Thursday, May 19, 2011

The potential of each person

Jigoro Kano, Gichin Funakoshi, Morihei Ueshiba, Chojun Miyagi, Masutasu Oyama, Kenwa Mabuni, Anko Itosu, Hironori Ohtsuka, Yu Niu and Ng Mui. What do all these names have in common? If you study any type of martial art you will be at least familiar with some of these names. What they all have in common is that at one point in time they were all unknown students.
This very short list is not by any means comprehensive and I deliberately left out names and styles, not that they were any less pivotal to the development of martial arts, but for the sake of being concise, otherwise this would be a post of names.
Each one of those mentioned above (and no they aren't all male) has had a far reaching impact that is felt even to this day. In their time they weren't exactly notable or even famous. Some of them may have been known, but most of them studied in relative obscurity with the goal of perfecting the art that was handed down to them. In their time, training was viewed as a normal part of life and was devoid of mystique, it was simply part of their make up and was done diligently and with intensity.

So how does this pertain to you? If you are an instructor, then you have to understand that EACH student that trains with you, has the potential of impacting thousands of others as a direct result of training with you. You should possess the vision to see that the student that trains with you each week can, if they continue, can go on to transform the lives of many others. Each of those named above understood that to be a transformational agent in the world, they had to be willing to sacrifice personal ambitions and desires for the good of the many. This is your role as an instructor of a martial art.

If you are a student(and this applies to the instructors as well) then you should be cognizant of the fact that each of those listed above were men and women just like you. Which means that everything they achieved is accessible to you as well. The only caveat being that you must possess the same level of dedication, intensity of focus and willingness to train as they did. Qualities that are not the easiest to cultivate, but that are not impossible to attain either.
Each person is a potential multitude. when viewed this way, every time you train, every interaction you have with fellow students and instructors will enrich your life to a greater degree.

Teachers open the door but you must enter by yourself-Chinese proverb

strong spirit-strong mind-strong body

Sensei Orlando