An Exploration of Sacred Parenting and Education

Lessons from Martial Arts

In sports on February 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm

If you have a boy, I think it’s safe to say, at some point he’ll go through a martial arts phase, if he hasn’t been through one already. Some would continue and learn for years, other would drop out once the phase is over. I took my daughter to show her some Aikido over the weekend. She wasn’t impressed. I was though. I thought the fact that you had children from age 5 to 15 grouped in one class was not only enriching for their martial art skills but allowed so much opportunity for learning, mentoring and friendship. I realised this for myself when I was doing my PGCE (teacher training degree) and was in a group where I happened to be the youngest. There was so much to learn from everybody’s life experience and knowledge.  Institutionalised education system, much like a factory, groups people of the same age, and I feel in the process robs them of developing relationships with people of different age groups.  A community would work in a different way. Also, as a fresh graduate going to work in an environment where some people were almost three times older then I was, took some adjusting. There was however always something to learn both ways.

With all the martial arts heroes from Jackie Chan, Van Damme to Jet Li, the martial arts community I believe are unanimous in their agreement that none could match the stature of Bruce Lee. Some say, he was a martial artist in the true sense of the word and the probably to only one they know of.

I happened to watch two clips today and realised Bruce Lee was on a journey of self discovery and explored martial arts as a Sacred Art by reaching the level of the mystical or spiritual. To me he personifies the goal of education: to live with integrity and peruse a life long love for knowledge, from the cradle to the grave, and in the process transcend the false self to come to some recognition of Truth (al Haq).

How many of us can say we honestly express ourselves? In the clip below, Bruce Lee discusses the more esoteric dimension to martial arts with a Shaolin monk.

A few quotes from Bruce Lee:

  • A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
  • Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
  • I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
  • I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.
  • If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
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  1. If you have a girl, go ahead and have her learn a traditional Martial Art! Both my children (girl and boy) did Shotokan Karate-Do, they gained discipline and confidence in their body. They also learned control, timing, respect, integrity and how to perform in public. Karate is not aggresive, it is defensive.
    They both competed in Kata, form, and my daughter went on to compete internationally. My son stopped training after he received his black belt. My daughter went on to become a Third Dan. We love Jackie Chan. I highly recommend Martial Arts for boys and girls!

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