People are always impressed when they find out that I am a martial arts instructor. Unfortunately, I do not really care about impressing people. This is a cruel trap, because if they are impressed enough I can teach them, but I don’t really care to impress them.
When I first began studying the martial arts, this was a long time ago, and I was quite taken by these quick moving ninjas in pajamas, but what kept me going was that they talked to me. I mean, they were tough, focused individuals, and yet they took the time to sit down and laugh and joke with a young kid. I always remember this, from the early days, and try to make it part of my behavior.
Now, that said, there are four reasons why I teach the martial arts. I am speaking from the viewpoint of instructor here, so you will probably find what I say a little different than what you might expect. Still, you might find my reasons enlightening.
One, I teach for the power it gives me. The thing is, I am not speaking about power over people, I am speaking about the power I feel with the health of my body and the clarity of my thought. While comrades grow old and fat, use walkers and oxygen tanks, cannot even bend over to tie their shoes, I run up the stairs, eat what I want, and am as active today as I was forty years ago, when I was but 19.
Secondly, when I teach it empties me. Now this is really quite something, when I teach somebody, if I have been true in my instruction, then I am suddenly empty, and in that emptiness I learn things. It is almost like I have shoved a book off a table, so there is room for another book to be placed upon the table, except that we are talking about knowledge being shoved out of the mind here.
Three, I teach so that I can get outside myself. I am not the attacker nor the defender, but I am both, outside of them, and this gives me a viewpoint that is almost totally unknown in western society. There simply is no practice, even of teaching, in western society, that gives this viewpoint.
Four, I teach so that I can relate to the world in a more realistic way. I see so many people who are filled with talk, but don’t really see the world, and certainly can’t communicate about that real world. Teaching the martial arts develops a commitment to a deeper level of communication, an intuitive type of communication, a zen communication that is so much more natural to beingness and existence.
So, there it is. Not all martial arts instructors have my same reasons, but you can bet they have reasons similar in scope and magnitude. Always know that whether somebody teaches the beautiful and exquisite arcs and forms of shaolin, or the inspiring internal energy of wudan, or the die hard combat oriented Krav Maga, or just fun and sweat soaked sportsmanship like one would find in the mixed martial arts, there is a depth of personality that they are pursuing, and that it wouldn’t hurt you to similarly pursue.
Al Case has taught martial arts for 4O years. A writer for the magazines, he is the originator of Matrixing Technology, which makes the martial arts perfect. You can find out about Matrixing at Monster Martial Arts.