The martial arts have long been held up as a way to enlightenment. Indeed, this is the goal at the end of the road of The True Martial Art. This article is about why this is so, and to enable the reader to walk to the end of that road all the sooner.
Enlightenment is when light is emitted from an individual. With that light the enlightened being sees the world with different perception. His perceptions are heightened, and he has a viewpoint that rises above the norm.
If enlightenment happened because of motion, then the fact of motion would result in enlightenment. Gymnastics, ballet, football, all would result in an enlightened individual, but they don't, so one must ask oneself, what is it about the Martial Arts that they result in enlightenment?
What is different is that there is combat, and when one understands the essence of combat, one becomes enlightened. What is the essence of combat? One could sum up the subject by saying that when one finally understands he is opposing himself, he becomes enlightened, and a study of the martial arts does eventually result in this.
The universe, you see, is a space filled with moving objects. Every object in the universe has a direction that it is going in. It is only in the martial arts that one actually engages in the study of the directions of objects as the one who creates the direction.
A fist flies through space at you, and you go through a range of emotions. Eventually, you give up emotions so that you can better analyze the flight of the fist. Thus, you rise above base reaction and become cause over the motion of the universe.
A person threatens you, he holds a knife and approaches you, and you must divine the direction before it manifests. You must look at the world the way it exists, and not through some fantasy, and thus you look at the world you created. Thus, you rise above being the flotsam and jetsam of a universe awash with random motion, and thus you take control of the motions of the universe.
There is no motion in this universe, you see, that you have not created. That star shines for you, because of you, if it wasn't for you, there would be no purpose for that star to shine. And through the tempering of form, the steeling of will, the martial artist engages in combat, to give up combat and become what he truly is, an enlightened being free to enjoy the universe.
Al Case has practiced martial arts for more than 40+ years. A writer for the magazines, he had his own column in Inside Karate. He is the originator of the church of the martial arts, and you can find out about the path to enlightenment by ordering his free ebook at