Regardless of our individual differences as people, we all have gods we worship (money, fame, success, peace) along with an accompanying belief system we practice. Some call this religion, philosophy, others spirituality. Just as the propensity for nationalism when it comes to our country, so too with the dogma we choose. For how many years have the Catholics waged war with the Christians while claiming to worship the same god?
In the same regard, Martial Arts has also existed as long as we can remember going back as far as gladiator days and even before then. In addition the same age old old question has persisted “which form is better?”. My view is that there is not a clear answer, in a one on setting Wrestling or Jiu Jitsu wields an incredible advantage against a striking opponent (muay Thai, boxing, karate) while such grappling methods will likely encounter major limitations against multiple opponents, weapons, a scenario where you cannot go to the ground (narrow alleyway, irregular terrain).
While it is important to account for the differences in each style so you may choose that which meets your goals, some fail to take notice of the similarities that come with all Martial Arts just as religion. A grappler believes that if he or she takes you to the ground it will result in a victory as much as a Catholic believes prayer and confession will lead to the gates of heaven. Regardless of the art or faith itself, what remains beneath the surface of each are the principles that make up great men and women. In orthodox religion these might be referred to as “Faith, Hope, Love” while in traditional Martial Arts such values may be referred to as “Family, Discipline, Respect”.
Understand that Martial Arts like Religion is a practice. Rather than allowing yourself to be blinded by the dogmas of one belief system, open your mind to the methods and practices of others as human beings who both carry a love for the art and/or sport. As Martial Artists, our family and our dojo is our church and our bible is the principles and values we practice. What the man of faith and the Martial Artist are, are human beings on a journey towards their best version alongside a community of warriors who share similar views and passions.