Resolution: Self Mastery. Year: 2015. How? Martial Arts

I had an individual email me this evening, who had purchased my (original) Ultimate Karate, Ultimate Bo, Chuks, and Tonfa DVDs 5 years ago. Not to put him on the spot or anything, but I felt inspired to share a bit of his story. Since buying the DVDs, he has practice and learned with them, always having the goal of being a Distance Training student, and taking rank exams – eventually earning a black belt. Things got in the way: mortgage, work, bills, family, illnesses – life. I completely get it. He said that he has fallen under some hard times as of late. He is ready to get prepared to take his first karate test. He made the decision to stand up and get his body in shape – and to follow the wisdom of the martial arts.

I greatly applaud his courage to stand up in the darkest of moments, not to cower and complain – but take a positive step. Training in martial arts isn’t just about self defense. It is not just for tournaments. It is not just to get in shape, or to bask in the glow of earning a black belt. I think that at the core of our being, we enjoy martial arts, because it leads us to self mastery.

I’ll let that sit with you for a bit. I am not talking about becoming perfect, or going after some radical religious ideologies – no, nothing of the sort. Just, good ol’fashionsed self-improvement, progress, and results. It feels good to get better, doesn’t it? When you train in karate or bo or krav maga – you enter a state of total focus. Your body + mind + spirit merge in the moment to deliver a perfect strike, deflect an attack, or land a reckless spin. The more you do this, the better you get at it. This level of self-discipline over your body naturally moves to the next area. Self-control – over your thoughts.

Your martial arts training then enters the daily world. It is not just a hobby, sport, or fun-activity; but leads to a positive progress in your daily life. Once you begin to monitor the pointless chatter, the bonding and repulsion to happy or sad events/emotions/thoughts – you realize your own personal loony-world, and you continue the self mastery. By becoming aware of your thoughts, and repetitive cycles, you step out of it. You can then move into a balanced area, which is very comfortable or serene.

Sorry for going so far into left-field. To sum it all up – this year – 2015 – I plan on seeing the bigger picture. I am going to train more often and harder than ever before; not just on the mat, but in waking life. My biggest enemy is myself, my thoughts, and my potential negativity. Watch out ol’ cyclical, lunati-cal, thought patterns  – here comes a round house kick. It’s time for me to sign off, and go do a Tai Chi class. On one of our DVDs of course.  Wishing you an amazing 2015. Like always, I am here to help you reach your goals.


About the Author

Michael Hodge has been studying the martial arts since age seven, earning black belts in Kickboxing/ Krav Maga (a blended style) and Sung Moo Kwon Do. Sensei Hodge never claims to be the best martial artist in the world; but to focus on teaching- helping others reach their goals. This outward energy on guiding rather than forcing has created a unique instructional style that thousands around the globe have learned from.

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