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  • 8/17/2018 Think about this:
    I can tell you, straight up, I don't know what martial arts mastery is. I have my own ideas about it, of course, but could I write the definitive "Book of Martial Arts Mastery?" No, not yet; maybe never.



    What It is Not



    In my view of martial arts mastery, which is a collection of beliefs I have garnered from people, in and out of "the martial arts," who I recognize to be driven by ideas and beliefs that, to me, look like the kind of "mastery" I would like to have myself, there are a number of things I can think of that DO NOT reflect the mindset or behaviors of "A Master."


    Hate. I do not believe that a true "master," as in the kind of master I seek to be, is driven, motivated, compelled, or fueled by hate or any of its cousins.



    Anger. "Anger is an acid that does more harm to the vessel it is contained in, than it does to anything it is poured over." I do not believe that a master holds on to her anger for very long --or uses it to find peace or to help others.


    I would add the 7 deadly sins to the list; they are wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.



    I'm sure we could all think of some other things a master is not.



    Your Definition and Idea of Mastery, I Think, Has Everything to Do With the Company You Keep



    If you hang out with, Oh say, Thich Nhat Hanh, you're idea of mastery might be considerably different than if you hung out with Rush Limbaugh, yes? If you associate with people whose idea of supreme martial arts mastery is multi-school ownership and 5000 students, you're going to have a much different idea of what mastery is --and/or isn't --than if you hung out with Tom Callos.



    If your teacher is 75 pounds overweight and does not pay one iota of attention to his diet, you might have a different idea of how a master carries him/herself. If your teacher and/or your "village" of teachers emphasize education, or combat readiness, or competition, or "tradition" ---all of these things might have an affect on how you view the idea of mastery.
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