Thinking & Living With The Martial Arts

When you join a martial arts class, and you fully apply yourself to understanding, practicing and applying its teachings, you will find strong parallels with non-combat activities in the rest of your life.

Ancient sages often speak of fighting the battle within to win the battle without. This shouldn't be surprising as the common factor between martial arts and 'life' is the human brain.

How the brain processes information in a highly-stressed physical combat situation is also how it processes it in a highly-stressed social situation, financial situation or romantic situation. Basically every situation you can find yourself in your life.

Therefore, martial arts, sports, dance, theatre and any complex physical activity that activates the kinesthetic sense of the body, is in actual fact, developing the brain.

Having trained in primarily silat styles from my youth, I have found that almost everything taught is useful in either a philosophical, principle, strategic or technical domain.

Philosophically, I have found that it helps me keep a positive mindset during long-haul troubling times, understanding that there are cycles of ups and downs and that I should just keep efforting intelligently and an opportunity will be created. My favourite philosophy is Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9's "Kita buat dia".

Principle-wise, I have applied many frameworks that help me analyse the foundation of a problem and determine the best way to solve it. My current favourite is 7 Petua Gerak from Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 and Silat Abjad's Unsur Nan Empat.

Strategically, I have managed to calm my emotions in situations where smart instead of quick decisions have to be made. This has saved me time, money and trouble in the future. I owe this to the sheer analyticalness of Silat Bongsu.

Technically, I have found my cognitive reflexes up to par in avoiding road accidents, especially when a situation demands a fast decision. In hindsight, I owe most of my reflexive training to Silat Cekak and Silat Sendeng.

While my current physical prowess in martial arts is severely lacking, I have found unlimited use for its application everywhere else. It's my dream to be able to share this with as many people as possible.

So, find a class and start learning.