The Key to Freedom in the Martial Arts

Over the weekend, members of Maryland Jeet Kune Do’s Chinese Boxing Team attended a scrimmage session of the Maryland Sparring Club at the Dragon Academy of Martial Arts in Lanham.

 

The session was open to martial artists of all styles and matches were available under all rulesets; from BJJ to Taekwondo to Boxing.

 

The MDJKD team got in several matches against various training partners and acquitted themselves well.

 

There is an old saying in Taiji, “Invest in loss”.

 

I observed a highly skilled member of a different school spar under an MMA ruleset.

 

I mentioned to Jason, a member of the MDJKD team, that this was someone he could learn from, especially if he lost.

 

Going against someone with superior skills and losing is not a defeat if it provides you’re the opportunity to learn.

 

They can expose weaknesses you weren’t aware of, holes in your strategy and tactics that you hadn’t seen before, and show you where you need to improve.

 

George Washington Carver once said “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.”

 

Born a slave, he was not allowed to attend school with white children after slavery was abolished.

 

As a young boy, he walked 10 miles and slept in a barn in order to attend a school for black children.

 

At age 13, he traveled 93 miles north to Kansas to attend another academy on his own, before fleeing the city due when he witnessed a white mob murder a black man.

 

By the end of his life, he had studied at several colleges and universities, become America’s foremost botanist, and a tutor to the Crown Prince of Sweden.

 

In my Jeet Kune Do training, I have lost far more than my fair share of matches and sparring sessions to people far better than I am.

 

However, by educating myself about each of those losses, I have seen my abilities grow.

 

We often want our meditation sessions to be moments of existential bliss, but that would miss the point of good Zen practice.

 

The days when you sit through distraction, through emotional turmoil, and anxiety, are the days you gain an education about your mind and find the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.

 

It is inevitable that there be some sort of conflict in every relationship.

 

But if you look at your arguments with your partner as a chance to learn about yourself and each other, then your collisions lead to growing stronger together, instead of just battles that tear each other apart.

 

There have been so many times in my business that I have run into obstacles and struggles.

 

Each one presented an opportunity for me to realize that I needed to learn more, educate myself more, in order to become the entrepreneur who could handle those situations.

 

“Education is the key to open the golden door of freedom.”

 

What is the one thing you need to educate yourself on this week in order to find freedom?



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