I hope you have all been enjoying a peaceful and restful Easter Weekend.
I have trained to the point of utter exhaustion today before I sat down at my desk to balance my books for this month- end and get some stuff ready for an annual audit us attorneys have to go through over here.
The training was a pleasure- even when I had to absolutely drag my arse through the last kata,
but the month- end accounting took some will-power.
Still- it could have been worse.
You see- I have this habit of writing up fees into my bookkeeping system as I work. Middle of every month invoices go out. End of each month I balance books.
Because I do not skip any of these steps I have been able to save a lot on accountant fees simply because I leave the accountants less work to do this way.
Believe me- I don't always feel like doing this, but- I also know- and fear- what chaos will ensue if I let one of these tasks slip for even one month...
One of the first things you start learning when you start developing internal strength in your martial arts training is that we have our emotions, moods and feelings. In most people these are the things that get influenced by whatever we perceive with our senses. We hear upsetting news and we start feeling upset. You see another gloomy post on local politics on social media and you end up being depressed and so forth...
And then- what you do gets affected by how you feel.
This is the way for most people.
Now- those of you who know me by now can probably guess that I don't want anyone who studies martial arts to be some average joe with a beer gut who has done karate at some time of his life before. I want people to study martial arts and take something home with them.
I don't see the need for all of us to break bricks, fight off multiple attackers or kick the cookie jar from the top shelf. One thing we could all take home, though, is having broken these shackles of emotion. Sure- you can feel afraid, but you can nevertheless still fight. You can feel tired, but you can push on further.
You can feel so not in the mood for bookkeeping, but you can still do it.
Why I prefer martial arts to merely trusting that you would learn these things just through your day to day life is because a martial art puts you in a controlled scenario that you would prefer to avoid, but get forced to deal with by fighting. Within this simple activity a host of skills come forward. You develop good reflexes for attack and defense, learn to control fear and you learn to attack properly, regardless of how you feel.
Now fear is a really powerful emotion so- if you have learnt to overcome that, how much easier is it not to get out of that simple not-up-to-it feeling?
One may ask- why punish yourself like this? Life is so short, after all... Why not spend what time we have on things that make us happy? Well- I don't intend to elaborate in this post on what truly makes anyone happy, but I will say that the house in which you live, the mall that you go to and the public services you use and enjoy do not exist because of people who chose to please themselves rather than making themselves useful.
Believe it or not- all these things exist because of sacrifices made by other people.
The ability to overcome your own unwillingness or reluctance to do the right thing is what I regard as discipline of the highest order.
The big secret in all this is also that once you have learnt to give up personal comfort for the sake of doing what needs to be done you realise that you are actually a lot more comfortable with this life.
Every martial arts skill under the sun is the product of such a sacrifice.
I think I understand why countries like China and South Korea made a point of maintaining a thing such as a national martial art. The type of citizen one gets from training on a national scale is truly the stuff of ideals.
Well... I have now reached the end of my post.
I hope you all have a great Sunday and a very good week ahead. I also hope that your martial arts training will continue being useful to you.