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  • Writer's pictureSean Flac

If life was a knife...Part 1 - 3

Hey guys! Hope everyone is well. This one is going to be a little deep so bear with me. If you don't know, I really love Martial Arts. Now I've trained in many styles and have many masters. I say "have" and not "had" because even though I may no longer train under them I still hold each and everyone of them in high regard. The inspiration for this open ended series comes from my Sifu posting on FB about how parents view martial arts as an activity. Not really appreciating the life lessons that are taught while taking martial arts. I wanted to share a few lessons I've learned while training. One of my favorite weapons is the knife. Now I'm no expert knife fighter by any means but I wanted to share some of the lessons I've learned while training with the knife and how they can be applied to life.

1. Respect the knife, I think this one is a no brainer. If you don't respect the knife you're most likely going to get cut. It's not a toy, so don't treat it like one. Also if you don't respect it enough to take care of it, when you need it it'll be rusted and dull. As in the knife when you don't respect your things enough to take care of them they tend to break down. If you don't tend to your car and get the oil changed the engine will eventually seize. If you don't take care of your shoes they'll break down faster and you'll have to replace them more often. Respecting things also include your relationships with others. Not too many people I know like being around disrespectful people. Also when you don't respect people's time they tend to not invite you to all the fun activities. Don't be that person, respect yourself and others.

2. Knife fighting forces to you engage in close quarters in order to be effective. You have to be comfortable in close distance but when you see a knife your first instinct may be to run. Knife drills may take you out of your comfort zone but as you continue training being in close becomes comfortable. Same as in life, you have to come outside of your comfort zone in order to grow and get better. So try new things, meet new people and visit new places. Going out of your comfort zone is the only way you truly grow, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Learning respect and the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone are two important life lessons. So while you're training to defend yourself you're inherently learning valuable life skills. You can't tell me that martial art training isn't worth the time or money. Or maybe you can but hopefully over the course of this series we can change that perception. Well that's it for now, thanks for stopping by and we'll see you in Part 2.

~ Sean Flac 2.0

Martial Arts and how it's not just an activity. We can take lessons learned and apply them to recent events. The results of the recent election have our country in a state of unrest so I have to look back to my training in order to regain my balance. The particular lesson is how Martial Arts promotes community. Most Martial Arts were developed by the people in order to defend their villages from bandits, raiders or in some cases the established government. When you were excepted into a Martial Arts school, you were excepted into the family. As a family you trained, worked and lived together. Your actions outside of the school were a direct reflection on the school and in turn the family. You were held to a higher standard if you wore the insignia of your school because your school's reputation was more important than your personal ego and pride. Some students even took the school's name as their surname to show respect and to honor the master.

As martial artists we spend our time training to be prepare for some event that hopefully never happens. Periodically we gather, we bring our hard work, our techniques, our heart and we FIGHT! Through the fighting we get to know our strengths and weaknesses, where we are solid and where are our holes. We punch, kick, block and dodge and when our endurance runs out, our heart takes over. We push each other to the limit and then we keep pushing. Some make it through, some do not. After the victor is determined, it's nothing but respect. We bow, bump gloves, shake hands or hug.

When we gather we promote each others philosophy on fighting, we exchange different view points on weapons and training techniques. Sometimes those views align sometimes they don't. But our intent on gathering and fighting isn't to find out who's best but to learn what we can do to be a stronger community of MA's. Some people will not agree with this philosophy but if you look back in the history of each martial art, most were developed by an oppressed people to defend themselves. They were developed strengthen and unify the community.

I want to apply the lesson of community I learned from training to the world at large. The results of this election have torn friends and family apart. I myself am having trouble with some of my friends because of their view points but I have to remember that at the end of the day we are all Americans, it's our right to have differences. We all live different lives and experience things differently. I remember my out of state friend lost his job when gas prices went down. I'm sitting here enjoying these low gas prices and he had to uproot his family to another state to find work. Of course he's going to have a different opinion on how he wants to vote. He's not going to vote against his interest, he has a family to take care of also. And in that, I can relate. We both want the same thing, we want to provide for our families the best way we know how. And having a certain leader in office can make that easy or a whole lot harder.

Just remember that you were friends before hand and you had something in common that made you gravitate to each other and form a bond of friendship. If you're really friends then you should be able to meet and share your experiences and try to find a common ground. Sometimes it's to agree to disagree, sometimes it's to walk away. Just be empathetic and listen to understand, don't listen to respond. Martial Artists are the only group of people that I know of where fighting is used to make us understand, it's used to make us stronger. It's teaches that it's okay to be different in our philosophies and techniques yet we are still the same. We all just want to be stronger and if we're stronger as individuals then we'll be unstoppable when we band together.

Martial Arts teaches many lessons, maybe some more embedded than others but there is

value in training. Thank you following this series. Share if you found value, you can drop me a line using the "about me" link on the page. Shout out to Esteller Mixed Martial Arts!! All the pics were from when we trained there. Thank you for all the lessons. (Click on the pic to learn more about Kajukenbo) We miss you guys! See you in Part 3.

~ Sean Flac 2.0

Hey guys after today's event in Karate I think it's a good place to end this series. So the purpose of this series is to show the importance of martial arts as more than just an activity. Well today during class the Big Boy was sparring and he got hit really hard on the face. He got upset threw his gloves to the ground and stomped off the mat. I immediately told him to kneel down and compose himself. I went to see if he was hurt anywhere and turns out he got hit in the face, stomach and back. But he was more upset that his sparring partner didn't go easier on him. This was not acceptable, after a brief talk I told him that life wasn't always going to treat him fair and in some occasions he was going to have to rise to the situation and push himself. Life will knock you down but you can't just give up and walk off. Lastly, in our society there will always be bullies. No matter where you go or what you do there will always be someone that will try to bully someone weaker than them. Or someone they perceive as weaker than themselves. So last but not least Martial Arts teaches how to defend one self and others around them.

I study Martial Arts as a way to better myself and to teach the Big Boy that there are things that are essential to learn that you cannot learn in the classroom. Martial Arts teaches so many lessons that can be taken all the way to the spiritual level. It teaches you to be humble, that life isn't always fair but through hard work one can over come obstacle. These are just a few lessons, I mean the list can go on but i'll stop here for now. Thank you for staying tuned and I'll see you in the next one.

~ Sean Flac 2.0

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