Strong character traits forged by martial arts

November 3, 2015

Martial arts is more than just a cool fighting style. It comes with a lot of responsibility to use your dangerous training properly and not exploit it. Students are expected to develop strong traits that will serve them in everyday life.

Strong character traits forged by martial arts

How martial arts training develops character, accountability, and honesty

  • The vast majority of practising martial artists adhere to a distinct set of values based on honesty, integrity, accountability, self-discipline and courage.
  • The underlying message taught in most disciplines is that of self-defence. The more advanced a student becomes, the more dangerous they have the potential to be.
  • As a student progresses, the principle of masking their abilities amid everyday life is constantly reinforced.

A student who picks fights, shows off and uses their training to bully others will be stripped of their rank by most systems and ostracized from the school.

  • Martial arts training teaches honesty and accountability in the professional world and in personal relationships by helping to develop character.

Let's look at few traits developed through martial arts training.


There's an old saying among martial artists: "If it was easy, everyone would do it."

  • Enduring the calisthenic conditioning subjects a person to pushing and overcoming the limits of their physical capabilities.
  • The workouts are brutal, and drive a student to dig for strength they did not know they had. This develops self-discipline and involves setting goals and being accountable for the obstacles the challenge will present.

In the work place and at home, this sets a precedence to not make promises you can't keep and to finish what you start, rather than quitting because the road got too rough.


The underlying belief held by a martial artist is that it is not necessary for themselves or their loved ones to fall victim to the actions of bad people.

  • They know that the threat of being attacked always exists, however unlikely, and if it happens the threat will be met with clear-headed action. It is a world of developing deadly fighting skills and not exploiting them, but wielding them with honour only to protect.
  • There is an element of integrity here, but even more present is the aspect of displaying courage when necessary, and resisting the tendency to behave as a coward. This is apparent in a street-level confrontation, but also translates to their demeanour in the workplace.

There is much more to martial arts than learning how to fight or defend yourself. With proper training, it can be an excellent way to develop a rock solid identity as a person of principle and character.

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