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Willpower, Success, and the Martial Arts

Martial Arts as the tool for becoming the happiest, healthiest, best version of you.


I’ve been thinking about health a lot lately, and why it’s unusual to see preventative wellness practices implemented. We respond well once an issue has arisen, like fixing a broken machine. Why don’t most people take the steps to preserve wellness before they are reacting to an illness & it’s treatment? Can you take preventative steps? Sure! Do you know how? Maybe. You could learn. You could do the basics, like sunscreen and whole foods and more veggies and less sugar and more physical activity.

Will you? Probably not. We are a culture based on convenience based on efficiency at the service of consumptive consumerism. This requires trained sacrifices of our natural impulses, but little training to cultivate the will we each possess. What is will? A creative force we each possess that can be implemented to the transmutation of our lives, our circumstances, the environment around us, even the world.

Will & Discipline are forces that when paired become an incredibly powerful tool. Discipline is the whetstone that sharpens the sword of the will. The Will does not function properly without the cutting away by discipline. But discipline, and by its nature also the will, must be exercised to strength and function or they will atrophy and be of no use.

There is no class we take in school that addresses this most vital process in becoming a successful person. There is no ritual or cultural attention to it. If anything, instant gratification and distraction dull both to almost nothing. The tools that you need are hidden. The will is extremely powerful, and a pliable populace is important to peace and maintaining the status quo, so these tools will remain deliberately hidden to the mob.

They are hidden in the past. You’ll find their trademarks in ancient philosophies, cultures, and their art & movements. One of the most vital arks of this ancient wisdom? Martial Arts. These are systems that cultivate mind and body in the service of will. They are the discipline of those to whom the survival of their families and ways of life were entrusted. The Warrior. It’s no fluke the book of 5 rings is an almost sacred text in the upper echelons of businessmen. The principals of movement and conflict are principles of reality, tested on a physical plane. These same principles replicate across planes into the non-physical: strategy, change, creation, ideas. These in turn become physical again. Money, buildings, cities, cultures are built using the same shapes of truth discovered in the physical application of a true Martial Art.

By true Martial Art I mean one that is still living and contains the principles of reality. Many you see have been watered down to be accessible to a culture that doesn’t value systems to discipline the will, finding these systems to be “too rigorous” and therefore distasteful to the general populace. Others have become obsolete in the service of man’s ego: the Art becoming a means to glean status and applause from their direct community. In both cases, the transmutative power of the system itself to discipline the will and teach the mind and body truths of power are lost utterly. A true Art will remain valid across time. This means it will adapt to weapons and cultures of modernity. Even so, those adaptations will be informed and created using the principles of truth of forces that were developed into traditions in times past. This link to the human element can never fail, as it is the purpose of a Martial Art. The purpose of a true Art is to transform the human to harness their innate, albeit dormant powers of Will & Effect. The tools are merely that: the tools utilized by the mind & spirit of a being of creative will.

So WILL you make the changes you “want?” For health, for love, for money? Perhaps, but not without discipline and will themselves. Without these forces your path is prescribed, and carved deep & wide by the multitudes that share it with you. Those who seek are lucky to find a true teacher of a true Art, for most are clouds without rain. Those who find it, will be offered the same opportunity: to harness their own power. Most will break beneath the yoke of discipline before they even begin. So is power entrusted only to those strong enough to wield it, through the fail-safes of Nature herself. Blog written by Dojo Instructor Annie

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