The first concept of self-protection seems fairly evident. You learn martial arts in order to protect yourself when the time comes. Self-perfection refers to those techniques and drills we engage in that may not immediately apply to self-protection, but can over time help us improve on the attributes and techniques we do need for self-protection. Moreover, self-perfection refers to those ineffable qualities sought through martial arts; becoming a better person, facing fear, and learning how to overcome obstacles. The second can actually be a bit tricky, and it is in the upholding of the two concepts that many people can lose their way. There are many styles and systems who place self-perfection as the primary goal of their practice, and this is admirable, but how far away can you move from self-protection before your martial art ceases to be martial at all, and just an art with martial trappings, like cultural dance? In Jeet Kune Do, we do not see these qualities of character arising from activities separated from self-protection, but precisely from our training in self-protection.
He will also learn to be aware of himself and aware of ideals of perfection, just as he is aware he will never reach those ideals. He will learn the value of silence, not just of the spoken word, but of quieting his own mind in dealing with his own fears, angers, and pain. From that quieting of his mind, he will learn to make decisions and act justly and equitably.
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