. They want to challenge themselves to get better. This is great as a sport.

You can see much the same thing in martial sport. They are training to make their game (forms/weapons competition, sparring, MMA/UFC) better in order to win. This means that martial sports students train in cycles. Yes, the cross country runners do as well, which is why it’s a sport. The cycle starts, usually, in September as the academic year begins. Several week of intensive training is done to prepare for the first tournament. This is repeated through the academic year with a break as school ends for the summer. Intermixed through the tournament training may be the preparation for a rank promotion test. When summer comes, class schedules change to compensate for the smaller attendance.

One concept carries this further. Today there is…
Martial Fitness – cardio kickboxing
Martial Sport – competitions for trophies/medals that have a winner
Martial Science – law enforcement/military application
Martial Arts – the combination of everything listed above plus cultural, historical, language and etiquette components.

The martial artists don’t stop training. They don’t plan their test schedule. They train to become better. They train to learn the depth of the material and how it applies as physical technique. Adults at this level will also start looking at how their training benefits their daily life. How they can drive their car better. How they can serve (family, friends, community) better. This step often takes the younglings out of the picture but those who keep up with the adults are usually ready for bigger work and more responsibility sooner than their peers.

To martial artists, the concept of becoming a Champion FOR the Human Race becomes part of everything they do. Martial arts IS a way of life.

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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