30 Days of Liberation | Day 19

Martial Artist

What makes a martial artist? I recall a distinctive moment in my journey, about 15 years into my martial arts exploration, when I
realized that something had changed. Something clicked into place which
gave me a sense of liberation. It was the realize that I was no longer
attached to a particular style. I became a martial artist.

We work so hard, for many years, to obtain that standard of excellence
that is the black belt. Then we spend much more time trying to liberate
ourselves from that sense of pride, accomplishment, and identity that
comes with it. As I explored arts that did not require a gi or belt, it became easier to trust more in how I performed versus your rank.

As time has gone on, I have become more clear about what was important. For me, the artist comes first. Secondly the art. Finally, the style, history, lineage, etc. This philosophy allows me to use these arts for real transformation, which in my opinion, is what they are best used for in our modern age.

Do the arts you practice force you to attach to a style, lineage or fixed way of being, or do they bring you liberation, self realization
and transformation?

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