As already mentioned in previous posts, martial arts are not restricted merely to fighting and self-defense techniques.
Every kind of budo develops tons of other useful skills and qualities, such as perseverance, determination, responsibility, confidence, and discipline, to name a few.
Yet when speaking about “the highest goal” of martial arts, different styles – whether it is taekwon-do, karate, judo or aikido – agree on the common: the quintessence of the way of the warrior is peace.
As the founder of aikido Morihei Ueshiba put it in The Art of Peace:
The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.
Other posts on the essence of martial arts:
Tsuneo Ando on the Main Goal of Aikido
Keiji Tomiyama on the Essence of Martial Arts
What Is The Way of The Marital Arts? (Part 3)
What Is The Way of The Marital Arts? (Part 2)
What Is The Way of The Marital Arts? (Part 1)