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Of Martial Arts Training and Limitations

Black belt is

You are not rich until you have something that money can’t buy.

A new year brings new training schedules. It’s a year ago that I began my Kuk Sool Won journey and it has been a real roller coaster ride of successes and growth opportunities. Being a martial arts newbie at middle age takes determination and can only be accomplished if you learn to take yourself a little less seriously.

It has also been a year ago that I started this blog, along with a lovely and remarkable community of individuals because of the Seth Godin Your Turn Challenge.

I am a goal and result oriented individual while also being a time dependent personality so setting goals and making lists is an automatic practice at the start of a new year.

What is unique about 2016 though is that I did a training schedule first before writing down my goals in other key areas of my life. Given my usual approach I would add exercise and view it like a mountain that needs conquering. A necessary set of tasks on the way to taking better care of my health.

Now however I see a training schedule as so much more than a series of tasks. In the past I didn’t relish the idea of training. It just provided the means by which I could build a healthier me. Now training is like a chapter in a novel. Each one enhances the experience and within each one new lessons are learned. Taken together they all tell a story and become a collection of learnings building towards a specific end objective, in my case, a black belt before my 50th birthday.

After all, a black belt is a white belt who didn’t quit and I plan to see this journey through.

If you do what you love you never have to work a day in your life. If you train for something you’re passionate about then training is no longer a task. Every bit of training I do is leading me to a new point of growth.

It is said that an old dog can’t be taught new tricks but if the old dog is still young at heart it can still learn an amazing array of things. It’s just the willingness to do so that is required.

I am taking my body to levels of fitness that I never thought possible and it is changing my expectations with each new milestone I reach.

I expected that my age would be an automatic glass ceiling on my martial arts journey but the only limitations I’ve experienced are those I’ve imposed on myself.

How about you?

For some inspiration why not check out some of the other Your Turn Challenge Bloggers:

  1. Remarkable Runs
  2. The Positive Pragmatist
  3. Robin Estevez
  4. Women of Wonder
  5. Linens and Laurel
  6. Joyce M Sullivan
  7. Wholistic Sound
  8. Andy Stitt
  9. Listen and Hear
  10. Randall Hartman

It’s a Surprise – Open It!

A diminutive student dressed in black yet exuding a quiet confidence enters the dojang. He greets his martial arts Master with a cheerful “Kuk Sool” and promptly hands over a rather large, carefully and colourfully decorated box. “I made this for you Sir, it’s a surprise.”

He then crosses the mat barefooted to place his shoes neatly in the closet and finds a spot to sit cross-legged on the floor while waiting for his class to begin.

The New Year is a surprise that each of us has been given. Some of us have accepted it graciously and others reluctantly or indifferently. We have a choice to engage with it however we wish to.

It can remain as is, untouched, and still life will happen. Time will pass.

Or we can choose to open it, to interact with it, to accept its contents but also to add our own dreams, our own pieces that will shape what we experience.

The Master places the box on his desk and smiles. He is aware that this surprise has involved careful thought and planning and is touched by the connection it represents.

“Have you opened it Sir?” a tiny, yet insistent and expectant voice pipes up from the back of the class.

The box is opened to reveal a small and intricately detailed paper bird with wings outstretched in flight.

“It’s wonderful!” the Master exclaims and the little student beams with pride. He has shown his appreciation and demonstrated his gratitude.

The bird has left the cage and the box is now open to opportunity.

We all have the capacity to use small moments to acknowledge the impact that someone has had in our lives. We have the opportunity to value and recognize our connectedness and aspire to be a positive influence in all our interactions.

This year is your surprise. Will you open it?


Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Master Saidi or that of the World Kuk Sool Won Association.


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