You and Me

People sometimes feel afraid. But it passes. They may get complacent. Both are dangerous.

In training we learn to protect our bodies from assault. Our bodies get strong, fast, flexible, skillful and under our control. 

As this happens, we get the ability to protect others – family, friends, neighbors or strangers who may be in jeopardy. 

In the dojo and outside we also learn to protect our minds. Our minds need strenghtening and conditioning, just as our bodies do. Our minds are also vulnerable to assault by harmful influences which may appear at any time – whether in our own hearts or in the world around us. We train to detect them and avoid them. When we understand them we do not find them appealing. We turn toward edifying experiences, nourishing influences and good people. In training we cultivate self-control and virtue, as we increase in power and skill.

In the dojo and outside we learn to protect the hearts and minds of others as well as our own. We do not injure people, take from them, manipulate them or trick them. We make demands on them, we challenge them, we take them seriously. They sense it. They appreciate it. This does not make us vulnerable. It makes us strong. It does not diminish our status. It elevates everyone we train with. 

In the dojo and outside we are alert to threats. Not by being hyper-vigilant or nervous, but by being well-trained and wide awake.  

We do not succumb to flattery or intimidation, and we do not use them. These are the common tools of racketeers, in all walks of life. There is a better way to do martial arts: We do what is right. 

If we do it properly, as we learn to protect our bodies and minds, we protect other people. The distinction between these two functions should diminish as we advance.

Post Copyright © 2022 Jeffrey Brooks and Mountain Karate Dojo, LLC, Yamabayshi Ryu honbu, located in Saluda, NC

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