As we all come to the end of 2012, we all have much to be thankful for and much to consider approaching 2013. With the country in a state of political uncertany, men and womed deployed in the Middle East and the given finicial posture in America, there are reasons enough to be concerned. However, we still in in the greatest country in the world and we , for at least now, still enjoy freedoms found nowhere else in the world. But we cannot expect government to assume the responsibility to "care" for us totally as we give up personal freedom set forth in the Constitution. This is where personal leadership should overshadow the fact that government wants us to become sheep.
Martial Arts and true martial art masters and teachers have always been about teaching students to be people of integrity and to rely on self. The martial arts have also alwaays also been about developing leaders and defenders in our community to help those less able to defend themselves. True traditional martial arts schools still teach these values, but much of tradition has also been watered down to sport, flash and "bling" leaving the real meaning of the perfecting of oneself by the wayside. The founder of Shotokan Karate, Gichin Funafoshi, known as the fathef of Modern Karate was quoted, and I paraphrase here, that the main goal of karate is the perfection of self. This means personal growth and integrity.
Taking this to a more local level, for example here in Ascension Parish, the Martial Arts community should be a resource and a haven to those seeking personal growth, socialization and a positive fun and friendly environment where either the individual or families can come toghther and enjoy the Old World philosophy of the arts ie. self perfection, growth, and defense, as applied to our world today. Although the Olympics has turned the Martial Arts into sport, the true seeker of Budo (the martial way) can still find tradition as applied to today's world alive and well. It all comes down to what the seeker of the art is looking for. Remember from pervious blogs, people seek to study "karate" for many personal reasons.
If in the New Year, if one is looking for a new and fun and challenging way to get into shape for oneself, or to engage the whole family into a sport or traditional experience of learning something new that can be of benefit both from a healthy or personal self defense perspective, then I would sugguest a trial run of Martial Arts. However, be aware of those "Mac Dojo" that are high priced and locks one into contracts. As with any other commody, there are martial arts school and instructors who leave tradition behind for the sake of making a dollar. Remember, there are many different syles of martial arts and many different instructors, even here in Ascension Parish. Do not go blindly into the trap, but visit many schools and talk with all the instructors and after that, one can make an informed decision as to what Martial Arts or what instructor fits best for ones own personal goals.
When a student or family comes to us a Black Dragon, my first question to them is, "Whart are you seeking and what is your goal for wanting to study the Arts?" If they seek a style or system different than what we offer, I have no trouble referring them to the appropriate school or instructor. It is my philosophy that "Upon entering this Dojo, please leave your shoes and ego's at the door."
We at Black Dragon challence you to start the New Year off with the greatest gift one can give oneself or your families, that is the gift of the ability to protect themselves, but in a fun, family environment. Beaware of traps out there, one should do your research and talk to other instructors. Go with your gut and "feelings." You will find that in 2013, not only can you get in the best shape of your life, but you can do it at a price you can afford.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy New Year, we the staff at Black Dragon Martial Arts in Prairievelle are offering two weeks of free classes as our gift to the community for one to ecperience traditional martial arts in a family fun and positive light. Look for our full color as in this weeks Gonzales Weekly and bring it in for two weeks of FREE classes. Men, women, children or the whole family. We still have no contracts, sign up fees, or testing fees. All classes taught be certified Black Belt instructors. This is our gift to you from all of us as we enter 2013.