5 Jun 2018 by gebhard, No Comments »

At a recent fight practice, I asked a local unbelt for a few passes. He responded with something to the effect of, “Okay, but are you just going to hit me a lot to teach me a lesson?”

“Certainly not”, I responded. “I don’t fight to, ‘teach anyone a lesson’, I make an opportunity to learn, for myself as well as my opponents.”

There is a Parable that roughly fits this situation I shared at the time, and I will do so with you now. Like any good story with a kernel of truth it will work for many situations.

There once was a student swordsman. He trained every day and grew to become knowledgeable in five techniques.

One day a traveling master came through town. The master had trained for many, many years. He knew a hundred techniques. The master came and sought out the student. They shared good company, as well as many good passes.

When the day was done the master and the student parted company. The Master knew a hundred and five things, and the student still only knew five.

A master becomes a master not because they take every opportunity to teach, but because they have taken every opportunity to learn. With an open mind, every fight shows something new that can be improved on.

If you approach the fight believing there is nothing to be gained, for example by believing you have already won (or lost) the opportunity to learn will be difficult to find.

The thing I’ve come to enjoy most about our competitive sport is that is we teach other, not with our words but our willingness to participate in the good hard fight. In that fight is when we can push each to new levels of skill and ability.

Both parties should walk away at least a little better than when they started.

That pursuit of the good fight is that road.

Being Knighted isn’t the end of a journey. It doesn’t mean there is nothing left for me to improve. If anything it shows how much further there is go on the path. The belts servers as a reminder there is always more to learn.

I look forward to meeting you in the list, so we too may share good company, the love of the fight, and we depart we will both be a little better off.


Picture by Tina Smith.

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