Monday, December 26, 2005

merry holidays

hey folks! it's me, james. i'm on leave for the holidays and wanted to take the opportunity to write on a few subjects which i hold near and dear to my heart.
first, respect. while anyone can fear someone who is stronger than they are, respect comes with knowledge. the more someone learns (especially in the martial arts), the more that person should respect other martial artists, martial arts, and indeed the more that person should respect life itself. unfortunately, i have seen a trend of pride in the more experienced martial artists in every dojo, dojang or kwoon i've entered. it seems that instead of awakening to a sense of responsibility and appreciation toward life, students allow their egoes to fester and impede harmony and their true growth. this is sad. let us each do our part to proliferate mutual respect and brotherly love for every single person, regardless of age or rank or medals won.

second, pride. allow me to clarify that i do not endorse someone placing undue importance on themselves or putting their needs or wants above the needs of others. what i mean by pride is a sense of reverence toward one's style, background and accomplishments. we should never parade our martial heritage around, nor try to exploit it for personal gain. instead, in our minds should be the firm desire to act in such a way that if others saw us they would strive to be like us.

third- today while shopping with my wife, we saw a martial arts group performing (because it was a performance) in front of a crowd of people. they did some dance routine to music and jumped around quite a bit. the students when not performing joked around and played while in uniform and being observed by the public. we (my wife and i) were greatly disappointed in them. it is my sincere hope that when we have the opportunity to present the martial arts to others, that we do it with reverence, humility, dignity- even a sense of pride. we represent our teachers and our respective styles. i for one would hate to disrespect sensei gittins, sensei rex, or sensei kuzminski for example, or the years of hard work that they and i put into my practice of the martial arts. i hope that i can convey their teachings in everything i do and help others to attain mastery and further their journey in the Way.

let us always remember the seven heads of leadership; loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.