The gradual mastery of one's body and mind through martial arts practice has taught me invaluable lessons about discipline and purpose that I carry with me for the rest of my life.
To share my personal story, I have been practicing various forms of martial arts for close to sixty years. Although I no longer engage in any type of competitions, I still find it has given me tremendous value from a health and spiritual perspective.
When I first began training, I struggled to perform even the most basic techniques correctly. Over time, with dedication and repetition, my movements slowly improved in speed, precision and power. I came to understand that true mastery requires discipline - the willingness to patiently and repeatedly practice the fundamentals until they become second nature.
This is something I try to apply to all aspects of my key learnings; be it on leadership development, business strategy, coaching and all type of sports. Discipline transforms intention into reality through consistent actions.
Beyond technique, martial arts cultivate self-awareness of one's purpose and intentions behind each movement. Every kick and strike comes from a place of focus and presence rather than force and aggression. It teaches me how to face adversity particularly when you are facing a strong opponent. The ability to stay calm and draw upon your inner reserve to carry on is a lesson you can only learn during a real situation.
Today, the discipline and purpose I discovered on the dojo continue to serve me well beyond them.
As Bruce Lee said, "As you think, so shall you become." By practicing martial arts, I discipline my thinking and purpose each day, sculpting myself into the person I strive to become.
I hope this will strike a chord to some of my readers. If you have practiced or are currently practicing any type of martial arts, I welcome you to share your personal thoughts with me.