Martial Arts and the Cultivation of Character through Wu De

Historic Black & White photo of a Boy Scout

Wu De, the often misunderstood Cultivation of Character in traditional martial arts, is an important topic.

As we learned in Is Kung Fu a Martial Art?, the term "Kung Fu" relates to martial arts.

But it truly applies to any skill. A level of mastery through hard work.

This means that being a "Master" of the martial arts is one aspect.

Simply walking the proper path will do the trick.

But there’s more to the martial arts than just physical and mental skills. There is Character.

Martial Arts and Character

Like any other skill, development and progress in the martial arts requires a good teacher. Endurance, patience, a strong will, and other qualities helps.

Although cliché, the power of its truth can not be overstated.

Martial Arts are not merely about overcoming an adversary, but about cultivating a great many other things. And overcoming oneself is an important one.

In today’s world of fast-food and instant gratification, people care less about the principles of old.

Education is important. But cultivation of character? Some consider it semantics.

I feel it is much more than that. As do others.

For more on this, I’d suggest downloading a copy of "The rediscovery of character: private virtue and public policy", by James Q. Wilson.

[schema type=”book” url=”https://www.nationalaffairs.com/public_interest/detail/the-rediscovery-of-character-private-virtue-and-public-policy” name=”The rediscovery of character: private virtue and public policy” author=”James Q. Wilson” ebook=”yes” ]

Yet, few can dispute the benefits of refining one’s character and mind.

The cultivation of a good, strong personality, the "aura" of someone who others can lean on, the die-hard-ness of a…

Well, a warrior.

All too often I find that the "cultivation" aspects of traditional martial arts are fading away in today’s regimen. Most believe in the efficient tossing-away of tradition. But I feel this is mainly due to a lack of deeper understanding.

I now find it necessary to explain and to share the importance of these cultivated things.

In Martial Arts. In Life.

Let us begin with What is Wu De.

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