Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why Do I Train?

Few of us will fight professionally or on the street or even have time to compete. So why do we train things that are all about that?

Tim Cartmell in a recent interview stated very intelligently that, the goal of martial arts is self cultivation.

Exactly. It's why to some, then why the sparring, the competing, the hard conditioning doesn't interest them. The technical aspect interests them, in knowing the techniques and concepts better, they understand themselves better. Their goal is purely self cultivation. A martial artist vis-à-vis a fighter.


  1. I would say that from my experience this is a very small minority who thinks this way about BJJ in particular. Maybe karate or something similar, I would agree. Almost the entire reason that separates BJJ from other martial arts is the ability to train and spar hard without damaging each other. You might as well do thai chi if you do not enjoy the sparring aspect of BJJ.

  2. What if you don't want to do tai chi? That's like saying, "Go play solitaire if you don't like the competition of chess." Well, there's more to chess than competition. On the flip side of that coin, BJJ is and always will be a 2 person sport. So you have to have a partner to spar, and in sparring develop your skill or self cultivate. But you don't have to practice BJJ for the sake of sparring/competition. I think that's the point of this blog. There's more to BJJ than hurting someone.

  3. Both good points. My contention is, if your goal is not self cultivation, it someday will be if you plan to train into your later years. And if its not, when you are no longer physically viable, you will stop BJJ. And a lot of people do. But everyone who doesn't will be unified in their goal.



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