There may be some giving opportunities that you’re overlooking.
The Martial Arts have many traditions going back hundreds of years. For some, maintaining the purity of the style in terms of kata movements, “secret” techniques, and wisdom is highly valued. Others value instead the infusion of new ideas, techniques, training, and insights from other styles and sources.
However a certain style of Martial Art flourishes over the years, there is one key aspect that they all share. The concept has been around for a long time, codified in the phrase “noblesse oblige”
Noblesse oblige is a French phrase literally meaning “nobility obligates”. It denotes the concept that nobility extends beyond mere entitlements and requires the person who holds such status to fulfill social responsibilities, particularly in leadership roles.
In the context of Martial Arts it signifies the expectation that a student becomes a teacher and passes on that which he or she has learned. Further, it suggests therefore that each student train and learn so as to become the best student he or she can be. And thus grow into the role of the best teacher that he or she can be.
This is the “Giving Back”, to one’s teacher, one’s system, and one’s students that this season may cause us to remember.
Are you performing what leadership actions are available to you?
Cleaning up the shared Dojo space? Listening with respect to your instructor? Modeling good behaviors for those of lower rank than you? Working with focus when you are training? These are all the behaviors of someone who is giving back…someone who is evolving from beginner student to advanced student to beginning instructor and beyond.
A new year of training approaches. How will you act differently in the Dojo this year?
Whatever you do, you’re on a path…where is your path leading?