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Old 12-18-2013, 03:46 PM   #13
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Re: Measuring if/how martial arts helps one become a better person

Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think we'd have to spend some time defining happiness.

I think it helps make me a better person in a number of ways. one, it alleviates stress for me. I feel that my training over the years has been a great outlet for me to deal with my PTSD issues.

It increased my legitimacy as an instructor in the Army. My practice has introduced me to some amazing people.

I recently went to Senegal and met some awesome and motivated folks there that want to learn ne waza/BJJ. I think making new friends has been a big part of my happiness.

It keeps me in shape for the most part when I am not doing stupid stuff and getting hurt like I do all the time these days.

Budo is such a part of my life and it has been life changing for me in ways I could never have imagined.

When I roll with someone and I am in the zone and I am just doing it without regard to past or future...I think that is a pretty good example of happiness.

So, overall yes.

Now if you want to talk about individual practices, techniques, chanting, feeling the heart, punching, kicking etc...well not in the individual acts.
Hello Kevin,

I think your comments could apply to any art or sport, though perhaps in different ways. Recently, I gave a paper in St Petersburg and the organizers (mainly from sports) suggested the title of 'Values of Aikido as a Demonstration Sport'. So I discussed the values of sports. There is the same fuzziness of definition with 'sport' as well as with 'art', similarly with what counts as being a 'better person'. I have argued elsewhere that Morihei Ueshiba conceived what he was doing as primarily a 'religious' activity, so this adds another fuzzy concept to the mix.

The question of the value of an art has been around for a very long time and some, like Aristotle, have suggested that practicing the art is its own justification. It does not intrinsically add any further value. It might do, but this is because you already have a value system in which you include practicing the art.

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 12-18-2013 at 03:48 PM.

P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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