When one practices martial arts, one is not just practicing an activity. One is starting a journey. They represent the journey we go on when we pursue something better, something greater, something higher than where we currently are. We face trials and tribulations. We lose confidence in ourselves. We, sometimes, lose our sense of meaning.
One of the main benefits of being able to go on a martial arts retreat is being able to disconnect.
To disconnect from our “regular” world and to start to connect with a different way of being. Even just different scenery can be beneficial for the mind. To move from a city scape to, for example, the jungle in Thailand or Brazil, can be electrifying.
To learn an art from a native practitioner, in their homeland, is an experience like none other. The truth of the art, the feeling – the attachment to something greater than oneself.
A great coach once said, ‘In your training, the most important thing you can do is to work on things that you can take with you when you die.’
The black belt is not about the piece of cloth you tie around your waste or the certificate you put up on your wall. It’s about the person you become to earn it. And nobody can ever take that away from you.
When we get a chance to get away, especially if it’s for an extended period of time (3 weeks or more), we start to develop a connection with wherever we’re located. It’s this connection that will help us to continue to grow and contribute in this world. It’s about finding a community, and giving back. Life is like that sometimes.