I used to know this guy that trained in some esoteric version of Karate.
He was Japanese, and he learned from somebody who learned from the creator.
Nobody famous and this particular “school” wasn’t that large, only a handful of people had learned from the original guy, and then went out and taught that particular version to others like my friend.
He tried explaining the difference between this version of Karate and other versions, but never having studied any form of martial arts (other than watching Kung Fu movies) I really didn’t understand what he was saying.
But one thing he did tell me stuck in my mind. He said there’s two types of balance.
One is when he was alone, and meditating. Sitting quietly, in a certain posture, and focusing his mind on nothing.
The other when he was practicing, either with himself, or with a sparring partner. (I never asked him if he’d been in a real fight, other than a tournament, but I got the “vibe” that getting into a real fight was the LAST thing he wanted to do.)
He told me that both while fighting, and both while sitting alone and meditating, maintaining a balance was extremely difficult.
Now, the reason this surprised me is that watching anybody meditate, they look extremely centered and balanced. And watching experts fight, either in tournaments or in the movies, they look like they are in total control.
But he said that’s the furthest thing from the truth. He said that no matter WHAT happens, there’s always something, either in your mind, or in the world that is going to try to push you off balance.
He told me there’s some people that seek martial arts, or other similar training to “find balance,” as if once they learn some secret skill, or mystery technique, they’ll “finally’ be able to simply relax and “enjoy” their new found balance.
He said that is a total myth. In life, there NEVER is balance. It only exists for a very short while, before something comes along to knock it off.
The main part of succeeding, is to simply accept that something is ALWAYS going to come along and try and shake you.
Instead of seeking that mystical, magical place in life where everything’s taken care of, and all you’ve got to do is sit back and relax, the real path to enlightenment is to simply become comfortable with uncertainty.
The path of life never ends, except in death. Till then, it’s our job as humans to keep on moving forward, and simply get better, and learn from, all the inevitable obstacles that will be placed in our path.
It’s much, much easier if you’ve got a HUGE compelling goal, (and another one after that, and another one after that…) instead of just spinning your wheels.