Last Saturday, I got to reconnect with a long time friend, student and teacher Michael Fugate at his dojo in Santee. It was great to see his students work on their Tai Chi and see how he continues to propagate the true arts. After all these years, I realized that when we don’t take care to make time for our friends life will sweep you away.
To all my former students, please take a moment to send me a message if I haven’t reached out to you. It only takes one person to start a conversation and I tend not to be that individual. Each of you have made my life a little richer just by knowing you. As for GM Fugate, I think I learned more from him than I ever taught him. Martial arts training always attracts the best kinds of people.
Train hard. Train often. Train with intent.
When we try something new we are nervous. This is because we feel that if we make a mistake we’ll feel foolish. The problem with this type of thinking is that everybody is a beginner at everything sometimes. Michael Jordan wasn’t born with a basketball in his hands. In fact, Michael Jordan was kicked off his freshman team in high school after tryouts because he wasn’t good enough to be on the team. He used that “failure” to go on to becomes a basketball legend.
What’s important to remember is that mistakes are the stepping stones to success. What we fail at today we become good at tomorrow. It takes courage to try something new, then continues to try when we haven’t become good at it yet. Like the Home run kings, Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa will tell you even if you miss hitting the ball five times in a row, if you keep on swinging, you’ll get your hit. Babe Ruth was the champion homerun hitter, but he struck out 1,333 times during his career.
Nothing is gained without taking a risk, and it takes courage to take a risk. Even a risk with less than successful results can help you learn a lot about yourself and what you’re trying to do. Courage is an important part of learning to be a martial artist. In fact, learning martial arts and learning about courage can sometimes be the same thing. Courage is learned as you journey through your lessons in martial arts.