Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Humility and the Martial way

One thing I noticed when I studied Tae Kwon Do was the black belts.  I admired they’d “made it”.  When I asked, they would almost say the exact opposite: “No, I haven’t made it, I’m just beginning to learn”

Is this some type of Zen stuff!?  you are a Black Belt!!

Today let me share three things I have found:

  • We are on a journey
  • It’s not a sin to be ignorant, but should be one to remain
  • We are life-long learners

Christianity is not a destination it is a journey!

Lo and behold, years later I FINALLY understood what they meant!  Earning a black belt is no easy task.  Then you realize that black belt is not a destination, it is only one stop on a JOURNEY!
After my first stop, I understand that we never stop learning; even more so when you go to 1st Dan or higher!
Shouldn’t it be this way in every part of life?  As a Christian I realize that it takes only a moment to become a Christian with the prayer of salvation (Accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior)  but it takes an entire life to become a saint!

I had the opportunity to attend a karate seminar with my teacher Kyoshi Wilcox. The attendees were good old Okinawan Kenpo people.  I met instructors I had heard about and participated in the weapons seminar.

This is when I had to practice what I preach.

It's not a sin to be ignorant (but should be one to remain)

I love the way of the empty hand, but it is necessary to also know the traditional weapons.  This is an area that I know that I am deficient with.  Just as I said earlier in Opportunities, this is a chance to learn and behave as I have been taught.  There I was with lower ranking belts, (sometimes we can learn more from beginners than intermediate levels.  Think: basics are that important!) 
I am a black belt, I should know Kobudo. It was time to get serious as this is a requirement for advancement.  This is also an excellent opportunity because my Sensei is the best Kobudo man in the Mid-West!

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We are life long learners

So, here I am, with a bunch of lower ranking belts, and a few looking at me (for direction?) I flatly said I don’t know weapons, then went on not to let the awkward moment result in pride or humiliation welling up.  I know that if I can get the sequence of a kata, I will hone the points down to where they go and learn bunkai as well.  If I passed belt tests, and can teach and speak to 8 classes a week, I can surely do this!

With God’s grace and emptying out pride I learned humbly along with two blue belts and a yellow belt.  Pride has no place in Karate… nor in the church.

Just look at three scriptures:

  1. James 4:1-10, but specifically verse 10
  2. I Corinthians 10:12 (in context with 9:27-10:13)
  3. Proverbs 16:18

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