Martial Arts: A Way of Life Worth Embracing
Numerous karate masters have bequeathed us with mottos and aphorisms that underscore the significance of nurturing not just one’s physical prowess and diverse techniques, but above all else, one’s inner character. For instance, my sensei, Great Grand Master Hwa Chong, imparted the wisdom that initiating an attack should never be one’s initial course of action. He expanded on this principle by emphasizing that martial art skills should never serve as a means to incite, promote, or initiate conflict. Rather, their primary purpose should be self-defense, with the ultimate goal being conflict resolution through non-violent means.
Karate is a sport of truly global reach, captivating roughly 100 million practitioners across 192 countries, spanning five continents. As a martial arts instructor, my role is driven by a deep passion, revolving around nurturing students from complete novices into accomplished martial artists. While physical progress and development hold their importance, in my over five decades of teaching, I find even greater fulfillment in witnessing students’ monthly confidence growth and self-assurance.
Remarkably, after nearly half a century, I have had the privilege of observing former students evolve into grandparents who, inspired by the profound impact of martial arts, introduce their own children and even grandchildren to its teachings, inspired by the profoundly positive influence it exerted on their lives.
Martial arts, deeply rooted in principles of honor, respect, humility, and unwavering perseverance, transcends its role as a mere combat discipline. As a martial arts instructor, my life’s mission revolves around aiding others in realizing their ultimate physical and mental potential. It’s a life worth embracing!
Grand Master Saleem Jehangir is an 8th Dan, Vice-President & Board Member of the World Kang Duk Won Federation, and author of Tae Kwon Do Pakistan.