Maybe it is because I am now a grand father but I have spent several days looking back on the events of my life. I don’t think they are any more extraordinary that anyone else’s, but they are mine. I have been told I should write a book, but they would need to put it in the fiction section of the bookstore because no one would believe it is true. Might be, but I really don’t know.
When I reflect back on both the good and bad I see turning points. Our lives are full of many of these such events. Forks in the road of life that cause you to go in one direction or the other, really not knowing which is best, or what you will find down a certain path. Many years ago I had such an event, it was not so much the event as the words spoken to me. These words were “No matter what happens in your life, no one can take your martial art training away.” At the time in my life these words were spoken I was in great distress. Then they had very little meaning, but as the years go by the come to mean more and more.
The other day my grandson Thalen was in the dojo. He will become a common fixture just like my children were when they were young also. One of the parents comment, “There is the next generation of master.” This brought me back to the words my instructor spoke to me so many years ago “No matter what happens in your life, no one can take your martial art training away.” Seeing the next generation was very inspiring.
The event that cause these words to be spoken to me happened back in 1990. I was close to testing for my second degree black belt when I received the news that my second child, Scott was gravely ill and would likely not survive what was to come. At the same point in time I received similar news about my children’s mother. Now as it turns out, thankfully both survived their ordeals, but the events will not be forgotten, nor my teachers words so many years ago. I bet he does not even recall saying it.
How many times has life got you down, the loss of a job, family problems, what have you. What was your response? Did you run and hide, or did you go to the one place that can help you, the Dojo. Have you ever trained your way out of sadness? Trained your way out of stress?
Age will one day affect our physical skills, that is a fact, but the knowledge we have achieved cannot be take away. In fact I believe we will take it far beyond the grave.
Martial arts and what it mean inside us can never be take away. As Bruce Lee once said “All knowledge is self knowledge” and so is our training. It has given us the greatest gift there is. The ability to know ourselves.