Problem Solver

Mind, Body and Spirit

That’s what we say embodies being a martial artist. Too easy is to just be only technically savy or in shape. Too tempting is to only be about the combat aspect of the arts. That only covers the body variable of the equation. That’s only one third of the pie. What about the other two thirds? The part that needs the same focus and attention the body does; the mind and the spirit (aka emotions). I cannot think of anything more potent to challenge the mental and emotional stability of a martial arts student than his training. Along the entire journey, the student has to apply his training to everyday life. The school is where the student practices in the confidence. The real training happens when he walks out the school’s door. You see, we are training all the time!

Doing the Deed

As a teacher, I always tell my students that if there are no questions or concerns for me to help them with, then I’m only teaching “cool moves.” My real job starts when there is a problem. Its when a student’s mind is playing tricks on them or when the imagination is running wild on how difficult the situation is. This emotional effect takes away the clarity of why we train. And for that same reason the training should be activated. That’s what we actually train for. Too easy is to be fresh and say it. It’s when we are fatigued, when we are annoyed, when we want to quit that the strength of our training shows. Having a good leader and mentor that can connect to it, describe it, enact it and help us face it will help navigate our ship through the choppy waters and thrashing winds. Putting the trust in those who only want to sail with clear skies, a gentle breeze and calm seas makes for false confidence. Any student of the arts worth his salt will tell you that the integrity he holds in his training is where its at. If you don’t trust your training, what else can you do? Hope? Well hope is not a plan.

Table of Contents

The Eight Disciplines

In this article, I’d like to suggest a paradigm shift to associate the word Discipline to systems of practice. There are eight disciplines, in my

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