Last post I took a moment to recount my martial arts lineage, such as it is.  I come from a scattered background, and my opportunities for formal training were never as consistent as I wished.

But I discovered something from the process.

One reason that I got out and trained tonight instead of going to the party was the memory of who I have been, and the momentum that has built towards who I want to be in the future.  I train because of the little boy who fell in love with swordplay at eight years old.  He deserves to have a glorious future with a sword.  I spent three hours of my free time typing out notes on Tang Soo Do basics because my first master, Mr. Park, said as I left my hometown, “You will do well in any Tae Kwon Do or Tang Soo Do school, but first, lose that gut.”  Wherever I go, how I perform, how I treat my fellow martial artists and fellow human beings will honor or dishonor his status as my teacher.  (And to my shame I’ve still got the gut.)  I spent an hour today reviewing Krav Maga combatives because of how fond I am of the time I got to spend with my friends, college students, and veterans working on a style on our own because school was too far away.  The closest Krav Maga studio is now 5 hours’ drive from my home, but I can honor Eyal Yanilov’s ethos and the memory of those who took the time and effort to train with me when I see to it that their efforts have an ongoing effect in my life.

I am headed back out there to train some more because of the memory of how welcoming, encouraging and supportive Range Martial Arts has been as I returned to training, old, crippled, and out of shape.  They never stop meeting me where I am, and never stop pushing me to do better than I think I can.

Finally I am going out there to train because of who I want to be in the future.  My master deserves a student who reflects well on him.  My students deserve a master who can inspire, teach, and improve them until they surpass the best I can be and go onward!  Society deserves me as a martial artist instead of a slacker, a maker instead of a taker, and a resource instead of a resource drain.

And as a religious man, I swore my life to my Lord.  That life is a martial artists, and as student, comrade, and teacher I serve my Lord when I am the best martial artist I can be.

For all of those things, we train.

For some inspiration, here are some of my favorite motivational moments for training: