What can martial arts do for you? Integrity. Martial arts can help develop integrity. These days, we hardly hear this word that often anymore, and we can hardly ever find it in an app. Well, a practice dedicated to martial arts can help one to first recognize integrity and second, help one to develop and display this almost lost art.
Let’s take a closer look at integrity. We must? Simply put, having integrity means doing the right thing even when no one else is looking. Let’s dive a little deeper into what integrity means. The dictionary tells us that integrity is the quality of being complete and uninterrupted. A bridge that has integrity is solid and reliable. We can count on him to support us, whatever happens, come wind or high tide. The same goes for people with this characteristic. When it comes to the human condition, integrity is the quality of having solid moral principles both in word and deed.
Going a step further, let’s consider what is meant by moral principles. Although there are some variations of opinion on this topic, it is widely recognized that moral principles include honesty, sincerity, uprightness, and honor. To be honest, we must be completely free from lies, cheating, and theft. The last two requirements of cheating and stealing may seem obvious. However, many people have trouble with the first requirement, not lying.
Honesty. When people lie, it is usually out of fear, fear of the consequences of others knowing the truth. Thus lying becomes an act of cowardice, and a “little white lie” becomes a “little pious act of cowardice.” Sincerity. We can only pretend to be sincere when we are free from deceit and hypocrisy, when we are genuine at all times. We must be able to stand behind everything we say and do.
Practicing martial arts helps us to do this. It aligns us with our intentions, and they follow our words and deeds. The practice of martial arts brings us to our own awareness of our actions and the effects they have on others.
Fairness implies fairness and frankness in all our dealings and contacts with others, whether social, business or casual. Being honorable not only means that we are honest, sincere and upright, it also means that we are worthy of receiving honor and respect from others.
So, you see, everything happens in a circle. The moral principles demonstrated by a person of integrity depend on and arise from each other. We all know that nobody is perfect, we are all human. Each of us, despite that, can strive to continually maintain our integrity at the highest possible level. The first step is to accept that integrity is the very foundation of all other human values.
Martial artists learn to understand the importance of living with integrity in their daily life. They learn from the earliest stages of training that they must always choose to hear that guiding voice within them, known as their consciousness. Their conscience gives them a little nudge when they are about to slip, always encouraging them to do the right thing. When they do the right thing and they know it, their conscience rewards them by making them feel good about themselves.
Help them accept responsibility and be a good example for others, defending what they feel and believe, that is what martial arts do for those who practice them. That’s what martial arts can do for you too! It is not easy, however it is worth the effort it requires.