Connecting is a Skill and Philosophy from Martial Arts You Can Use in Daily Life
When you actively put philosophy to work in your martial arts, I believe they improve. The concept of "connecting" with your partner or opponent is one of the most important. You should see no difference between yourself and your opponent. When he moves, you should already be moving and melding with his center. There is no anger, no competition, just connection.
In my daily life, I try to put this connection concept into practice with every person I meet. I'm not better, I'm not really different, and when I connect, I can truly treat complete strangers the way I want to be treated. I watch out for them. I am there to help.
A few years ago, I ran across the "Do Good. Be Kind."
people. They spread that mantra, and it resonated with me because of the philosophy I have tried to infuse into my martial arts. It requires empathy and connection to be kind to people. I often wake up in the morning thinking of keeping my eyes open throughout the day for opportunities to help me achieve this; so I can do good and be kind. It requires awareness of others and staying alert to what is happening around you. It requires putting down the phone and paying attention.
I have not been in a "real" fight since I was 18. That was 50 years ago -- actually 50 years ago last month. But the "connection" I use in my martial arts is a skill I can use every day. Like any skill, it takes practice. But it sure makes me feel like I am practicing something that makes the world a better place. I don't go through the world just thinking I will defend someone if they are attacked. I am there to defend them by being good to them and being kind. By connecting.
-- by Ken Gullette
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