One of the things that saddens professionals and expert practitioners within the martial arts domain is the misconception that these ancient disciplines are somehow about “violence”.

This comes about due to the utter nonsense perpetrated in some sections of the media and occasionally cinema films.

No professional martial arts centre (Dojo) would tolerate anyone as a member if the person concerned had even the slightest inclination towards mayhem. The professionals there would spot instantly a questionable motivation and the individual would be told to seek their enjoyment elsewhere.

It’s not widely known that, as far as historians know, the martial arts in most if not all countries evolved out of dance, exercise, meditation and religious ritual. From their earliest origins, they were about looking inward into one’s own character and developing righteous moral strength. To put it another way – peace and tranquillity.

That continues today where as much of our training is about calm, self-discipline and self-control, as it is about unarmed combat techniques. Any experienced and responsible practitioner will ALWAYS seek to avoid using their physical skills in a crisis, if it is at all possible.

This isn’t a modern thing either. The legendary Bruce Lee once said in response to a question that if someone were approaching him with a weapon, his first reaction would be to run away if he could.

The martial arts are about de-fusing or avoiding potentially dangerous situations and not about ‘wading in for a punch-up’.

Of course, sadly, in our modern world avoidance isn’t always a viable option and those are the situations where having the skills and knowledge of the self-defence aspects of the martial arts, such as strength and discipline, might help to keep you and those around you, safe.

So, don’t believe everything you see on the TV or in the movies. The martial arts and violence are two entirely different and incompatible things!