Another year has come and gone and there have been so many lessons learned in my martial arts journey. Every time I start to think I know something, I learn something else. This year has been no different. In many ways it was the most challenging year I’ve had to date in the martial arts, but also the most rewarding.
As far as my own training, it has been a really tough year. I have been riddled with injuries of all kinds and as much as I would not like to admit it, it took a physical toll on my training and personal development. But, as I tell my students, there is a lesson in everything; you just need to look at it from the right perspective. Where you may lack physically, you must make up mentally which can be a huge challenge in itself. Where many find an excuse to “take a break” or give up outright, you must persevere and show a little of that indomitable spirit a martial artist is made of. It is by coming through these challenges that make us better martial artists. A martial artist who has never been challenged cannot truly say that he has achieved anything. A true martial artist comes out the other side, perhaps with a few more scars, but alive and kicking without having given up like the rest. He earns the right to wear the badge of honour. If it was an easy road, everyone would be a master. It cannot be smooth sailing all of the time which is why it is a road reserved for the few who are willing to walk it. This year has taught me a lot in this regard.
First and foremost, I consider myself to be an Instructor. In terms of instruction this has been a very rewarding year. I have seen many of my students achieve their goals, bear witness to new experiences and overcome many of their own challenges. Each student is like a child to me (yes, even the adults) and I love to see how they develop over time. I have seen students grow in all aspects this year – both physically and mentally. I am grateful to have been allowed to be a part of this stretch of their martial arts journey with them and I hope to be able to share in more of their experiences way into the future. In the end we all grow together, and I thank them for the lessons that they have taught me this past year.
To all out there practicing martial arts, I wish you well done on the year past and a good journey on the year ahead. The martial arts ladder has rungs of fire and cloud, but with diligence we climb and will make it to the top.
Happy Holidays and best wishes over the Festive Season.