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Connecting Spirituality in Training

Some may not look at training a self-defense art in a way, remembering its roots. Primarily due to the hobbyist nature of why many people start training, but it is hard not to after years of training, like me, with over three decades in the fighting arts. You understand that the skills we are learning derive from a time when death was at the fingertips of everyone during those feudal times. When you went to battle, it was a last goodbye for most. When you respect the present-day climate of war and sport, you cannot forget the essence of the arts and the mindset that you may begin to explore as you train.

As martial arts participants, why all may have different reasons for starting. Some parents may bring their children in due to bullying or for something else for the child to do other than play video games. Adults may have decided to get in shape as a practice for stress relief or to build confidence through self-defense.

Many of us work hard to provide our families with safe environments. In our best efforts, we do not want to live in dangerous, chaotic realities. The truth is that we can only protect those that we love from but so much. We must equip them with some sense of justice, right from wrong, integrity, or moral compass. Whatever you may call it based on your belief system. I am a Catholic Christian, and this has been the seed of my moral code which my martial arts experience has helped connect the warrior's way with my spiritual journey.

When I was growing up in Newark, NJ. You could not think everything was going to be smooth going every day; it was not the reality. But you could not let the predators around you see your concerns. For me, the scriptures in, Psalm 23:1-6 "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." (KJV)

Psalm 144:1 "Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:"

Reading this as I started my path in the fighting arts set the stage for me to understand that we're surrounded by things we can not control. We are, but on peace, in this machine, we call life.

To kill the thought that we are more than we are is to contain false pride. The virtue of being humble can not be achieved if you are the source of all things in your own life. We are solely the constant figures at the crossroads of the light and dark paths that rest in our decisions.

Meditation and prayer allow us to quiet the mind and make way for our subconscious voice to be heard. You know that voice in your head alerting you to something. You may not be sure what it is, but it activates your mind's fight or flight mode. In those moments of possible danger, it also connects you with a deeper understanding of central moments in your life.

Rest in the grace of the unknowing and accept the path you have been on, a training regiment that the ultimate warrior God has given you the ability to embark on. When you connect your mind, body, and spirit to your training, you are not constricted to the stress of thinking about what movement you must enact when time calls for it. You can rest in the void and be at peace with the father of all things; your inner being will manifest the correct response. Be a peaceful warrior.

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