People just don’t get it. If you are a serious martial artist, you won’t let anyone mess with your martial arts. Training time is sacrosanct. It has to be done every day and takes priority over any other mundane tasks. Lessons and seminars are the same, they go in the calendar first and unless it’s VERY important everything else is arranged around them. Family and friends need to understand this.
Why is this? Why is it so important to us? The reason is that it’s what makes and keeps us what we are. Every day we methodically work on body, mind and emotional intelligence, every day is a progression and this is key to making us a better person. The warrior mentality means that we keep going against all odds, unwittingly or not other people are forever trying to alter our priorities and guiding us towards apathy, laziness and distraction, but we persevere. Exceptional people have to do exceptional things. Others have to accept us this way or walk away. Those that understand this are true family and friends.
Drink my beer, eat my food, take the piss out of my clothes, behaviour and habits – but do not go anywhere near my martial arts. Respect between ‘proper’ martial artists and for each other’s arts and styles is important to us. Those that don’t have that ethos, that haven’t been schooled in the etiquette, manners and respect that are inherent in a traditional system won’t get it. Social media is awash with ‘casual trainers’ and ‘suburban samurai’ who are quick to take the piss out of that which they don’t understand, with the arrogant idea that if you don’t train like them and think like them you must be an idiot and can’t see where the ignorance and idiocy really lies.
Martial arts are based in humility and respect for others. A good martial artist is comfortable in their skin and is able to show patience, kindness, tolerance and compassion alongside the courage, resolve and determination they have trained.
Martial artists are a breed of their own, following a tradition that has been passed down through the ages from instructor to student in an unbroken line, the techniques may change, but the underlying ethos doesn’t. Because we develop emotional intelligence, we will always take the time to care for others and despite the difficulties we make the best loyal friends and family that anyone could ask for.