What is being a martial artist and living
“The Martial Arts” Lifestyle?
I talk about lifestyle quite a bit, more specifically martial arts or the warrior lifestyle. So what is it?
I remember when I started training in martial arts; I was 11 years old and I started studying Kenpo Karate. My Sensei at the time had a “mat chat” with a group of us. There were 15 or so children in the group and Sensei had us huddle up for a story. Sensei started by asking us to imagine a set of twins growing up together in virtually identical ways. As they got older seemingly small differences started to emerge. One of the twins would get up early every day and review the school work he had done the day before and make sure he was fully prepared for the day ahead. The other twin would sleep in and rush to get ready at the last minute, sloppily throwing together what he needed for the day. The twin who got up early generally had enough time to eat a good, healthy breakfast and pack a good lunch for the day. The other twin would grab whatever was available and then buy chips and snacks from the vending machines. After school, the early bird twin would go home and immediately do his homework and make sure his tasks and chores were all finished. Following that he would spend the remaining hours exercising, riding his bike, or participating in other physical activities. The other twin would come home, eat fast food or candy, and then play video games and spend the minimum amount of time available to do some of his homework, often times not having enough time to finish it.
The story had more depth to the behavioral patterns in both twins but I do not remember them all. What I remember most was the construct of the story and the questions Sensei asked after. At the conclusion of the story, Sensei asked us kids what differences we saw in the twins. It was clear what they were, so the next question he asked us was, what would be the differences between the two in a week’s worth of time. Not much right? So, then Sensei asked what would be the differences in 6 months or a year? Well, at this point the conversation got real interesting. Some kids said that the one twin would be out of shape from playing video games all the time and eating junk food so much. Others talked about the twin having bad teeth and cavities due to the bad diet. Others talked about the poor grades the twin would get because he never did his homework completely, and was always ill prepared for the day ahead of him. This list went on and the funny thing is that we children really saw the side effects of the “bad” twin. Rarely did anyone comment on the side effects and successes the “good” twin would receive based on his lifestyle.
Dedeuc D’Antonoli Sensei
Founder of the World Bushin Ryu Federation
Founder and Chief Instructor of The Budo Shingikan School of Japanese Martial Arts