Friday, October 11, 2013

"The way is in the training." ~Musashi

"If someone asked me what a human being ought to devote the maximum of his time to, i would answer, 'Training.' Train more than you sleep." ~Masutatsu Oyama

I was fortunate some time ago, i believe i was in college at the time, to read the book Living the Martial Way by Forrest E Morgan. One of the chapters in that book was about training like a warrior trains and it is from that chapter that i learned the quote above. His point was that if one wishes to be a warrior one must train as a warrior does. He suggested six days a week and a lot. I took this lesson to heart and started at that time keeping a journal of my work outs. It was at this period that i started using my heavy bag with religious fervor. I would do round after round, every day and it has continued until this time. I like to do a base of eight three-minute rounds every day to keep up my cardio and fitness so that i can do whatever i want and not have to worry about fatigue stopping me. That is the base so i don't really count that as part of my work outs. On top of that i add resistance training, skill building, running and the like. The point is, after reading that book, training to me became as important as eating, breathing, working, etc. In short, it is a priority.

Training for me involves martial arts and fitness because that is my passion. It goes beyond that though. I am also a bit of a skill junky so i also like to practice new things i learn. I noticed early on that it is easy to put things off. Many people want to do things and then wait on starting them and in that waiting, years can pass. You never know how much time you have so if you wish to work on something get at it.

Training is how we forge ourselves. We have to practice things and this goes beyond skills or talents. We also need to train ourselves to be the people we want to be. In philosophy class at Rutgers with Professor Bruce Wilshire we talked about a philosopher who escapes me that said you had to practice to be a moral person. I practiced things like not cursing, and not having an age. It took some time but i was able to shape that. I also practiced looking at the world in a positive way. These things are not easy and they take time but you can train yourself. We have the capacity to look at ourselves objectively. In the same way that i can use a mirror to see that i am not keeping my hands up when i fight, i can start to try to notice when i allow negative thoughts to begin to dominate my outlook. You can also notice when you send negative words or posts out into the universe. First step is to notice, then don't say or put the negative thing out there. It takes practice and it is difficult, but so is anything that is worth while.

I know that some will look at this and say, "this is not possible for me." I do believe that anything is possible and the first step is just not to say that. Don't make the words actual in the universe. Even if you don't believe it, make a conscious effort to say that it is possible. Words have power. Those of you who are my actor friends know how powerful your words and acting choices can be.

I was playing a charcater at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire named Hans Talhoffer, a historical fight master and my friend was the Duke of Northumberland named Harry Percy. He came to me on the streets one day and said that he was tired. From the truth of that character i turned to him and said, "Hans and Percy never tire!" We then, for the rest of the season made the character choice that those characters do not get tired. It worked. We ran around like mad men and have been doing so ever since. At some point i realized, that if i could do that for a character at the Renaissance Faire, i could do it in real life too. I made a character choice for myself that i never tire, and for the most part, it works.

It took training, it took practice, but it works. In the early days i would have to tell myself when i started to run down that i never tire. At first, it was me acting, not going to lie, but our thoughts have power. After awhile, my body believed it.

Train adventurers! Find your passion and practice it. If there is something that you want to change about your situation, some skill you want to learn, do it. Choose to be a hero and you will be. Sometimes we are not yet ready to make that choice, but from experience, it is possible.