With all praise to Heaven - I had a great Father’s Day this year. So did one of my students in particular, but we’ll talk about that in a minute. As for me, it was an early dinner at my favorite restaurant in the ‘old neighborhood’ followed by a long, sprawling, winding hike with my daughter through the same magnificent woods that I used to carry her through on my shoulders so many years ago.
Back to Martial Arts. Now realize, that it’s very difficult to train seriously and actually develop true skill and virtue through martial arts training in our time, for reasons other than the inherent challenges of learning a martial art. The tough part is that so many people have to support you unconditionally. Not just your teacher and your training partners, but the people closest to you – namely your own family – have to stand firmly behind you 100%. That is the tough part.
Unless you’re a monk and you train with other monks; or you’re still a teenager with a teenager’s responsibilities, it’s very difficult indeed to balance time for your training against the weight of all the other responsibilities that an adult member of our society must shoulder. The truth is that if you take this really seriously – and the people that train with me usually do – and you look at Martial Arts training as something deeper than a simple hobby or pastime – you will make sacrifices. Social life, recreational life, professional obligations and yes, even time with your family become part of the balancing act.
Here is something to ponder: for a typical man who trains religiously and spends a considerable amount of time in pursuit of the Art, the person you are most accountable to – aside from your Guru – is invariably your wife! Indeed, her level of compassion, respect, and understanding can literally make or break your training.
to be continued...