Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of my involvement in the martial arts, having started on December 2, 1982. I know that it was that date as I distinctly remember that it was the first Thursday of that month and year. As reflected in the earlier post about my martial arts biography, I started out in Kwan Ying Do Kung Fu and beginner’s classes took place every Thursday night and we were expected to work on the stances and forms outside of class, which I did diligently. In any case, it’s hard to believe that I have now been involved in the martial arts for 25 years and marvel at how I have evolved over the years. I also ponder about how much more I would like to learn as there is so much more to learn.
One of the things that I think about often is “have I done as much to fulfill my martial arts potential?” I feel that I have not and hope to squeeze more out of myself, martial arts wise for the next 25 years (assuming that I make it to the age of 68!). I have never really felt that I have reached my martial arts potential and would like to keep pushing my limits further. In short, I’m never satisfied. Am I as good as some of the martial arts masters I’ve met out there? The answer is a resounding NO….and, in addition, I just might spend a few minutes on the floor laughing my guts out at the notion that I’m anywhere near the skill level of many of the teachers I have met and trained with over the years. But, hey, that’s the point, isn’t it? When I look at those teachers/senseis/masters/guros/grandmasters I have met over the years, I become inspired to train more and read more and watch more videos in an effort to push my skill level and understanding to a higher level.
Like many people in the martial arts, I am inspired by Bruce Lee, who unfortunately died at such a young age. It appears, from the countless magazine articles and books that I have read about him, he did more in his short life time than most people do in their entire life. He was constantly exploring, researching, and analyzing the various aspects of the martial arts. He was very much into “the art of expressing the human body” and pushing his martial arts potential ever higher and higher. Even if he had never acted in TV or in the movies, he still would have left a lasting impact on the martial arts through his writings and thoughts and research on the martial arts. He left behind an impressive body of work through high ranking students. In any case, the thing about Bruce Lee that fascinates me is that he was not content to just merely teach and pass along what he discovered, but that he was always pushing himself physically and exploring his own limitations. That is the inspiring aspect about Bruce Lee.
There are many other martial artists, besides Bruce Lee, who I have admired greatly over the years and have pushed themselves in a manner similar to Bruce.
So starting tomorrow, I hope to be able to push my physical limitations further martial arts wise and deepen my understanding of what I know and hopefully expand my knowledge in the years to come. Thanks to all of those (teachers and students alike) who have taught me over the years.