By Jose R. Villanueva

As originally published on the Listen & Be Heard Weekly1, October 12, 2005.

There are a tremendous amount of rewards teaching the Martial Arts. The rewards are gratifying from a spiritual point of view because of the enhancement of the student and society. Students become competent individuals and Martial Artists, and society benefits from it directly. The Martial Arts inherently is spiritual because it affects the areas of ethics, responsibility, and honor being taught and emphasized on a regular basis. Students learn to become more aware of their environment, and train to be able to defend themselves and others. There is no greater satisfaction than to see people become better people, and develop great abilities.

A good instructor helps his students to improve in the areas of ethics, responsibility, and honor. These are some of the very basics of spiritual growth. Students are being given a foundation from which they can continue to grow spiritually and be successful even after they have left the Martial Arts. Society in general does not teach and define ethics, responsibility, and honor. It cannot approximate any semblance of understanding when it cannot be defined exactly. People cannot operate with these basics without a firm understanding of what they mean. So there is a fog of unknowingness that threatens to plunder society into a deeper morass of immorality. Thus, the instructor with his wisdom transforms every student that he teaches.

Awareness of the environment is developed over time. As a student trains, he becomes more aware of his body, he becomes more aware of what is around him, he becomes more certain and confident in his abilities. He learns to identify things in the environment that may bring up "red flags." He becomes more acute to things that he would in general not pay attention to before his training. One can only protect and defend what he is aware of; otherwise, one is a "sitting duck." Present society lives in a fog of unawareness. Generally people do not notice the details and intricacies of what's around them. An instructor helps to harness this ability in every student.

An instructor guiding and training a student to blossom into a competent Martial Artist is a very satisfying accomplishment. When one truthfully evaluates the magnitude of helping to develop a student's ability to defend himself, one will see the significant value. Students who can protect themselves against attacks or protect others from being harmed have a tremendous effect on the individual and society. Those that have the integrity and the strength to stand up to those wrongs being committed change society.

As an instructor of the Martial Arts, I see the changes in my students on a daily basis. There is no replacement for good beings becoming beautiful beings. It becomes a win for me, and a win for my students.