The martial arts has long offered a path toward self realization.
The martial arts naturally includes body control, control of ones mind and reactions, and a complex understanding of movement through time and space. In order to “be the best” long hours are spent dissecting and practicing things that most people never consider. You learn how to stand, how to walk, how to move and how to see details most people overlook. As a martial arts student gains experience his awareness of his surroundings change. For the uninitiated the student’s newly acquired abilities may seem magical or supernatural.
Though today much of the lore and ritual used in Europe’s archaic and medieval history has been lost, one can imagine that certain practices toward heightened states of spiritual awareness did exist. Metaphors and myths refer to magic, talisman and gifts of healing including laying hands, being guided by prayer and a wide range of mythical monsters and events that some interpret as spiritual journeys and metaphore.
We are lucky today that In the east, similar martial exercises were blended with Hindu and Buddhist practices and today make up a large part of our “new age” culture. Yoga, meditation, chakras, accupuncture and other practices are built on ancient concepts of the universe and the human body that have a positive affect on our lives.