A Sense Of Completion

Another year has come and gone. Has it been different for you than previous years? Do you remember the good and the bad, the challenges you faced and how you dealt with them? Did you learn, did you change, or will 2006 be just more of the same?

People love to know when something is ending: the end of the day, the end of the week, the end of the big project, etc.

Many things are started, but few are completed or seen to fruition. It is noble in itself to finish what we start. It builds confidence to have a sense of completion.

In school we are told to get that diploma; that precious piece of paper, but were we educated? On a challenging project we can’t wait to be beyond it looking back, hopefully relaxing. What is unfortunate is few realize that it is during these most challenging times that we are most experiencing fully living.

One day, we’ll each be on the far side of everything in our life as we face the end of it. You don’t just want to ‘get it over with’ do you?

Real martial arts is such a parallel to life itself. So many who practice think that the next technique, the next form, the next level is where it’s at. It is, when you get “there” and make it “here”. The flaw in that thinking is that what you are practicing “now” is what’s “here”. And that is all that you need to be concerned with in order to get “there”.

Imagine an important exam in school or project at work. When you fully engage yourself in the process you can truly perform at your best. If you worry about what grade you might get or how others might judge your project it is not possible to be fully engaged in the process. You are not doing what you’re doing. You’re mind is in a possible future that you are fantasizing about. It is not reality.

Any martial artist who has truly developed through the practice has put their heart and soul into what it was they were doing as they were doing it. If they are practicing a side kick, they make it as real as possible. They feel every nuance involved: the balance; the power; every detail of the technique.

Through fully engaging in the process, every thought, every feeling, every part of your being, it becomes a habit that applies to everything you do.

When all you are concerned with is finishing, or what’s next, you will miss the whole process. You will miss the most important part of the practice itself. In life, you will miss actually living.

We grow and develop in tune with our challenges and efforts. An advanced form is only made advanced by the practitioner performing it – due to experience. We can turn Kung Fu into dancing if we choose due to our impatience. Or, we can continue the tradition that has been passed down to us for thousands of years. One that permeates everything you do: of the body – mind – and spirit.

Author:

Shifu Ahles
Shifu Raymond Ahles, the owner and Chief Instructor of the Blue Dragon School, is a certified instructor of Ba Gua Zhang Kung Fu & Chi Kung and a 7th Generation Lineage Disciple in the Ch’iang Shan Pa Kua Chang Association. In addition to his 30 years plus teaching experience in the martial arts, Shifu Ahles also holds a B.S. degree in Exercise Physiology, he’s a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has an extensive background in the healing arts of Oriental Medicine including certifications in Advanced Amma Therapy, Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture. He is a licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist in NJ.