When I decided to try my hand at teaching with a commercial space again, I began to reflect on why people start training in the first place.
Some are inspired from a movie hero or are drawn to the mysterious and legendary origins of the martial arts. We see ourselves performing those jaw dropping action scenes and it's an escape from the ordinary. I began training in the martial arts in the fall of 1980 at the age of 7. I too was inspired from watching Bruce Lee movies.
It took me years before I finally could properly answer the question "why do you still train in martial arts?"
The martial arts had totally changed my outlook on life from such a young age that I didn't even realize the answers until I was able to look back at my life. The answer is because the martial arts made me who I am today. We start training because of the inspiration to perform the actions associated with the martial arts, like a sport, but we continue because the martial arts gives us so much more.
Unlike conventional sports, the martial arts is more a way of life. Not to say that other sports don't have a way of shaping your character but I believe that only the martial arts does so fully. With team sports you may lose but it was a team effort. The martial arts is all about the individual. We learn to lose but find a lesson in the loss. We learn to be goal oriented to accomplish great things that we never thought possible and we learn perseverance to overcome challenges. We become better people.
For me this has had a dramatic effect on my life. I have been through financial strain, divorce, separation of family, losing loved ones, life altering health issues and more changes in my life than I thought possible. Through it all I had the martial arts and the passion to pass on the gifts that made it possible for me to persevere and exceed my personal goals in training and in life.
My journey is still happening but I have a strong desire to teach others what the martial arts is really all about and hope to lead others through their journey.