As a human being we all have goals and dreams. However, while most people believe that their goals and dreams are an important component of their lives, only a fraction of most humans achieve their goals and dreams. Why is this?
The achievement of goals and dreams requires many things. Among these, they require a lot of dedication and hard work or else they will never become a reality. The problem that arises is that the achievement of goals and dreams takes time. And if it is a very big goal or dream, it will take even more time. The factor of time, and the ups and downs of life that undulate throughout it, is the greatest force that stops people from achieving their goals. That is why one must be patient. The ability to endure through these difficulties and remain focused on the achievement of a goal is one of the most essential qualities in actualizing the individual’s dreams.
In the martial art world, there are many people who say, “I want to be a black belt,” or “I want to be a master.” Do these people really know how much patience and practice is required before these dreams can come true? In addition, how many of the people who say this, actually achieve these true rank with honor? Knowledge and wisdom take time and dedication, as well as great sacrifices. Just like all things, knowledge requires time for growth. Knowledge alone without having the time for maturity can be more of a detriment and becomes trite information, which only takes up space in one’s mind. It can take decades or even a lifetime before someone understands this wisdom and truly becomes a master. That is why without patience, these goals and dreams will never become a reality. One of the realities about martial art training these days is that one in a thousand black belts ever reach the true master level.
This statistic is true even while a grave situation has arisen in the martial art community. There are many individuals who do not have the patience required to achieve a true master ranking. So these individuals take an easy path by creating their own organization and self-promoting themselves to a higher rank. There are also many people who train from instructional videos, then mix the techniques from all of these videos, making their own “martial style.” These “creations” are not martial arts, and they destroy the public reputation of true martial arts. There is no substitution for hands on training directly from your teacher. Many little nuances is lost when one tries to teach themselves something as complicated as martial arts. The books and videos are all training aids, but cannot stand-alone. The philosophy, the development of character, the controlling and channeling of energies, the state of mind and spirit are all lost.
To truly earn a higher ranking, one must test in front of their founder, and if they deserve the next rank, then they should be presented with a certificate from their founder that proves their honorable rank to the public. Of course, this does not always ensure that they are great fighters, but it does ensures that they have sacrificed and accomplished the requirements, demonstrating their dedication, strong character, and perseverance. A soldier who lacks in skill can make up the difference with his/her spirit. This is art, not sport. The only thing that matters is not winning, but how we live our lives and what benefit we can be to humanity. Individuals who do not go through this true process and give themselves rank, are fakers with false pride who destroy the integrity of the entire martial art community. However, what if the techniques are not effective and your goal is to be the best fighter. In all traditional martial art systems, taken to its higher levels, the stress is on mastery and when it is mastered there is no need to think or feel, but it becomes a part of one’s being. This should be our ultimate goal.
Think for a moment, we are born into one family with one parents and whether we like it or not we must carry the family’s name until we die. For those of us who view the martial art as another family, this is also true. It is our duty to make the best of the knowledge we have gained. Of course, anyone can change, give up, and quit, but this action is a dishonorable one. We are only suggesting what is “Jung Do” or honorable way. What path you take is your own, but choose wisely. Remember, the only way to show that you are a true master is to have the dedication and patience to endure.