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Month: March 2018

Silently Face the Storm

Silently Face the Storm

Achieving a Black Belt in Martial Arts is often interpreted as mastery. This is a common misconception. While a worthwhile pursuit on the Martial path, it is important to remember that the Black Belt student is someone who has gained proficiency in the basics of physical technique; far from Mastery.

We often are drawn to Martial Art because we feel physically victimized, or perhaps vulnerable. It seems that the goal then is to become more physically adept, more likely to be victorious in physical battle. As we enter “Martial Middle Age”, we find that there will always be someone faster, always someone slower. Always someone stronger, always someone weaker. At this stage it is easy to wonder: “Have I gone anywhere, or am I still in the same spot, stuck in the middle and going nowhere?”
It is at this stage that most abandon the Martial Way.

As we move along, and the shadows of our lives grow longer, some stay the course and gain the insight that It was never about being stronger, harder, or faster…because no punch can knock out cancer. no kick can assuage the pain of losing a loved one. Martial arts is not about blustering up a storm of physical prowess; its about being able to stand right here, right now, facing the storms of your life. Being still, being silent, being perceptive and therefore able to act in the right way, with the right action and perfect timing. Or perhaps not act at all.
This means being willing to silently face the storm, and act from silence, rather than react from noise.
This…is Martial mastery.

The 18th Victim.

The 18th Victim.

It is truly inspiring to see our young citizens making a stand to end school violence. A mass collective, they unify to give voice to the lawmakers, the adults; “We will not stand to live in fear one more day.” But let’s not forget, there is an 18th victim here. A victim that no one united to support. No one came to his aid, and said “I’ve got your back”. Not even when he cried out for help. It’s easy to say “it’s the gun laws that are at fault.” “The FBI dropped the ball”. No, we dropped the ball…all of us. When you were alone, and frightened, where was your backup, your army?

This is a good start, but we shouldn’t unify our voice about what we’re against; gasoline never put out a fire. We should be reminded of the words of Mother Theresa, who said “What you’re against weakens you, and what you are for empowers you.”
I am For the end of the violence.
I am for the easing of the pain of the families that lost so much.
I am an army that stands at your side, and will not leave, and knows you didn’t ask for this.
I am not afraid, and I stand for the victims.
I am not afraid to say…I stand for the 18th victim as well.

 

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