It’s Our Responsibility To Teach The WAY By Our Example!
"Sooner or later you’re gonna realize, just like I did… There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."
"Knowing is not enough. We must apply; willing is not enough, we must do."
- Bruce Lee
"It’s easy to talk… and truth is, everyone has something to say. But the words that carry real meaning are the ones that are backed up by the actions that bring truth to those words."
- Master Z
I see it everywhere on Facebook, You Tube, Websites and in Martial Arts Industry Magazines: People talking about actions they themselves do not take. It’s evident by the their appearance, skill level and “real” overall success. People who live authentically is rare. I am referring to the kind of people who live what they teach. Yes, it’s tough but if you take on the role of leadership, you must be ready to take on the sacrifice and responsibility to inspire others authentically.
A martial arts teacher is a tough role for most to live up to, because this is a position that must be authentic. To teach the martial way, one must truly live it. By this I am referring to the two pillars of a martial artists, Self-Disciple & Self-Control; one does not work without the next. Listen clearly, I am not here to ruffle feathers or step on toes. If you read this with an open mind, you will see it to be true.
Let me give you an example: When we think of a man of God who has given his life to teach God’s words, what do we think and expect? Well, a Godly man, one who is good, generous, forgiving and follows the words as set by the religion they represent. We don’t expect the opposite, right? But if we see this being portrayed by a man of God, we lose the respect and that man loses everything that makes him who he is supposed to be. Yet, we see this in Martial Artists and teachers everywhere! A lack of self-Discipline and Self-Control!
As Martial Arts teachers we are not just coaches, we are leaders who live what we teach. We inspire others by our high level of self-discipline and self-control. If we are just like everyone else, then what makes us and the martial arts so unique? When I see martial artists drinking, smoking, eating poorly, and not keeping in shape it saddens me and upsets me because they are misrepresenting what we are suppose to teach and live.
Think back to where our martial arts warriors roots came from. From the Samurai Warriors and Shaolin Warriors/Monks who were by far some of the most self-disciplined group of men in the history of the world. It wasn’t just about combat, it was about everything. Bushido in Japanese and Wu-De/Mo-Do in Chinese is the warriors code that all martial artists should teach and live by.
So why is it okay today not to represent the way authentically? It’s NOT! But time has slowly accepted mediocrity from martial artists to be norm. If you have to hide something, you are not authentic. I believe martial artists have allowed business and making a living to be the excuse. You know, I have to pay my bills and I have to meet life’s other demands, and I’m getting older.
I close this with this:
I have always taught my students that as martial arts warriors you must earn your body and skills, and learn to enjoy or at least accept the sacrifice. The lessons that are the most evident and really inspire others are those you don’t have to teach, they are the ones seen with how you authentically live your life. Many say writing a book or coming out in a talk show will give you credibility, but truth is the only thing that will give you true credibility is demonstrating the two pillars of Self-Discipline and Self-Control in everything you do as a martial arts teacher, leader and warrior. Words are not as powerful as actions and I am referring to the actions that truly do inspire others to follow.
- Master Zamora