Thursday, April 03, 2008

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Finding the way ...

Listening to our inner voice is something that is perhaps more difficult to do today than at any other time in history. Today’s world is so full of imagery, advertising and clutter that it is no wonder many people have trouble distinguishing their own inner voice from the torrent of noise that assaults us from without.
Perhaps, this is partly the reason why I love to get away every now and then, deep into the wilds, where the sounds of nature seem to amplify rather than dampen my inner voice.
What are you passionate about? What are the things that get you moving; what gets you up off the couch; what gets you thinking? These things are all fuel sources that propel us along the road that winds through the most meaningful and fulfilling parts of our lives.
In times past, in tribal societies, there was more often than not, a ‘rite of passage’ that marked the end of childhood and the beginning of life as an adult. In today’s society, this ritual is missing. When have I found my way? Who am I? When can I rightfully call myself an adult? These are some of the questions that today’s youth ask of themselves – and in many instances, are finding difficulty in coming up with meaningful answers.
In the world of martial arts, the Black Belt represents a kind of ‘rite of passage’ – a maturing, a beginning to a journey on a more challenging and rigorous road. The Black Belt is a symbol of ‘combative adulthood’; in my mind it is a commitment to living by a standard of excellence that allows us to leave our more childish past behind. For me – it signposts the beginning of the way.
JBW

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1 Comments

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John,

I was taught during my initial training in martial arts that the most senior instructor could also wear a white belt. Signifying the completion of a cycle and representing that in order to be a great teacher that at its heart is a great student. I attained by Black belt with a standup style and have just discovered Bjj at the age of 37. I have been training with Tyrone Crosse, I have lost 8 kgs, I have a renewed sense of energy and invigoration. For me to put on the white belt again and be just one of the guys was extremely refreshing, cathartic even clensing. For me a Martial Artist regardless of their level has this responsbility (mentioned in your post). Being able to relate to people in different arts both as a teacher and as a student has taught me a great deal about the standards of which you blog.

Cheers,
Wilko

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