Merriam-Webster defines a myth as “an unfounded or false notion.” Often, we use myths to explain, justify or rationalize something we don’t understand…but this can lead to the perpetuation of many negative perceptions! Today, we’re going to step away from this detrimental practice by discussing 5 martial arts myths you should know. Why? That’s easy. To dispel them!
What’s Not True
At MP USA, we’ve been sharing the ancient Indonesian martial art of Merpati Putih with our students in Ogden, Utah since 1999. As the only studio in North America licensed to teach MP, we are unique, yet we hear and must counter many of the same untruths that plague our colleagues in other disciplines. Here’s what’s not true:
1. Martial Arts turns children into bullies.
- This statement makes our blood boil because it couldn’t be further from the truth. As we continuously reiterate, martial arts actually STOPS bullying by teaching children respect, focusing on good sportsmanship, reinforcing positive group learning, and providing a safe outlet for excess energy. Martial arts practice also helps us improve interpersonal communication and develop a sense of personal responsibility.
2. It’s just about punching and kicking.
- Nope! While punching and kicking are indeed fundamental training components across the board, martial arts training is also about takedown and wrestling. Even more important, it’s about self-defense, self-confidence, and self-awareness. Martial artists train their bodies, minds, and spirits to be strong, resilient, and powerful.
3. There’s no need to train if you’re never going to fight.
- What? This myth drives us crazy because martial arts practice is about preventing fights, not causing them. It’s also about improving health and wellness and building mental muscle. Participating in a structured, focused program such as our family martial arts program transcends fighting to provide you with a comprehensive fitness, life skills, and leadership development experience.
4. Not everyone can do martial arts
- False. This myth is based on the erroneous perception that martial arts is only for children and young adults. Quite the contrary! Martial arts practice can benefit us at any age and stage in life. Because MP is a form of active meditation, it provides participants with both physical and mental exercise, helping them achieve greater strength, flexibility, and mindfulness. Also, you can progress at your own pace. (Of course, as with any fitness program, you should follow the recommendations of your physician as you embark on your MP journey.)
5. Anyone with less than 10 years of training is worthless in a fight
- Huh? There’s no way to categorize how many years of training makes a person effective in a fight. Martial arts training is a journey that can run the course of a lifetime, but progress and prowess are different for everyone. While mastering any skill takes time, effort, and commitment, a person who takes just one class learns SOMETHING he or she didn’t know before.
What Comes Next
As we’ve spent some time today addressing 5 martial arts myths you should know, we hope you’ve taken the opportunity to consider why it’s important to challenge these falsehoods. More importantly, we’d be honored to have you on our growing, myth-shattering team. Our family martial arts program has open enrollment periods twice monthly, and we’d love to have you join us! If you’d like to join the ranks of the Kings of Java in a complete system of fitness, breathwork, meditation, energy development, personal empowerment, and combative martial arts, please give us a call today!