One may think training in martial arts should protect them from the human assailant, but what about those causes of death and serious injury in today's society which far outweigh the occurance of combative attack? Car accidents, workplace injury and misadventure. Contemporary traditional martial arts claims to provide the tools for total self development, a manner in which to bring about a unity between all aspects of the individual human form and thus provide a maximization of its present potential. Why is such a thing martial? People are competitive. It lay in this streak that even many involved in martial arts seek quick answers to the dillemma of individual development amongst others of a common species. A handful of training schedule and armoury of static dojo technique, or hundreds of hours belting heads in a boxing ring. Whammo, there you are. But enough practitioners live and breathe their devotions as to encompass the very spirit of art in the martial forum, not as combatants or relics but as vibrant, living examples of human development within its species environment. These guys decrease the chances of being involved in fatal accidents simply by the way they routinely walk down the street. So how does your martial application add up? From the Go-gyo Shukenja based Mikkyo, the elements exist as Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Void in both negative and positive aspects. This is designed to combine the martial system popularised with introduced Taijutsu forms in medieval Japan into a total, warrior means of enlightenment for the absolute direction of one's surroundings. That is, keeping yourself alive where at threat. However the actual specifics remain irrelevant to the value of the system and it may be easily adapted to popular martial arts, as was its purpose some 5 or more centuries ago. Far from actual combat technique itself, the Go-gyo is only represented in Taijutsu forms under the Shizen, Ichimonji, etc. aspects of perspective. In a similar fashion one may apply the elemental aspects to popular contemporary martial arts such as Kung Fu, Muay Tai and Karate. The idea is to use whichever martial arts you happen to study to help you move correctly when you need to, but not just in an appropriate synchronisity to a human assailant. To turn an instinctive reaction into a lifesaving one from a series of immediate options, for any kind of circumstance. This is surely in part, why we train. Kung Fu, although regarded by practitioners as water-based is so only in striking technique. The elemental aspect here is Wind. It is a procreative, positive representation for directing environments resolutely. Aikido is regarded as "the Peaceful Art" and has a strong Buddhist following (Kung Fu is perhaps primarily Taoist). It's demeanor is earth-based however this is only in strategic perspective. Its elemental aspect is strongly Wind, however is markedly absorptive or negative in representation. Example 1: an Aikido practitioner busily packs crates at work whilst a forklift operates in his vicinity. Without warning it dislodges a particularly heavy crate high above him, and although he is the last to know about it the tremendous rush of wind above him and his dojo gained familiarity with bodies in motion causes him to instinctively react without looking. Fortunately the split second of distance the crate must cover allows him to remain in a naturally calm manner and he improvises a textbook technique with which he rolls well clear. Onlookers tell him how lucky he was. Example 2: a Kung Fu practitioner hurriedly guts fish at the market in which he works whilst others shuffle around him performing their own, various duties. As he is distracted mid-slice by his boss, another worker brushes too closely and the razor-sharp knife he is using slips directly into his waiting hand. On pure subconscious thought his wielding hand compensates, slackening its pressure immediately as he twists his upper spine (improvising the necessary footwork), carrying away the force of his own slice within his physical body before the blade manages to penetrate more than the most infitesimal milimetre of skin. He considers himself lucky to still have fingers on his left hand as his work mates look at him quizzickly. A threat which is inane or unintentional is still a threat and may result plainly in one becoming maimed or killed, we do ourselves a disservice if we cannot bring to bear the potential of our martial arts training into the various realms of our lives. Even within singular martial devotions one hopes to find various aspects of themselves with which to react instinctively to a variety of encounterable circumstances. We heighten our awareness and senses. We learn how the body may and manners in which it may not move. We find working interactions with other bodies in motion. We endeavour to keep our minds clear of rubbish. We should be capable in comparison to couch potatoes. More importantly than perhaps every other consideration, we try.