The statement that martial arts teach peace may sound self-contradicting. Martial arts are, literally, arts of war. They teach how to fight. But when the teacher of a martial art is following a moral path, they also teach their students how to prevent conflict and how not to fight.
The Book on Martial Arts for Peace
We have Dr. Terrence Webster-Doyle’s “Martial Arts Guide for Parents” in our library because it is a great resource for mentoring young people on dealing with bullies. He founded Martial Arts for Peace to better educate people on this all over the world. This great article helps dispel some of the myths of martial arts and violence.
When a person learns self defense and how to fight, they learn to respond to belligerency. This opens up their options. Maybe before training, their only option was to take it and get beat up. In karate, they learn self protection as well as protecting others. And they learn what they can do to stop an attack in progress. This builds confidence so that they can choose how they will respond to different circumstances. Teaching protection techniques is one way that martial arts teach peace.
If the only people who fought were those who naturally had a tendency for violence, the world would be a sorry place. All of the peaceful people would be under the tyranny of the few, usually angry, violent ones who use force. Instead, though, because of the martial arts, there are many nice, respectful, strong, protective people who can fight back if they deem it necessary. Violent bullies don’t know who those people are, so they learn to think twice before throwing a punch. If only more people trained in martial arts, the world would be a better place.
Dave Kovar on How Martial Arts Teach Peace
Dave Kovar, a martial arts instructor out of California, is helping to get the word out to parents of potential students about how programs like ours can help “nearly every challenge a child might face.” His hope is that with this knowledge, a lot more children may reap the benefits of training. Here is what Mr. Kovar has to say about martial arts making children less violent:
“It is amazing how often you might hear parents say that they would like to get their child involved in martial arts, but they don’t want them to become violent. In almost every case, the reverse is true. Martial arts does not make children more violent! In fact, it makes them less violent.
“There is a quote that you will often hear in the martial arts, ‘Practice the fight so you don’t have to.’ By practicing martial arts, children become more confident. Therefore, they are less likely to become targets for bullying.
“Also, martial arts gives children a safe environment in which they can blow off some steam and relieve stress. On top of that, as a child develops a stronger self-image, they are less likely to feel the need to prove themselves. With a stronger self-image, they also become less interested in tearing others down.”
I have seen karate help so many kids (and adults) to be able to find more inner and outer peace in their lives. I have seen how the martial arts teach peace that spreads out to the wider world. Like Dave Kovar, I wish more children would reap the benefits of martial arts training.