What makes a good martial artist?

True2Kenpo

Purple Belt
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Messages
329
Reaction score
6
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania USA
What makes a great martial artist?

This question has been lingering in my mind lately and I thought I would share my difficulty answer this question with all of you and see what you might think.

In recent time, I believe the boundaries of the martial arts have blurred with many other related facets that are now embodied by the terms "martial arts". This blur leads me to think of what defines a great martial artist from an average martial artist?

In the past, it seems to be considered great, one would have to have created their own system, or possibly become a champion fighter. They might also reach this status by having a major influence in the martial arts movie industry.

But today it seems that many people are crediting themselves with creating their own systems, of being a world champion fighter, etc... So do these older standards apply or have they been redefined to be more specific?

In a very recent seminar a very knowledgeable Kenpoist made a statement that made so much sense concerning those that have "created their own systems", in some cases they have just created their own personal style. But to say they have created a system that is so much more involved!

This is not to discredit those that have recently had breakthroughs in their learning or teaching, but it opened my eyes to understand that each of us, as martial artists, take a look at something and many times we will all see something different.

You what do you see that makes the difference between an average martial artist and a great martial artist?

I wish everyone the best and look forward to your thoughts.

Good journey!

Respectfully In The Arts,
Joshua Ryer
UPK Pittsburgh

www.unitedparkerskenpo.com
 

ace

Master of Arts
Joined
May 26, 2002
Messages
1,573
Reaction score
16
Location
N.Y.
Desire
Deadacation
Determination

An opean mind
Self respect
respect for others

And a teacher who will hold nothing back.
:asian:
Primo
:yinyang: :yinyang:
:wavey:
 
M

Master of Blades

Guest
Someone who shows self respect and respect for other teachers. He who teaches not jsut for money but for himself. someon with dedication and not just trying to get recognised. He must also have good judgement. well will you look at that! Ive just described myself! I must be a great martial artist! :D
 
E

Eraser

Guest
Hey there...

Thats a tuff question there.. so many possible answers..

But.. what i feel in my heart, is what im going to state!!

If through martial arts (being a teacher, or just a training partner)
you can touch and change the life of another, for the positive, then I think that can make you a GREAT Martial artist. I do not belive that strength or skill (which are great to possess).. are necessarily what it takes to become great..
IT's the Mindset that you have!!!

Just my feelings!!:asian:
 
S

Shinzu

Guest
someone who loves the art, not the money. someone who teaches to better the future, not his pockets.

someone who is able to teach the art and preserve its' knowlede and not switch it around because it does not suit them.

someone who has the most respect for others whether teacher, student, child, or parent.

someone who will go the extra mile to help those who really want to learn, and not show off to prove to you he is better.
 

Nightingale

Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
2,768
Reaction score
14
Location
California
My vision of a martial artist is kind of along the lines of a knight...

They are willing to do battle...

but only for country, god, or family,

and never without cause

and always with the entirety of their being.
 

KennethKu

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Aug 3, 2002
Messages
757
Reaction score
17
Knights of the Roundtable at Camelot! Yes!
A life of service.
 
M

MartialArtist

Guest
You need to be a great fighter to be a good martial artist...

The greatest martial artist would be the worst fighter in terms that you'll never get into any
 

karatekid1975

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 1, 2002
Messages
1,417
Reaction score
2
Location
Rochester area, NY
Eraser wrote:

"If through martial arts (being a teacher, or just a training partner) you can touch and change the life of another, for the positive, then I think that can make you a GREAT Martial artist. I do not belive that strength or skill (which are great to possess).. are necessarily what it takes to become great..
IT's the Mindset that you have!!!"

I totally agree with you :) I also agree with Shinzu on ... "someone who will go the extra mile to help those who really want to learn, and not show off to prove to you he is better."

I also believe if you try your hardest, build good character, have respect for EVERYONE not just seniors, and don't get an ego trip then that's (plus statements above) what makes a great martial artist.
 
T

tonbo

Guest
I think one thing to consider is that a truly great martial artist doesn't consider himself/herself as "great".

They give selflessly of their knowledge, help others avoid what mistakes they can, and try to train people to *learn*, not just to do techniques.

In teaching, I would say that they should also help students develop as people, not just martial artists. A great martial arts teacher should help his/her students rise as people, and train them to develop their own natural talents.

A GREAT martial artist should have very "dragon" attributes: they should be aware of the dangerous nature of their knowledge, and fear what it can do--and thus, always keep it as a last resort in actual conflict (i.e., avoid conflict where possible, and use only what is necessary when there is no other solution).

Also, I think a great martial artist should be a good friend and a decent member of society.

Hmmmm.....perhaps a bit mystical, here....but I think it my vision of a great martial artist is similar to the "knight" analogy by Nightingale (coupled with the stereotypical "old sensei" in the movies).

One other thing.....a reputation isn't always indicative of a powerful or great martial artist. There are people out there, whose names are not well known at all (in the public sphere), that I would match up against some of the well-known "greats". Just because they have a "big name", don't consider them great; conversely, just because you haven't heard of someone's skill, don't count 'em out....;)

Peace--
 

Phil Elmore

Master of Arts
Joined
Mar 30, 2002
Messages
1,514
Reaction score
54
I recently watched a videotape by Scott Sonnon (I posted a review elsewhere) in which he was commenting about confidence, something he started studying the arts to develop in himself. He made a comment that I thought was particularly good: many martial artists and their instructors focus on technical skill to the exclusion (or simple neglect) of developing the approrpriate mental attributes.

I think a good martial artist is one who has struck the ideal balance between the physical and the mental attributes of a good fighter.
 
H

hubris

Guest
Somebody who has all the right stuff (mentioned above) but is humble. Also, someone who understands that a good student is a great gift, and the chance to share knowledge is a great blessing.
 
K

kenposcum

Guest
His smile can calm the most colicky baby, but his anger can cow the fiercest tiger. :asian:
 

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,460
Reaction score
732
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
I think this was a great question and I am just putting it back on the board in front of people hopeing to get some more replies.
To me one must be a good student and teacher. Compasonate yet stern ,reliable yet perhaps somewhat unperdictible(at times), someone that can be trusted , whose word is thre bond.
Much more really but these for now.
Shadow
 
Top