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The Warriors Path

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Martial Arts the Warriors path to physical and spiritual freedom

Studying martial arts is a journey of self-discovery and perfection of both character and the physical application of techniques. Achieving perfection in either over a lifetime is not possible but it’s the pursuit of perfection that makes it all worthwhile and pursuing both can only make you a strong warrior and better person.

Martial arts cannot be learned over a few months, it takes years of dedicated training. When I received my first blackbelt I honestly thought that was it, little did I know that was just the beginning.

Martial arts can mean many things to different people, for me in the beginning it was learning how to fight, then later on I went and worked security in nightclubs and pub doors to test my skills.

Why did I do that you may ask, why would someone want to put themselves in danger every weekend by having to fight drunken thugs and troublemakers? I reality it had nothing to do with fighting it was all about being able to control my fear. This was my path.

I now no longer go out at weekends to face my fears, I have done that and fulfilled my quest to tame my fear of violent confrontations. I now concentrate all my efforts to teaching adults a long-term way to stay fit and healthy, and teaching children and teenagers to stay out of trouble avoid drugs and lead a positive and healthy life.

Martial arts is a massive box of many skills with many paths you can follow, once you reach a proficient standard you can test yourself in competitive free sparring or kata competitions or even progress to competing in MMA, again I stress this is not for everyone. The beauty of martial arts is whatever direction you chose to go in you need to build the same skills, namely mental strength, strong character with a good moral compass and physical skills that require hard training and time to achieve.

Martial arts is whatever you want it to be. Here are just some of the paths you can take from taking up martial arts.


  • Studying martial arts for perfection of techniques
  • Competitive point sparing
  • Self-protection
  • Increasing mental strength
  • Being competitive
  • MMA
  • Spiritual wellbeing and protection
  • Fitness
  • Self-control and self-discipline
  • Combatives
  • Warrior mindset

Whatever your reasons for studying martial arts, you will need the same set of tools to achieve your goals to reach a good standard.

Martial arts is about attaining a warrior mindset, you may ask what is a warrior mindset? A warrior mindset has nothing to do with going out and fighting or being warlike.

The true warrior mindset is all about conquering yourself and seeking self-perfection in mind body and spirit. You can’t just go to the gym and build yourself a perfect body or train as a kickboxer and call yourself a warrior if your mind is a mess, have no self-discipline or go out on the town behaving like a thug.

A true warrior seeks perfection of the mind because without perfecting the mind and developing a moral code of conduct you will never be able to master your own life.

Self-sovereignty for a warrior?

My interpretation of self-sovereignty is being able to achieve through mind body and spirit the ability to stand alone and be happy and contented without the need for the approval of others, and not be obsessed by the need of obtaining shiny new material things, that only have a short period or life span in making you feel good about yourself. Anything that gives you instant gratification that is gained without development, mental strength and self-discipline will be short lived, and within a very short time you will be looking for the next shiny object.

The martial art I chose to study in depth was Wado Ryu Karate, but I have trained in many martial arts each one having its own strengths and weaknesses. There is no one best martial art they are all unique and worth looking into if you are a true adventurer into the eastern arts.

I have learnt so much from other arts, if you want to find the weaknesses in your own style then it’s wise to study as many other systems as you can. Being a narrow-minded purist will hold you and your students back.

Some of the most effective fighters today are MMA fighters and most of them have studied one martial art in-depth and then like true warriors gone out and searched for as much knowledge as possible from as many systems as they possibly can. Most MMA fighters come from the Brazilian Jujitsu systems or the Hard style of Kyokushin Karate combining these two arts give the fighters the tools for hard striking and groundwork.

I myself learned Karate and after going to work as a bouncer I searched out the best arts to compliment what I needed for working on the doors, I found that learning Jujitsu and Judo throws were going to be the best option for me as the last place I wanted to end up was on the ground as it was nearly always the case, I would be confronting more than one aggressor when doing door work.

It’s no accident that I never really went out to hurt anyone or start trouble for no reason or thought it was cool to cause a fight, simply because I knew all the facts when it comes to violence, and that life can be fragile, and on any given night or encounter could be ended. If you truly understand violence, you respect it and do your very best to avoid it.

Martial arts and learning what would be classed as very dangerous knowledge took me a long time to learn and many hours going on training courses with some of the best self-protection instructors, when you have learned fighting skills that make you really proficient at causing other people damage you no longer feel the need to prove anything to yourself or others.

I was always very comfortable trying to talk down a would-be attacker simply because I knew if it got to the point of violence, I could handle that just as efficiently. And that’s not a physical confidence it’s a mental one.

Confident people don’t feel the need to prove themselves.

If you want to test yourself there’s no better place than going into the sport side of martial arts.

If you decide to compete in K1 or Western kickboxing, then Muay Thai kickboxing is probably a great art to learn. Back in the late 70s and early 80s most traditional martial artists complimented their art with some sort of competitive kickboxing.

My son decided to test himself in MMA and became a very proficient cage fighter, naturally he gravitated to learning BJJ and wrestling and Muay Thai boxing.

Do you need to learn a traditional martial arts system? No, you don’t to be a good fighter, but then if that’s all you are then it’s hard to class yourself as a martial artist, you are just a fighter, and most street thugs and muggers are quite good fighters. The idea of being a martial artist is to rise above that type of behaviour and put as much distance as possible between being a true warrior and the vile uncontrollable street thug who has no moral stamina, integrity, or humanity.


A true warrior will be able to destroy their antagonists but instead will always choose not to physically engage until it becomes absolutely necessary.

How can training in martial arts develop a good character?

It’s an interesting question, becoming very good at something where you have to master your body and your mental strength, requires discipline and self-mastery.

Picking up a gun or a knife to resolve a problem requires no self-control, self-discipline, or moral compass.

If you take Kyokushin fighters or Thai boxers, they are probably the most battle-hardened warrior fighters on the planet. But they all have a strict code of self-imposed moral conduct and that’s what makes them true martial artists.

Martial arts, boxing and other highly skilled sports require you to have unbelievable discipline to become good at it. Self-discipline is the master key to becoming successful in every aspect of your life. Some people are naturally gifted, and physical skills seem unfairly easy to master for them, but you will find it’s not very often the naturally gifted athlete that makes it to the top, The athletes that reach the top of their game only make it look easy due to unbelievable hard work and training, and that needs mental strength and discipline.

For me, the goal of self-sovereignty and a warrior mindset is to be able to stand alone in the world and be happy with yourself and not need the approval of others to make you feel accomplished. Also, not to look up to so called idols, or should I say false idols. We live in a world where being famous for the sake of being famous is considered just as skilful as actually being highly accomplished at something and being looked at as a source of inspiration. A true warrior looks to inspire and motivate others to become the best they can be and to lead a positive life with a good code of moral stamina and conduct.

From the book.

Martial Arts the Warriors path to physical and spiritual Self Protection

By David Oakley (Copyright 2022)

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