The benefits of martial arts training come over time. The longer you train, the more benefits you receive. Martial Arts is no quick fix for life’s problems or issues. It can however give you the tools to sort these things out.
So, what is a martial arts master and why would someone want to become one?
Each style of martial art has it’s own requirements. There is a general pattern that comes from the country of origin, but not always. One thing is consistent, it requires time!
In the our art, Hon Sang Mu Sa Hapkido, there are 3 levels of Master. Each require a significant time to achieve. There is no short cut. The JOURNEY must be made.
Now I want to talk about this journey, politics aside. In our system it takes a minimum of 14 years to reach the rank of 4th Dan (Degree) Black Belt. This is the first stage at which being a master is possible. At 4th Dan you become the Master or the PHYSICAL art.
Now many will consider this mastery of the physical to be related to the kicks and punches of the art, and I do somewhat agree with this. However the real master is of the physical SELF, not the punches and kicks. It does not take 14 years to master a reverse punch and a side kick.
It does take many years of the journey to master the physical self and understand why things work, not just how things work.
The next level is Senior Master or 6th Dan (Degree) Black Belt. At this stage the artist is considered to having mastered the mental aspects of the training and art. He or she is ready to go on to the spiritual aspects.
Sixth to Seventh Dan Black Belt for us is a journey of many more years. At this point the martial artist is consider to be a Grand Master. Mastery of the body, mind and spirit. Understanding is truly there, but the artist is still developing, dealing with and learning about the connection between martial arts and the world around him or her.
The journey is far from complete. In fact it is only beginning. Now as time moves on WISDOM will begin to truly blossom.
Thus the true benefits of martial arts training come with time…….