The martial arts are something that changes lives, gives people focus and clarity, develops the warrior within, and builds character. It is a path, a do, a way to the proverbial top of the mountain. What martial arts is not, is a hobby, a part-time thing, something to merely do when you’re bored.
Many would disagree with me, but hear me out first!
The martial arts, much like most things in life, have the law that you get from it, what you put into it. Martial arts requires dedication and hard work to achieve any degree of understanding or development in skill, this is why kung fu literally translates as “Skills acquired through hard work.” Martial arts practice requires that an exponent be serious and diligent in their study and practice and have a genuine dedication to their progression and development.
A hobby is something you enjoy doing as a pastime, regardless of whether you get better at it or not. A hobby is a part-time thing, something you do, set aside, return to life, and come back to when you can. Hobbies are not lifestyles, they are not something that requires personal, deep change through challenges and adversity…in other words… A hobby is the furthest thing from the martial arts, as one can get.
If someone treats their martial arts training as a hobby, they will see little in the way of results and will quit given time. They will lack the understanding of the martial arts, from a philosophical standpoint because hobbies generally do not have a philosophy.
The martial arts require a dedication to the arts, a dedication to the self, and dedication to becoming better in mind, body, and spirit. It is a path, one that is difficult, but ultimately rewarding when the proper attention is paid to it. To sell the martial arts as a hobby is to dishonor what it is and all of those who have come before, who have given their all to master the arts and themselves.
Anyone can buy some items and begin a hobby, whereas no amount of money can buy skill and development in the martial arts, without dedication, perseverance, and practice.