The Exceptional Martial Artist


I want to talk to you a little bit about
the exceptional martial artist. What is it that distinguishes the person who
comes to the dojo for a year and becomes incredibly better? What is it that
distinguishes the average person from the person who commits their whole life
to martial arts? When you step on the mat, you look around the room and that one
person, he’s clearly better than everybody else or more committed than
everybody else, or just a joy to work with. Here’s the
deal — I’m not gonna tell you exactly what those things are, but I will tell you
some things to look for, you know, when you’re on the mat at JMAC. You want to
pay attention to the people who have really high ranks and are really
committed. You know, you look at Holland Sensei who’s just super energetic. Why is
it that he says “Hai” louder than anybody else in the room? Why is it that Gage Sensei, who has better credentials than anybody on the planet in Japanese martial arts, lines up all
the way at the junior end of the line when somebody like me is leading the
class? Why is it that when Shimizu Sensei comes with Nobetsu Sensei and
trains, there’s that ineffable, hard to pin down energy about what he does?
What is it that he’s doing differently? How is his mindset different, how is his
behavior different, what is he bringing to the training that maybe you’re not
bringing, or that other people who aren’t doing as well as they might aren’t
bringing? That’s the key. Start looking for those things. It’s easy enough to
learn the patterns, it’s easy enough to develop more power, it’s easy enough to
develop better balance, focus concentration, but to become that
exceptional martial artist — and believe me that’s where the really exciting
stuff is — you’ve got to pay attention a little bit more than you might expect,
and the place to look is at those people that are themselves exceptional. In our last video in this series — the
next one coming — I’m going to talk to you a little bit about becoming a full
member. That is what happens after your two-month trial period, when you’ve
decided yeah, I’m gonna commit to another ten months and really give myself to the
training, so that I can learn what it’s like to become a true martial artist.

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