Ethics And MMA Fitness

| May 11, 2011

Because mixed martial arts (MMA) are grounded on so many forms of martial arts, there is no way of avoiding the ethics that go with each of these martial art forms for true MMA fitness.

Each martial art form promotes a philosophy of self-improvement that is linked with technical skill.  The ethics (in some forms of martial arts it is spirituality) are an important part of MMA fitness.

Here we will examine ethics associated with two martial art forms:  The traditional karate philosophy or Dojo-Kun, and Taekwando ethics.

In Karate, a five point ethical guide is followed for MMA fitness training and behavior, sometimes called the “Student Creed” and recited before and after each training session.  The five point guide is:

To strive for perfection of character
To follow the paths of truth
To practice a spirit of effort
To honor the principles of etiquette
To guard against impetuous courage

Not all the traditional karate schools recite the above.  Some simply post it on the wall, or others create their own creed.  You may want to know what the core values are of the karate school or teacher that you are training under.

However, bear in mind that not everyone gives the same value to these ethics.  Some simply want to learn self defense, while others are taking the course for health, physical fitness or MMA fitness.

In taekwando it is believed that an ethical warrior should have “A demon’s hand, a saint’s heart” to quote Shoshin Nagaminie.  Here are some tenets of Taekwando:

Ethics: An ethical Taekwondo practitioner fights against what is wrong and tries to always do what is right, even when it is not popular, may draw criticism, may cost money, or possibly, your life.

Peace: There is no true pacifist.  Violence is in all of us, whether we believe it or not.  It may be physical violence, or inner violence such as silent anger.  But the point where violence is manifested spells the difference.  An antagonist may be violent at a wrong word or an unintentional stare.  An ethical taekwando fighter requires a life-or-death situation from which there is no escape, for MMA fitness.

Violence. If you do not defend yourself against an assailant you harm yourself, your assailant (because you did not teach him what is right), and the public (because the assailant may harm another).  To not risk your mortality in such case is selfishness and falls below standards of MMA fitness.

Success: Success in resistance is not simply to win.  Success means not being too violent as you defend yourself.  If you lose the fight you have also succeeded in teaching the assailant that there is consequence for harm, though you lose.

Pain: Pain is temporary.  It is better to be injured than to be killed.  Death is permanent.  To survive, you must learn to deal with pain for MMA fitness.  View pain or injury as merely an inconvenience.  Ignore your pain and survive.  You can lick you wounds later.

Unjustified Violence. The only moral use of violence is self or another’s defense.  There is no justification in initiating violence, even when threatened.  Better to flee in such case.

Death vs. Shame: Death is not the worst thing in life. A life of shame and dishonor may be worse than death.

Such ethics invariably find a place in MMA fitness and serve to strengthen one when it comes to engaging in a championship match.

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