Martial Arts and Culture

When karate practitioners on the island of Okinawa began to instruct American forces stationed there after the War, they had no idea the movement they would be creating. One such karate master believed that if the Americans could begin to appreciate karate, they would come to appreciate the Okinawan culture and history – perhaps to become friends. Today, martial arts continues to welcome students into many east Asian cultures.

Probably very few students of martial arts initially pursue the practice because of a desire to understand the culture from which it arose. That kind of interest is often a by-product of the activity. But it is impossible to remain isolated from these rich cultures while giving time and energy to learning the martial arts. A good instructor will teach not only the proper form and technique particular to the expression, but will make a student curious to know and learn more about the culture from which it comes.

Being prepared to learn all you can from an instructor is the first step in becoming a true student of the martial arts. Another step in the right direction is creating a practice space in your home, a dedicated space where you can focus, perhaps meditate for a few moments, and practice your art. A couple of times a week in class is a good start, but a student focused on excelling will need to practice at home.

WeSellMats to the rescue. Just a few Tatami finished martial arts mats can help you create a precisely designed space that offers serenity, shock-absorption, and grip for your martial arts workout. If you’re a seasoned artist, consider our 3/8″ mats. If you’re just getting started, a little more cushioning might be worth considering in our 1/2″ mats. Either way, the Tatami finish will provide you with secure grip for feet and hands so you feel confident as you pursue the next level.

And when you practice, give a nod to the wise men in Okinawa who saw that a simple activity like teaching martial arts could be used as a tool to bring people together.