What you seek... Cannot be found on your phone or online. It cannot come from others. It can only be found inside of you.

Martial artists are seekers.  We are looking for a place of self-mastery.

Our true inner beauty is hidden inside us and covered up with layer upon layer of conditioning and feelings.  It takes a tremendous amount of courage and training to get to a place where we can feel comfortable enough to let our true inner beauty shine.

To be able to "let it go" and open ourselves up takes countless hours of training.  We have to teach ourselves how to undo what has been done and to unlearn what has been taught.  The main goal of martial arts training is to liberate us from ourselves.

Every great martial art teaches us that true mastery only begins when we learn how not to fight.  This is the paradox of the martial arts - one learns how to destroy an opponent but then doesn't.  We don't because we realizes that the real opponent that we are fighting against is really ourselves.  At this place and with this clarity we can unleash our innate beauty and find that harmony or happiness that we thought was waiting for us at the end of our fists.  That moment when we realize ourselves or find that place where we "find ourselves" is when we can unleash our true inner beauty and greatness.  This moment is what O Sensei referred to as Masakatsu Agatsu or "the true victory."

I wish that I could tell you that martial arts training was designed to teach us how destroy others, but it really is just an ingenious way to help us defeat our real enemy - our self.

I saw a nice quote by the prolific Karate teacher, Gogen Yamaguchi that sums it all up, "I will be happy if you understand that the essence of the martial arts is not the strength, not the art, but that which is hidden deep within yourself."

So true indeed.