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The Lost Meaning of Martial Arts

Martial Arts

It’s more than a physical action, it’s philosophy in motion, grace expressed in physical form. Its language speaks to the soul and perfection of form often leads to enlightenment. Why then have martial arts in many cases been hijacked by brutes and conmen? The answer can be found in every martial arts studio that does not possess accreditation and in every garage that hosts martial arts training without any background in a school. The answer that will be found in these places are ignorance and greed. One of the few associations that has stood the test of time as a model for the preservation of a martial art is the ATA. The ATA has stood as a symbol of high standards and strict uniformity that many can’t maintain or even attain.


So how important is an accreditation?

Imagine paying for a college level course promising to teach you the German language, only to come to class and have a teacher who speaks some broken German. Imagine this teacher has no degree in either the German language or in teaching. On top of it, imagine if the college credits you would receive are not transferable anywhere, because no one recognizes either the college or the course. Most people would agree that this course as well as the college were both a horrible idea and that it were nothing more than a money making scheme put together to try and take advantage of those trying to learn German. Why then would anyone put that type of faith in any other type of school?


The ATA is just one of many organizations that help and preserve the values and standards of education being taught. No matter where you go, you can be sure that there is a certain level of education being taught as long as the school is ATA accredited. Without the accreditation, the education would be meaningless and there would be no real way to rank a martial artist.


Martial Arts is a lifestyle

If the goal of martial arts was merely to defend one’s body, then self defence training such as Krav-Maga would be a better route to take. Each martial art has a philosophy, a path to follow to help growth and betterment of an individual. What good is a punch if the mind and soul behind it are corrupt? What good is a teacher that can’t teach their students how to apply what they are learning.


There are those that would see the repetition of forms and ceremonies as being useless, but that comes from a lack of discipline and respect for what they are learning. The standards of the ATA are high and the rules are clear. You can’t receive the same high standard at a non-accredited martial arts school. The ATA even has strict guidelines regarding those that work and teach that are not particularly important in other schools. Truth be told, without proper accreditation, you could be learning whatever makeshift nonsense some crackpot has cooked up. Many conmen will sell absolute garbage and call it “karate”, while having no clue what the guiding principles of the martial art really are.


Songahm Taekwondo is a perfect example of the type of martial art that teaches students the importance of the body as well as the mind and soul. The journey someone takes throughout their studies challenge them and push them past a point they never thought possible. The forms they learn and repeat over and over teach them persistence and discipline among other things. True martial arts transcend the physical and alter the heart and mind of a person.

Hockman’s ATA is a dedicated Martial Arts school within Columbia, Missouri that focuses on Songahm Taekwondo and Krav Maga, the official self-defense system of many law enforcement agencies. Whether it be Karate for Kids, or our adult classes, we are dedicated to self-defense, fitness and mental as well as physical discipline, click here to find out more.

Hockmans ATA Martial Arts