Post about "Arts Education"

Martial Art School

“Anyone can do art.”I strongly disagree. Maybe it’s my art school talking, but I think it takes a serious dedication of time and effort to learn any art form.In order to paint, I had to first develop a solid foundation in drawing and rendering. Then there’s the terminology of painting: engaging the compositional frame, de-intensified color, luminosity, chroma, etc. Then you have to learn the nature of the medium. Acrylic or Oils? Matte or shiny finish? How do the pigments mix?Until you have an intimate understanding of the basics, you’ll never have all the tools at your disposal to communicate your intent.With painting, the basics include canvas preparations, using paintbrushes, medium (acrylic, oil, or egg whites), and so on.In martial arts, the basics include striking, blocking, grappling, distance, positioning, timing, posture, and power. Only after these basics are thoroughly explored can any student of the martial arts begin to understand physical conflict on any sophisticated level.Art education is not just left to personal discovery and trial and error. Without systematic instruction it could literally take a lifetime to teach yourself the skills necessary to become an effective artist. With an experienced teacher you may find a friend, mentor, and guide on your path to success.More than showing you the basics, a teacher can help you find your voice in any given medium.The same goes for martial arts.Whatever style you’re studying, there should be a clear-cut process of instruction. Any school worth their while will focus, first, on communicating the system and then move on to advanced techniques. Be wary of any school that focuses too much on “free form” instruction. You could do that on your own; no reason to pay for it.What you should be getting for your tuition is a qualified guide on your pathway to martial arts success.The best schools will intertwine the higher levels of understanding into the basics, so you’re actually learning at a much deeper level than simply one lesson at a time. This is different than simply trying to gain access to the highest levels of understanding as quickly as possible.In the art world, this is done in your exploration of the basics. Consider drawing, for example. With something as simple as a pencil there is a myriad of applications. Line character, width, hardness, cross-hatching, shading, and so on. These basics are the essential building blocks used to create your masterpiece.In the martial arts world, the concepts of how to fight should be woven into your instruction from day one. While you’re working consciously on the simple tasks, you’re being exposed to the higher functions.In conclusion, there’s no great mystery to learning martial arts. Learn from a good instructor who can make sure you understand the basics and then help you discover the higher levels of martial art concepts embedded in them.Happy training!