You pay for your training by honoring the knowledge that is passed down to you and working on it, then passing it on to others. The satisfaction that you will derive is the satisfaction you will get from your relationship with your teacher and from your own hard work. This satisfaction is not “guaranteed,” but requires constant “payment” of time and effort. If you consistently do this work, your training will “pay you back” for the rest of your life.
Kung Fu is an awesome vehicle of learning to help you become the person that you’re supposed to be. It is a path and way of enlightenment, and that’s what I saw in those Kung Fu heroes when I was a kid. I thought it was their skill and all the external things, but what actually attracted me was their enlightenment, and that’s the real issue of Kung Fu.
For centuries, the Chinese culture has used Kung Fu to train people in mind, body and spirit, yet many of today’s martial arts schools overlook the mental and spiritual aspects of training. They sell only the “look” and the “kick-ass” part of martial arts but ignore the philosophical and disciplinary component. Because of this lack of education, and saturation by the media with other forms of martial arts, people today don’t understand what Kung Fu is.
Many teachers and students get caught up with the physical and forget that Kung Fu is a pathway to self-empowerment. The physical aspect of the art is actually a very small part of Kung Fu. It’s an art of the mind, of the body, and of the soul. When you play Kung Fu, you touch your soul.
Kung Fu has many philosophical and spiritual benefits that other physical exercises don’t have. Some of these benefits include increased focus, self-awareness, self-confidence, self-respect and self-discipline. So many of these benefits include the word “self” – why? Because your Kung Fu practice forces you to come face to face with your “self.” This is not always easy, but it is always worth it. The self-knowledge that you gain through your practice allows you to become a better version of yourself.
Kung Fu pushes you, challenges you and focuses you so that you can empower yourself. While everything else in our modern society tries to deflate you and bring you down, Kung Fu practice elevates you to where you’re supposed to be, where you deserve to be, so you can enact your true potential. Find the best version of you, through the practice of Kung Fu. What are you waiting for?
It’s a gorgeous, sunny day. Don’t forget opportunity cost. You might say, “What? What is that?”
With every action that you take there is another corresponding reaction. This happens in every aspect of the universe, as well as your own life. Each decision that you make, and the endeavors that you choose to embark on, have a direct impact on the outcome of everything that you do.
For example, today is the first gorgeous, warm, sunny day in many months. And many individuals will think, “Hey! Wait a minute, let me take the day off and go to the park, or go to the beach, or go for a drive, or sit in an outdoor cafe and enjoy my latte.” And that’s great, and you should. But keep in mind the opportunity cost.
And you might say, “What do you mean? It doesn’t cost me anything to go to the park, and I am free to do whatever I want.” And so you are. But be careful the choices that you make. Nothing in this life is truly free. In the end, you have to pay. You pay with your time, your effort, your energy and your mental focus. This is what is meant by “opportunity cost.”
What am I doing right now? I’m sitting on top of the rooftop of my school, enjoying the sun, and I’m preparing my lesson plan for this evening. I could easily call out. I could easily cancel my privates and ask my top instructor to cover my classes, but I’m not going to do that, because I know that by teaching my classes, I’m going to benefit and my students are going to benefit. We will learn from each other. There will be many more sunny days when I can take off, but right now I make the choice to stay focused and stay with my training.
When talking about training in martial arts, it’s a continual process. You can’t take a 6 month crash course. There’s no special technique that you can learn in a seminar that’s going to make you an unstoppable fighting machine or a grand master. It’s a matter of consistently putting in the time. If you choose to take that day off from your training, that’s already taking you one step back. If on the other hand, even though it’s a “beautiful day” you choose to continue and maintain your training, not only will you benefit directly at that moment in time, but, you are also accumulating knowledge and skill that will be paid back to you at a later point in time. And, you still have plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful day. No one trains for 24 hours straight. Just spend an hour or two on your training every day, regardless of rain, snow or sunshine, and over time, you, too, will understand the concept of opportunity cost.
In every endeavor, including martial arts training, the concept of opportunity cost comes into play. That means there’s a trade-off; you get what you pay for. You put in the time, and you’re going to reap the benefits.