In our western society martial arts are normally associated with self defence, tournaments,and the attainment of various coloured belts. While these facets are popular goals and in many cases are exclusively what is promoted by various schools there are of course far more profound and life changing/enhancing elements to martial arts.
Most "martial arts" schools have their origins in the Orient. In these cultures the role of martial art is very much that of an holistic pursuit. Good health being ,in most cases, the premier reason for practising a particular discipline.
In introducing these concepts to the western world the role of the martial arts school, teacher and students changes.
Self defence becomes a complete defence. A defence of oneself in every aspect of life.
While we live in a somewhat violent society, most of us will never be attacked. At least not attacked in the street going about our day to day business. Of course, we learn self defence strategies to be used in the event of a physical assault by a third party. But, what about attacks to our health ,both physically and psychological.
Should not a martial art, a self defence art , prepare us for these attacks?
Good Health is Martial Arts, and Martial Arts is Good Health!
If your instructor , sensei or sifu is not teaching you HOW to look after yourself HOLISTICALLY or if he/she is not inspiring you MASSIVELY to take positive life affirming actions then perhaps you are not learning REAL martial arts.