More than 400 years ago Shakespeare wrote, “No legacy is so rich as honesty.” Today, when people are questioned about the traits they look for in others, honesty is still one of the top two traits listed, but finding honest role models can be difficult. Children aren’t the only ones who need positive role models either; adults also need mentors to help guide them on the path to success.
Problems arise when people aren’t careful about those they choose as mentors. Sage advice has always been to surround yourself with people exhibiting desirable traits. However, that can be difficult, especially as you read about the downfall of highly regarded politicians, religious leaders and sports figures.Instead of looking at fame for inspiration, look closer to home. Your greatest mentor may be as close as the local Red Dragon school. A few codes of the martial arts include honesty, integrity, courtesy and dedication. These traits are ingrained in the black belt philosophy, and begin the minute students walk into our school for their first lesson.
Many people consider the martial arts to be sports, but they really are an art. Many different styles of martial arts have been around for centuries, because they instill the tenets necessary for societal coexistence, even in times of conflict. Those who attend a martial arts tournament for the first time may be surprised that although the participants are physically competing against each other, they still show courtesy and respect for one another. This is important, because many times they are competing against friends from their own school or competitors that they meet frequently at other tournaments. Even the martial arts practitioners who don’t participate in tournaments will probably spar or practice with their classmates in the dojo.
This is a very compelling reason for maintaining the civil doctrine that is associated with martial arts.
Martial arts is perfect for people who want a physical activity that manages to incorporate unquestionable traits that will cross over into other areas of their lives, while surrounding themselves with positive role models. With fans and players engaging in fights at many sporting events, it is nice to find an activity where honesty, integrity, courtesy and perseverance can peacefully co-exist with intense power and excitement. Since many of Shakespeare’s plays had “civilized” fights, and some quite humorous fights too, do you suppose history forgot to tell us that he wore a black belt?