Learn smart before training hard Part IV

Your discipline is also the measure of your self-worth. It introduces the practitioner to fundamental human principles such as dignity and integrity. Once these concepts have been grasped the practitioner is no longer interested in ‘proving’ himself on the street. This is how traditional Martial Arts can actually make people less violent and it is something of which we should all be very proud. It’s a message we need to get across loud and clear.

This is not to say that Martial Arts are ineffective on the street. Certainly a practitioner’s training can be useful in many situations but to concentrate on fighting is to miss out on the greater things a traditional Martial Art has to offer. To Master Lau the Martial Arts touch on many subjects and philosophies that are deeply rooted within the Chinese culture. For example, he points out that pain and suffering are, in fact, the teachers of the true meaning of love and compassion. A person with no experience of either cannot have compassion or love for another. The word ‘suffering’ has no meaning for him. By introducing concepts such as love and compassion the Martial Arts can actually teach us the true value of life. In Master Lau’s own words:

“Whatever you do, don’t shut off your pain. Protection from pain doesn’t work and when we try to defend ourselves from suffering, we only suffer more. The protected heart, innocent and secure that is never exposed to loss, cannot know tenderness. Only the won- back heart can ever be satisfied.”