Martial Arts is a way of being in life. It’s very difficult in the beginning to make your practice into a habit and even when you’ve been doing it for many years, there can still be a struggle. But this is good because it shows your practice is constantly challenging you. The key to rising to the challenge is to make a strong commitment to your martial arts practice from the very beginning. This commitment automatically makes you practice, and any thoughts that go against your practice can be more easily dismissed.
In order to gain something you have to give up something. For example, you can’t eat chocolate cake every day and lose weight. It’s true that a martial artist does not have as much “freedom” as a non-martial artist because so much of your time is taken up with the practice. But what exactly is freedom?
Martial Arts helps us to be. If you can just be then you don’t have so much desire for external things. If you can be, the Buddha says, all of your good qualities are already there. You don’t need to try to do something to make yourself happy because your happiness will manifest by itself. This to me, is true freedom.
Shifu Yan Lei