The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Friday, March 16, 2018

Having Faith in Your Martial Arts Training

Below is an excerpt from another excellent post at Green Leaves Forest, a blog about Kyudo,  regarding having faith in one's training. The comments about Kyudo could equally be applied to any type of training.

The full post may be read here.

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Now lets take a look at my other imaginary friend, Jesus (pronounced “Hey-Zeus”) Bodhi, aka JB. JB doesn’t hit every arrow. But you know what, JB gets your attention. Do you know why? Maybe not.

But for some reason you see something in his shooting beyond questions of technique or race or rank. JB could be a hanshi hachidan (8th level master), or someone who has just shot their first arrow. It’s almost as if you watch JB and start to understand why kyudo is considered an art and a discipline to train the spirit.

Let’s get a little more specific. You know what really sets JB apart?

It’s actually incredibly simple.

Effort.

When he does sharei (ceremonial shooting which could be anything from your regular sitting zassha practice to a yawatashi embu) he actually sits in the proper kiza position. It hurts and is hard, because he is just a regular human like everyone else with legs and a back. But you know what he does? He always practices sitting kiza properly because it will make him a stronger archer, and even practices sitting in kiza at home so he can do it better when he gets to the dojo.

His taihai (movements other than just shooting, like walking, sitting, standing) is better than everyone else, not because it’s perfect, but because he practices it every time he goes to shoot.

He does well in tests not because he is lucky or magically doesn’t get nervous, but because he always does his best whether it’s in practice or tournaments, so shooting in a test in front of all the judges is no different.

He doesn’t know everything about kyudo, so he reads a lot.

He doesn’t hit the target a lot, so he practices a lot.

He tries as hard as he can, but he doesn’t stress out if it doesn’t go perfectly.

Why?

Getting to the point of doing it perfectly will never happen unless you walk the path of trying to do it perfectly.

Simplify that equation for a second and you get:

The path is what’s most important.

Or in more commonly heard words: “It’s not the end, but the journey that matters most.”

What enables one to get on the path, and continuing to make effort towards perfection?

Even when they miss? Even when people don’t believe them? Even when they get injured? Even when they think that they just can’t get over this final wall that will be the end?

I’ll give you a hint,it’s Jesus’ super power … faith.

I’d love to be as strong as Captain Muscle, or as smart as Professor Brain, but until I get there, I’m going to do my best to imitate JB, ’cause he’s got the magic that gives meaning to it all.

Perhaps this is something special about kyudo.

Or maybe everything in life is like this.

I don’t know, so I explore.

Onward and upward.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a really good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
Short but very accurate info… Thanks for sharing this one.
A must read article!

Rick Matz said...

I really like Green Leaves Forest.