There are no superior martial arts, only superior martial artists.
“Upon these fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that, upon other fields on other days will bear the fruits of victory.” Famous words of General Douglas MacArther that are carved on the stone portals of the field house at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point.
You must choose to be a warrior, not a martial artist. (Don’t limit yourself to one doctrine of martial arts. Learn from various styles).
The goal isn’t to clutter your mind with detailed scenarios, but to free it for the task at hand. (Why we study so many techniques—so that it becomes second nature.)
Although it does not mindfully keep guard, in the small mountain fields the scarecrow does not stand in vain. Haiku by Bukkoku, c. 17th century (You want your execution of techniques to be like when you walk into a dark room and turn on the light switch without ever thinking about it.)
Strive for perfection, but allow excellence.
A reflection on a pool of water does not reveal its depth.
Nothing is to be feared, only understood.
A man who has attained mastery of an art reveals it in every action.
Be like a tree, roots buried deep into the ground, yet able to move with the wind.
“When people become police officers, they are given a gun. The new officers not only learn how to shoot it, but they learn how to be responsible with it, too. They learn how to handle it safely, when to use it and when not to. This responsibility is important because the power of a gun can hurt or kill someone. When I teach you karate, I’m giving you a weapon to defend yourself with. So I’m going to teach you how to be responsible with your weapon, just like police officers have to learn to be responsible with their weapons.”
Along with expertise in the martial arts comes confidence. If you are truly skilled and confident, you don’t need to show your abilities unnecessarily. Only a person who lacks confidence has a need to try to impress others by showing off and bullying.
Your martial arts knowledge only gives you an edge. It can’t guarantee your success in every fight.
A master is a person who can teach it, describe it, and do it expertly.
A martial art that has no rules is nothing but violence Kenji Tomiki
A Chinese story, kind of a Taoistic story about a farmer. One day, his horse ran away, and all the neighbors gathered in the evening and said 'that's too bad.' He said 'maybe.' Next day, the horse came back and brought with it seven wild horses. 'Wow!' they said, 'Aren't you lucky!' He said 'maybe.' He next day, his son grappled with one of these wild horses and tried to break it in, and he got thrown and broke his leg. And all the neighbors said 'oh, that's too bad that your son broke his leg.' He said, 'maybe.' The next day, the conscription officers came around, gathering young men for the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. And the visitors all came around and said 'Isn't that great! Your son got out.' He said, 'maybe.' You see, you never really know in which direction progress lies. Alan Watts
There once was a monastery that was very strict. Following a vow of silence, no one was allowed to speak at all. But there was one exception to this rule. Every ten years, the monks were permitted to speak just two words. After spending his first ten years at the monastery, one monk went to the head monk. "It has been ten years," said the head monk. "What are the two words you would like to speak?"
"Bed... hard..." said the monk.
"I see," replied the head monk.
Ten years later, the monk returned to the head monk's office. "It has been ten more years," said the head monk. "What are the two words you would like to speak?"
"Food... stinks..." said the monk.
"I see," replied the head monk.
Yet another ten years passed and the monk once again met with the head monk who asked, "What are your two words now, after these ten years?"
"I... quit!" said the monk.
"Well, I can see why," replied the head monk. "All you ever do is complain."
A man found that his
axe was missing, and suspected his neighbor's son of having taken it.
Observing the youth walking around, the man was convinced that his was the
walk of a thief. The youth looked like a thief and talked like a thief;
everything he did pointed to his having stolen the axe.