Hello again everyone
Apologies for the long delay in posting, I have been very busy with work and training!
As suggested by Leatherbear, I will talk about various aspects of martial arts, and how they apply and what they mean to me
Martial arts does have a profound effect on you when you start to make progress. Besides the physical aspects, such as improved fitness and co-ordination, there are other aspects too. My personal experience has been that as well changes to your mental attitude in general, as well as a stronger sense of discipline, there is a spiritual element that for me was completely unexpected.
Now when I say spiritual, I do not mean I became a religious person overnight, or that I found that a belief system made more sense. What happened then? After a year or so of training, I began to understand the concept of energy, and the way it flows in relation to people, and how this can affect your body. Perhaps this is because in the study of martial arts, the concept of energy is very prominent?
For example, kung-fu has a lot of techniques that move with your opponents energy, and re-direct it rather than trying to stop it, and when our Sifu showed us a more in depth look at the techniques that we were learning, it became more clear.
During our time training at the club, there have also been opportunities to cover some Tai-Chi and Chi-Soa. While people may not think Tai-Chi is very interesting to watch, and I have to admit I did not like learning Tai-Chi at first, it is a fighting art. The movements are all fighting movements, and everything has an application, which if done faster could be deadly to your opponent. Having seen Tai-Chi weapon forms at the Gay Games, I can say that when done at a fighting speed, there is no doubt as to the viability of Tai-Chi as a martial arts style. Again, their forms are all about redirecting the energy of an attacker, just done very slowly and precisely.
Now you're thinking, how does this connect to a spiritual change? Well... It's hard to explain, the introduction to, and the understanding of the concept of energy is just one aspect of the change.
Slowly over time, I have developed a more spiritual side, and have become more patient and less hectic over everyday and mundane things that in the grand scheme of things don't really matter.
It was completely unexpected, and it does seem strange that a committed atheist like myself, but it appears that it is not just me who has been affected in this manner. Weird isn't it!
Later on I will talk about discipline amongst other things!
And don't forget if you want to talk about any subject within martial arts you can send me a PM or reply to the topic!