Thursday, May 5, 2016

Lessons from a Life Martial


As I prepare for a major shift in my life priorities, I think it is time to expound of a few of the lessons I have learned over the past 40 plus years of study in the Arts.


Turning to Webster, I find the definition of Wisdom most interesting.

Simple Definition of wisdom

  • : knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life
  • : the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand
  • : knowledge of what is proper or reasonable : good sense or judgment

I am not sure I have always possessed good sense or judgment but here goes.


1.    The most important lesson that I have learned was from Lewis Sensei. His students and friends were great people. He was friends with the best group of individuals I know. Surround yourself with good people and everyone becomes greater.


There are many with great abilities, but at the same time they are not necessarily what I would call good people. You must consider all their actions to determine what they are to you.


It is easy to be seduced by ability and knowledge. But if their actions are causing you difficulty it is better to let them go.


2.    Yet another lesson you can share is that your students can make their own decisions. If you help them learn that you have accomplished something great. That does not mean you will benefit from their decisions, but you shaping their ability to make same counts for something.


3.    Yet another important thought to share is understanding time. Understanding everyone can improve in time, not trying to force the time the individual needs is very important. Of course this depends on the needs of the instruction. Should the imperative be on conditions extremis, time might not be possible for such training. But otherwise in time everyone improves.


4.    Another lesson is that time is needed. It is often a mistake to share too much before the student develops the abilities to use the material. Understand that you are preparing a student to learn new lessons in 10, 15 or even 20 years of training. Often is too difficult for the student to understand. This then is your responsibility to recognize when the student develops the abilities for the new challenge and then to work with them to face it.


5.    The arts martial, karate, is realistically a series of force enhancer studies to increase the adept’s potential. Tools like basics, kata, body hardening, makiwara and all the rest are perhaps fully utilized in some fashion. There are many levels of training. Some of the force enhancers may not be possible in every program. Yet the training can be valuable regardless.


Obviously the more force enhancers that can be employed moves one towards the theoretical goal of the art.


Using time as an ally, in 10 years or so, one becomes more relaxed in their execution (say of a kata practice), then their center drops and their power increases at the same time. Even the part time student will find that occurs. Training full time and hard, might be a goal, but today it is often most difficult for people to make such choices.  This reality still allows the value of martial training to be gained.


6.    Every individual is not training for the same reasons. You can guide them forward and do so within their reasons for training. There is not just one answer.


7.    There is no limit on what one might learn or perform but the limit they place on themselves. Of course you cannot defy whatever physical performance limits the individual may have.  But if the mind is willing the idea cannot does not take hold.


8.    If you believe in your student, they will most often live up to that belief.

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