Beyond Mortal Combat
I asked some of my training friends what keeps them going in their To-Shin Do martial arts study. Why are you doing this? If you are not anticipating a lot of life-or-death fights in the next few weeks, what is the pull to keep on training? Give it to me straight. What is the pay-off beyond the exceptional physical combat efficiency we offer? My friend Russ Nemhauser sent me some heart-warming thoughts of how To-Shin training reaches beyond combat and addresses other realms of chance-taking and risky exploration.
Here’s what Russ had to say:
Since beginning To-Shin Do I have noticed that my personal growth has really taken off. I was growing and succeeding in my work life, something that nearly monopolized my attention for twenty years, but I was at a near stand-still when it came to personal growth.
At 37 years old, I made my first trip to Europe. While there I toured buildings that have been standing four times longer than the United States has been a country. I engaged with the locals in their culture and history. At times I could literally feel the bigness of where I was. I found it most invigorating. Ironically, for my first 30-plus years I had no interest in exploring other countries. Now I can’t wait to get out there and see more.
Since my trip I wake up in the morning eager to find ways to expand my horizons. I’m ready for new ways of thinking instead of the same old repetition. I like to use the Internet to learn more about why things are the way they are in today’s world. What happened? How can I use that information as a lesson before I need to learn that lesson?
When we’re bored by routines, it’s easy to become distracted by the next fancy car, the fastest new computer, or that next promotion and raise. Sometimes we begin to think those material goals are what life is all about. It‘s easy to forget that the toys often serve as a “treatment” for unhappiness. By the time you notice it, the daily grind defines your life and it can be difficult to break out and start a new, fresh path. The lucky ones realize that material rewards are a treatment and not a cure, and much like for an addict on drugs, the rewards need to get bigger and bigger in order for you to feel enough happiness.
To-Shin Do opened this door for me and helped me to realize new horizons. It helped me to think beyond the boundaries of what I accepted as my life. I encourage everyone to do what I’ve only just started to do: break the mental routine. Instead of obsessing over work tomorrow, spend 20 minutes feeding your own interests. It may be a book you want to read (or write), a long quiet walk, meeting new people, exploring areas you generally don’t frequent, or anything that isn’t part of your normal day. Do something fresh and stimulating. You’ll find something new and exciting to add to your life. I think you’ll be surprised at how good it feels to add to your internal toy chest new things that aren’t made of metal or wood and can’t be measured by money. It made me feel ten years younger, and I’ve only just begun.