There’s something you probably don’t know about me.
I used to dabble in the martial arts.
Between 1996 and 2005 I was very active with a studio called NKS which is, in my opinion, one of the best Martial Arts school in Ontario.
I have been to a few in my day.
The team at NKS taught me the way of Shotokan Karate and I fell into it all the way.
I even bought the books……
The great thing was that I forged some fantastic relationships while I was with the school. It was my home away from home and I wouldn’t have given that up for anything. I have fond memories of that time in my life and am honored to have been part of that community.
It took me 4 years of classes (most times 3 and on occasion 5 times a week) plus endless hours volunteering around the school and in order to graduate to my first black belt I was committed to writing a 1,500 word paper on how the martial arts influenced my life. Now 1,500 words is nothing but back then the longest thing I wrote was a grocery list.
Another 3 years and countless bruises came and went before I was able to progress to my 2nd Dan.
If you have ever met me you will know that I am taller than the average guy and because of that not a great physical candidate for this sport but I didn’t care. It developed for me, at the time, as a way of life.
First the body, then the mind and finally the spirit.
It has been 7 years since I stepped into a dojo.
My physical ailments, proximity to the studio and my career were the excuses that lead to my eventual decline in training and over time I stopped completely but the precepts I studied (there are 20 in all) still influence who I am today. It’s not that the martial arts changed me more that the martial arts simply aligned with an attitude that has always been part of me.
And that is the beauty of studying the martial arts.
I learned to accept life as it comes and I have no regrets.
What does it take to get to the black belt level?
Those are just words.
But they convey a mindset toward learning. The martial arts are centered in lifelong learning whether you practice consistently or not. The principles that are taught behind the study of the art is what stays with you.
There is no end only the eventual parallel of an asymptote.
What does it take to build your career?
Do the same words apply?
Over to you: What are your words?