You bow deeply when you exit the dojo.
Yet, you cut somebody off in traffic as you drive home.
You say: “Martial arts teaches us to be humble.”
Yet, you say “I’m a black belt” on the first date.
You train hard in the dojang, even if nobody is looking.
Yet, you won’t do the dishes at home – even if somebody is looking.
You meet your instructor several times a week.
Yet, you forget to visit your own parents.
It’s weird, isn’t it?
- You bow deeply to your training partner – even though he’s a jerk outside of class.
- Self-control is when you stop your kick an inch from your opponent’s nose – even though you could easily have crushed it.
- Loyalty is when you help your instructor teach kids classes – even though you’re dead tired.
- Humility is when you ask your opponent for feedback – even though he’s “lower grade” than you.
- Integrity is when you refuse to use brute force over correct technique – even though you’re losing the sparring match.
- Honor is when you stand up to these black belt values – even though somebody trash-talks your Art.
I could go on…But you get the point. See, here’s the thing:
When the old masters told us to use Martial Arts in our daily lives, they weren’t just talking about the punches and kicks…oh no – They were talking about the essential mental components that allow us to successfully dictate when, where, why and how to best use those very same punches and kicks.
- A way of thinking.
- A mindset.
Why? – Because real Martial arts have the power to end life.
And with that power comes a moral responsibility, manifested through a set of traditional values, ethos and codes of conduct virtually identical in all major warrior civilizations throughout the history of mankind. Martial arts have no exception. You see, although Taekwondo/Brazilian Jujitsu can easily make us feel healthier, stronger, fitter or happier – so can jogging, ice hockey, baseball, soccer, golf, basketball, water polo or yoga.
There’s really no difference.
Unless… Unless you make a conscious decision to relentlessly practice your art in the pursuit of being a true representative of the black belt ideal, in every sense of the word. Both inside and outside of the dojo.
If you’re a black belt, you should brush your teeth like a black belt, tie your shoes like a black belt and wipe your a** like a black belt.
Because Martial arts teaches us humility, respect, loyalty, integrity, honor and much more.
But it doesn’t guarantee it.
And that’s why black belt is not really a belt. It’s a state of mind. A Way of life. – “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” – Bruce Lee (1940-1973)
I found this article and really enjoyed it. I hope you do as well.
Knowledge you receive from your instructor, wisdom is putting yourself out there, risking failure but doing it anyways. Live your lives to the fullest, take a risk. What is Knowledge without wisdom??
See you in class!