A fundamental aspect of the martial arts, and particularly the Budo arts, is: “Always allow your training to influence your life for the better”. Every art is more than just a series of techniques and very often is based on a a system of philosophy, belief, and then physicality which forms the foundation for the movements, styles, and techniques themselves.
To truly understand the art you pursue, you must focus on the subject as a whole and not neglect any aspect less than the others. This is what separates the art from the martial side of things. There is truly a lot more to be found in the genuine and honest pursuit of the warrior arts than merely physical skill and ability, regardlessof your chosen discipline, provided you acknowledge it and let it influence and change you as an individual.
At their most basic level, martial techniques are not merely a physical thing. It is all a matter of perspective and understanding of the art you train within. For the beginner it is percieved that you use your body to manipulate an opponent or instrument to enact an outcome. It is a black and white situation where logically A is followed by B then C, etc etc and is learned by rote just like the alphabet through to Z. This is in fact correct but unless you continue to grow within the art then you limit your ability to merely what you learn. All you ever do is work with the letters, rather than try to form the words,sentences, verses,and eventual stories of our journey through our training.
Every day you will get a little slower, a little less flexible, a little more tired, a little more older, yet we can choose to grow as well, becoming more learned, more adaptive, more capable, more understaing,and more sure of our art. Not just as a form of physcial ability, but also as a means to improve our selves, our way of life, and our ability to deal with situations and changes to the world around us.