So often I hear from martial artists, instructors, and others, talk about being “warriors.” God help me I think that term is over used, yes, even in the context of martial arts.
You may argue that martial does mean war, and I can argue back just as righteously that it has more to do with military, and that you are not a warrior unless you are in the distinct “warrior class” of a society, in most modern societies that means the military.
You may be a fighter, but not a warrior. A warrior is part of a group that fights for more than himself. They make themselves available full time to die for the protection of others. He/She fights for the tribe, the village, the country.
Most martial “warriors” I meet these days train part time to fight for the personal glory of a winning performance in a tournament.
I, and many others have been there done that (Marine Corps here, baby)! I did my turn, I don’t do it anymore, and I’m on to the next stage of my existence. I’m not a warrior. No shame in that. I am a householder, an educator, a family man, hopefully a good contributing member of my society. That also means I have the highest regards for those true warriors that are doing their turn now.
I think it almost diminishes their worth when some un-thoughtful knucklehead calls himself a warrior cause he “likes to fight.” Martial artists are not necessarily warriors, and I think the qualifier is the “art” part of the term. Art implies a creative continuity not an expectation of possible death in the process. Fighting isn’t enough to make you a warrior, it is an availability and willingness to die, for others.
Fight, train martial arts, but respect and honor our true warriors by not trivializing the term.
- The Definition of “Martial Arts” as a Scholar Warrior. (mywaytoday.wordpress.com)