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Elevating Your Martial Journey: Absorbing Wisdom in the Martial Arts

The pursuit of knowledge in the Martial Arts extends far beyond the confines of training spaces—whether dojo, dojang, gwoon, or academy. True learning transcends the boundaries of styles and systems, originating from diverse life experiences, contacts, and interactions. The assimilation of this learning is what we term knowledge, and its judicious application is what transforms it into wisdom.

Martial knowledge is not confined to the teachings of a particular style or system, be it Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or any other. It emanates from interactions with peers, elders, juniors, teachers, students, and even our mistakes. Sometimes, profound insights arise not in the structured setting of a classroom but in casual conversations outside those four walls.

Embracing knowledge means recognizing that valuable lessons can emerge from outside the immediate sphere of your chosen discipline. Interactions with friends from Aikido, JuJitsu, Bando, Pentjak Silat, Savate, street fighting, boxing, or wrestling can contribute to your growth, provided you approach with an open mind. Rather than convincing others that your "tea" is superior, sip from each other's cups—allowing the richness of diverse perspectives to permeate your mind, body, and soul.

In the earlier decades, martial artists often exhibited prejudice or pride against other methods, missing out on valuable insights. Loyalty, while commendable, should not stifle the quest for holistic knowledge. Dedicate your allegiance to personal growth rather than a specific style, system, or individual. Encouraging students to explore various systems, respecting all parties involved, can foster a well-rounded martial artist.

The role of an instructor, ideally, involves retaining a student's mindset—always seeking better training methodologies and execution. Creativity, experimentation, and seeking expertise where one lacks are crucial aspects. Even a seasoned teacher in one field may need guidance in another.

Reflecting on my journey, I acknowledge the invaluable influences of my family, martial art instructors, school teachers, and friends. Each has played a role in my growth, self-improvement, and development.

The essence of martial arts, contrary to popular misconceptions, lies not in the destruction of opponents but in personal growth and perfection. Love underpins this practice—the love for life preservation, the love for safeguarding your body in combat, and the love for preserving the well-being of your family and friends.

As we navigate the vast landscape of martial arts, let our cups be vessels for continuous learning, absorbing the wisdom that transcends styles and systems, ultimately contributing to our holistic self-development.

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