Why do some people practice a martial discipline? In general: what is the value of being faithful in training and practicing in a world that seems to cancel every kind of certainties?
Sports activities have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Within them, disciplines that foresee a physical contact, such as martial arts, have been even more penalized. First to be stopped, last to be entitled to start over.
Yet, although with strong setbacks, the movement has not died. In some cases, the obligation to invent new places for outdoor practice has also made it possible to make the spirit of the disciplines more and better known to many who, up to that moment, did not know anything about them.
We can say it was a training session that lasted a couple of years.
But training needs to be useful for something else.
On an extended level -in economics one would say: on a macro level- it could be that the years spent trying to navigate the narrowness of the pandemic served as training to try to sail in the storms of a crisis of greater dimension. We all hope that it will be short and that dialogue and diplomacy can ensure peace and well-being for everyone. But no one can pretend that the sea of the next few times will be calm.
Optimism means sometimes also knowing how to understand history books and despite everything preparing for tomorrow, which will come, no matter how dark will be the upcoming storm.
In order to be prepared for tomorrow, you can only start from today. And today there are infinite spaces in which you can be able to build the person you are and polish that diamond with the unique characteristics that each of us is.
The practice of a martial discipline does not give magic wands but creates the conditions to build one’s own good – and consequently, the basis for the common good.
The repetition of the exercises, the gradual understanding of the principles, the acceptance and challenge of the physical, emotional and relational limit that is experienced in every exchange within the couple, resemble the incessant work of building bees .
Which, flight after flight, cell by cell, build a solid structure based on simple, almost banal elements. What’s smaller than a tiny wax hexagon?
The same can -and actually does- happen in a martial discipline.
We all want peace and hope to live in peace but many of us live as if they were bees who, instead of building their own cell, start doing everything else. One to make cells every day of a different shape, the other to claim that bees must free themselves from the slavery of honey, others to pose as wasps, others to try to extract nectar from stones and so on.
Martial practice offers the great privilege of being able to give a name and a face to those responsible for an action. A name and a face that is mine; the other is that of the person I practice with.
It’s a small detail but it helps to get out of the schizophrenic dynamic of only knowing how to complain because the world is falling apart. Starting to let your existence being a little less messed up means cultivating today so that our tomorrow may flourish a little more.
The common good starts here, with simple gestures. With the courage of a bee that tirelessly repeats the shapes that give structure and solidity.
If a bug can do it, why don’t we try it too?