If some of you know me, you would know that I am a huge martial arts fan and both a Taekwondo and Muay Thai practitioner. I have been doing Taekwondo for 8 years and Muay Thai for 2 years. A lot of my friends that started martial arts with me have stopped practicing. I am one of the rare few that continued on. So what is it in martial arts that make me so crazy over it?
Firstly, martial arts, other than a great way to exercise, is a great way to learn values such as humility, perseverance and self-control. However, today I am not going to talk about these…
One key teaching in all martial arts is that it teaches us to overcome ourselves. Martial arts is a process of continuous growth where the greatest enemy is not the opponent but always yourself. As such, trainings are seldom about overcoming your opponent but more so about overcoming yourself. You can do a side kick at the mid section? Good, next time try doing a side kick to the head. You can box for 2 rounds? Good, next time push yourself to box 3 rounds.
In the world of martial arts, there’s no such thing as ‘good enough’. It does not allow status quo. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. Growth, I feel, is something natural that we should expect of ourselves. In fact there is obviously something wrong if someone has been practicing martial arts for years and still can’t do a simple punch! To be better, we need to constantly push ourselves!
While inevitably, our bodies will start to fail, our character and spirit should still continue to grow. A stagnancy in growth is unnatural and even alarming. If you ever have a child, would not you expect your child to grow and able to speak by 2 years old? I would be really worried if the child still can’t speak by his 4th birthday!
So, let us examine ourselves and see how much we have grown. I cannot be the same selfish, impatient person I was few years back. Perhaps in the past I limit my service to God in some small areas but years down the road, my capacity and willingness to serve must increase. The gifts God has given me cannot remain the same, it must grow as well so I can serve Him more effectively. We cannot hide our talents and return Him the same.
I pray that far from it be that we remain stagnant in our spiritual walk. Let us view following Christ as a process of continuous growth that we may continually be sanctified by His spirit till the day He comes!