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Why People Studied Martial Arts Throughout History

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Unless you’ve taken the time to do in-depth research, chances are that you’re unaware of the history behind the study of martial arts. Though you may assume it’s because those who take such classes want to learn self-defense, it goes much deeper than that. Throughout history, martial arts have been used to prepare young men and women for war, to display their physical prowess in competition, and or as a means of self-development.  Competition remains a popular reason that many study martial arts today, and the Academy of Self-Defense system of schools offer that experience to its interested students.  But the Academy’s main focus is self-development and self-defense.  These Northeast Ohio schools believes that its deep teaching of martial arts can be used as an adult or youth activity to enhance our student’s life experience by improving the body, mind, and spirit.


At the Academy of Self-Defense schools, Master Tim Loomis, Master “C”, and Soke Steve and all the senior Masters and instructors, explain to students that martial arts have historically been studied for three main reasons. The first was as a means of self-preservation during war. The second was for the fame, glory, and camaraderie of competition.  And the third was because it was one’s chosen lifestyle, such as those who attended live-in schools and monasteries. This tradition is still practiced in China and Japan.  What’s interesting about these martial artists of old is that they may have crossed through all three reasons along their training journey.


In the “olden days,” families developed and shared their knowledge of martial arts within their family.  It was common practice for the military to visit a village and conscript the young males into service. Typically, these “foot soldiers” were not very well trained.  The martial art training gained in the family helped to give parents peace of mind and afforded the young men the best chance of returning home from war.


Once the wars were over their martial arts needed an outlet, and for some, a way to make a living. These excellent martial artists would travel around the country, competing against one another in matches, gaining fame and attracting students who wanted to learn their style or system of martial art.  Schools of martial arts were established and began competing amongst themselves.  This is the model that most martial arts schools still follow today and it fits well in our competition-oriented society.  


With age and wisdom, some martial artists realized that they gained so much more from their diligent practice than just how to fight. It’s this realization that caused many of them to go deeper in their practices for the purpose of self-development. Eventually, martial arts became a vehicle for spiritual growth and enlightenment. No longer did students merely study martial arts in order to perfect the body, but to sharpen the mind and enrich the spirit.


While self-defense and competition are still an important focus at the Academy of Self-Defense schools, a person’s self-development is the goal and most important martial arts benefit we provide.  The senior instructors of these Northeast Ohio system of schools have over 200 years of combined training experience living what they teach.  They teach that competition is a form of camaraderie.  In confrontation seek a win-win if possible.  And, to apply martial skills not in acts of aggression but in finding peace of mind.  Students at these Summit and Cuyahoga County, Ohio schools are encouraged to study martial arts as a way to enhance virtually every aspect of their lives. Northeast Ohio natives who take classes at these martial arts schools as an adult or youth activity confirm the fact that the Academy of Self-Defense teachings provide them with the best self-defense training and so much more.


The Academy of Self-Defense in Akron, ph: (330) 814-5058, em: tallmadgeselfdefense@gmail.com

Twinsburg Academy of Self-Defense, ph: (330) 237-9594, em: twbselfdefense@gmail.com

Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense, ph: (440) 409-6954, em:  mayfieldacademy067@gmail.com

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