No one will deny that training is difficult and demanding. In fact, it requires a commitment from very deep down in the soul. If you get to green sash level, I would say that commitment must turn to love and devotion for the art for you to advance further.
Through your years of conditioning and practicing the art, you will encounter setbacks. Very few of us avoid injuries, even chronic ones. You treat them or eat them, depending on their severity. You don't give in to them. You work through and around them. While some have criticized the sash system in general as unnecessary and an embellishment that has outlived its usefulness, it has its purpose; one of vast importance in the development of the student population.
Sash testing marks your progress and tests your grasp of the material taught to you. More importantly, it fortifies your will and resolve to continue in your endeavors, more confident at having overcome your fears and reservations that we all have experienced when we allow that negative tape to play in our head; the one that says you haven't got enough gas to get through the test, or enough stamina....in other words enough guts to put it plainly. When you have absolutely nothing left, that is when you must realize you have plenty more. You just don't know it. Your body is telling you a different story out of self preservation. This is where the will must take over, where you step in and play the positive tape that silences the negative one in your head.
Mind games are part of the interplay of life. When we impose them on ourselves we should realize what it is that we are doing.
Focus, concentration and mindfulness in all we do, in every aspect of our lives, involves the will. Martial training sets individuals apart from the average citizen because of the development of that quality of will. You decide to do something and unwaveringly set out to achieve it.
This is perhaps the most valuable lesson learned from your art. You will apply it over and again in your lifetime. It should give you the advantage you worked for and deserve by virtue of your loyalty and dedication.....not just to the art but to yourself.
Revere your teachers and give them the gift of your loyalty and never take them for granted. They have much to teach you and are driven to do so because the system must be passed on or it dies.
Will and courage, resolve and commitment are all close family members. Use these qualities that you have strengthened through your training.
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