Why do I Train?

By Lior Katz

Ninjutsu Lion

From time to time I face the question: "why do I train?"

My friends, even strangers and of course my wife ask me on many occasions.

When I began to train, I was 14 then, my answer was because I want to remain the only secular Jew in Jerusalem. This was right after reading Jeremia's inn (a satirical book by Israeli author Benjamin Tamuz), I was so enraged by it that I wanted to be strong enough to stand my ground.

Thus, training rigorously, I became strong (I also understood that this would not make any difference, but this is another story altogether).

Upon understanding I had indeed become strong (this took several years) I realized something additional; I realized I was training because training was fulfilling a very basic need for me, maybe even a primitive need. This primitive desire is to engage my body in fighting, playing and sweating.

Defining myself as a man (not to mention a macho…) includes my physical ability and my readiness to use my force in order to defend and attack at need.

Practice provides me with a suitable feeling. This requires constant upkeep. I am aware: this is a primitive feeling. I could always be defeated by a bullet shot by anyone, but this does not matter. The Power, the ability to control my body, and if needed (theoretically) control others, provides me with what I need in order to feel good and whole (in this matter, at least).

If one looks deep enough, all of our desires and feelings have this primitive basis (at times this does not even require too much introspection).
There is an entire field in Psychology (a much disputed field), emphasizing the evolutionary approach, maybe its perspectives are relevant here. Many psychologists agree: we are driven by primal impulses and desires in a more powerful manner than most of us are willing to admit.

After practice I feel like a lion. This feeling is wonderful. This is an another excellent reason to train in martial arts.