What Peace Can Teach Us About Courage

The idea of bravery gets tossed around a lot in martial arts.  Students show up to our program ready to take on the world and all the “bad guys” in it.  While it can be tempting to squash this idea early on, we’ve learned that life’s most powerful lessons are best unveiled through active experience.  This is never more true than when we’re learning about what courage really means.

Interestingly, this lesson isn’t discovered in big, over-the-top, action-hero moments, but in the more steady, day to day training to build our connection with the present moment.  Especially in a relatively safe time and place, the true definition of bravery needs time to take form.  In fact, in more trying and less peaceful times, it may be easier to develop ones most deep and powerful sense of courage and to act on it when needed.  In times like these, where most people seem to be doing okay and there is relative order to the world around us, I think one can slip into complacency without even realizing.

Queen Elizabeth II once said, “Today we need a special kind of courage. Not the kind needed in battle,
but a kind which makes us stand up for everything that we know is right, everything that is true and honest.”  Who could disagree?  We live in a time and place where it is easy to get caught up in a somewhat fabricated urgency, distracted from the social and environmental issues that need our attention and our support.

Martial arts training is about nothing if not awareness.  And the mere act of stepping away from our comfort zone and looking for ways to help make this world a better place, is the kind of courage these times demand.  It’s no different from pushing ourselves inside the dojo.  When we start to get good at the basics, we can get complacent and forget all the ways we could be better, stronger and more able to help protect those around us if we push ourselves to the next level.

This week in the dojo, we’re challenging ourselves to break through our perceived limits.  What needs attention, what can we improve, and who can we help?  Our theme, as you may have guessed, is “Courage” and our techniques of the week are:

  • Ukemi Review in All Directions
  • Koshi Sanpo or Throws and Pins
  • Escapes and/or Locks
  • Hanbo Kamae and Strikes

A quick heads up about dojo happenings:

  • Nature Adventures Summer Camps filling rapidly!   This amazing program for rising K-5th grade is held at Warrant Wilson College, just 15 minutes from downtown.  Learn More About Camp Here.
  • Our classes are almost all on waitlists, which tends to happen this time of year.  If you’re interested to grab a spot, now is your chance.  Sign up for a Free Class Here.
  • We’re offering a drop off event for kids on Saturday, February 17th.  So much fun for the kids and time off for you!  Space is limited.  Register Here.

Thanks for reading!  See you in the dojo.

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