If there are two qualities that martial arts develop to perfection, it is concentration and attention. It is impossible to practice any martial art without refining these two virtues. The most fascinating point is that everyone can achieve this, including young children. How is this possible, and what steps do the masters follow to reach their goal?
Development of Attention and Concentration, a Long-Term Task
This progression is best noticed among children. Many of the children who practice martial arts, at least in the West, are sent there by their parents to channel their energy. It is not uncommon for them to become violent, want to fight with their peers, impose themselves, and be noticed. They arrive at their first class, convinced that they will be shown how to beat everyone around them. However, the first thing they are taught is that a fight without a real cause and aim is not worthwhile.
All aggressive tendencies are immediately tamed. The Sensei make their students understand that violence for its own sake is not martial arts. From the very first lesson, they are taught respect for others. Respecting others does not only mean treating them as oneself. It also means paying attention to their movements to defeat them in combat.
Speaking of attention and concentration, these are qualities that young students will have to develop to learn and master to perfection all the kata, aka, tao, Poomsae, jurus, khawankay, yudhan or quyen. After a few months, the child finally understands that moral and psychological strength prevails over physical ability. He takes a new look at his surroundings and learns self-discipline. The focus is on children, but the result is also the same for adults. Martial arts improve the physical condition and help the individual look at the world from a new perspective.