Mushin University™ Self-Knowledge the Ultimate Knowledge
"I became a martial artist in spite of my limitations.” Bruce Lee
Do you have what it takes to be a great martial artist? To answer this fairly, one should be able to define what constitutes being a martial artist. Second of all, you need to define what it is that fulfills your expectations of greatness. I would like to use illustrated art as an example to make my point. As for me, there is a difference between someone who draws as a hobby and that of a professional artist. Yet in the professional art category some differentiate between styles and mediums as to what is an artist. I often hold cartoonists in as high regard as photo realistic painters or modern artist and the old Renaissance painters, art after all, is very subjective and often influenced by popularity. However, procuring a living from your work is only one of the variables as this goes beyond just merchandising your artwork. I’ve seen many amateur artists that I prefer over professional artists, some monetary considerations aside, I would maintain that the relentless pursuit and desire to express yourself in any medium defines an artist, which would be inclusive of graphic arts, music, literature, dance and combative arts.
The second part of this problem is much like the first, and it too can be very subjective. Although there are hallmarks, skills, and abilities that help define and establish greatness. Tenacity, determination, resolve are necessary elements for reaching the solution. In my opinion, it takes a balance between internal and external disciplines to establish greatness. Internally a martial artist should have intimate knowledge of the skills that define his or her art. Coupled with this is the desire to seek and refine knowledge. Yet having great knowledge without courage, sincerity, benevolence, the desire for justice, and respect for others leaves an artist in a position of deficit.
While physically being well rounded, and diversified in the areas of strength, endurance, and flexibility is beneficial. No one has a perfect balance as we all have areas that show our hidden strengths and weaknesses. So, having a kinetic sense of these elements in ourselves and others also helps assess martial artists throughout our lives. After all, the ability to adapt to our environment around our shortcomings becomes more apparent as we age or need to recover from an injury or illness. We are martial artists despite our limitations.
Every day training is the perfect balance for establishing ourselves as great martial artists. After all, it proves to ourselves that we have the mental toughness to do one aspect of our training despite whatever setback we are going through. Every day training can be applied to our weak points or our strong points and one of the greatest benefits of all is that it can vary from day-to-day. This at least keeps the rust from forming on any specific skill set that is not in our prime focus. As to having a prime focus, I believe this is determined by the individual's preference and overall natural abilities. Make sure that you establish greatness in this one area. Make sure that your technical knowledge, physical training, and mental strategies, overlap to aid in establishing world-class proficiency. Last but not least, do your best to help those around you.
“Instead of trying to do everything well, do those things perfectly of which you are capable." Bruce Lee