When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:
I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me
I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me
I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull
I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death
I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed
I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes
I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados
I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers
The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn
Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung
WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE
The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.
Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.
“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated.” - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources
“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames
“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne
Effort - Progress - Duration
I believer the time it takes to make a certain amount of progress and also as to the quality of that progress depends a great deal on many things with "effort" being a solid top runner trait. I also believe that effort actually becomes the byproduct of some other traits like diligence, intent, dedication, etc.
It is not just the effort displayed when in the dojo. It is an effort that will be evident when in the dojo that reflects the effort one takes when not under the watchful eye of Sensei and Sempai.
I remember my neighbor's young adult face when he asked me why he was not able to do things as well as I do. I told him it depended on the effort put into the system, the practice and the training. He looked at me with this puzzled face and said, "I work really hard at class, every time." I smiled and asked, "How often do you attend class?" He said, "Twice a week."
I had to sigh to myself and then tell him what it took for me to become proficient. I said, "If you practice every single day as hard as you can, if you follow the guidance of your Sensei at each and every moment of your practice with intent, diligence and enthusiasm you will get there. If you do this for a minimum of two hours every day for the next thirty four years you will get there - maybe. The look of incredulity was astounding to see. He just shook his head in wonderment not truly understanding that it takes a certain amount of dedication, commitment and hard work to get something worth while.
I have to say if he had pursued the matter I could have told him it was what it took for me to reach this level and it could take him much less time to reach the same level. He might have then come to understand that some things only come with time and that time span is unique to each individual. There are some aspects of training and practice that I tool about thirty years to realize and I am still realizing it as I progress.
Face it, martial arts or any worthwhile discipline takes time and lots of practice to achieve any real level of professionalism, proficiency and true understanding. It takes time + "effort."