Do you have to fight to be a legitimate fighter?

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“Do I need to fight in order to become legit?”

This question has been plaguing trainers all around the world, and today we will be meeting Mark Anastacio who shares his two cents on the matter. You can clearly see why this question is so controversial. On one hand, you are learning to fight and defend yourself and on the other, you’re asking if you have to really fight to prove your rank. Before delving any further into the topic, Mark clearly states that you don’t need to fight(doesn’t count sparring) in order to prove your rank and here is his reason. Note that for future references Mark, in the context of this video refers to the masters of any given martial art style as a black belt.

When learning to fight, you can choose one of two paths that lie ahead of you. You can either become a professional fighter or you can take up teaching, sharing and spreading the techniques to others. Martial artists assume that if they become a black belt they would have to take up the professional path at some of their lives to show their worth as an esteemed fighter. However, that’s not completely true.

Mark comments that it all depends on how you define martial arts and the way you look at it. Choosing to become a professional fighter may test your strength and talent but being an instructor is no walk in the park either. An instructor is responsible for teaching other fighters a demanding task, to say the least. Also, teaching exposes a more tranquil side of martial arts. It may be said that the art of fighting was created for self-defense and skirmishes, but there are cases where martial arts is practiced to develop character. There’s no doubt that learning martial arts will surely turn you into an adept fighter but one should never lose focus on a more inherent cause i.e., to train your mind and body into becoming a better version of yourself.

Mark keeps emphasizing that you don’t have to actually fight to become a legitimate black belt. There is more to martial arts than just fighting. The time you’ve spent learning the style, gathering the experience and mastering different techniques testify that you are indeed a legit fighter. Although the ability to apply the art goes far beyond the ability to teach the latter is an equally important field and cannot be achieved by inexperienced fighters. The short 5-minute video is enlightening and will surely put your mind to rest if you face a similar cynicism regarding your position as a black belt.


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