Years ago I saw a film, a very funny film actually, another take on the classic Captain Hook, Peter Pan, all that. Robin Williams was in the film, great actor, worth watching.
There was one scene where Captain Hook Challenges the now old Peter Pan, Robin Williams, to a fight. Peter Pan has grown up, become a responsible adult and all but forgotten his exciting youth. "Draw your weapon!" Hook bellows forth in a manly voice. The older Pan is up to the challenge as he pulls out his checkbook and sneers back at the Hook, "Name your price!"
Actual training, Warning: this may involve some effort.
Funny, the older, heavier, no longer youthful, Pan considers his money as his weapon of choice. This is how he will battle his demons of the past; this is how he will cope with his unresolved conflict with the evil Hook. He has forgotten himself, the young and daring Peter Pan of the legends. He has accepted "Reality" and stopped living the Fantasy.
I will admit it, I like Fantasy films, I like "Karate Kid", "Rocky" and all the Van Damme movies (especially Blood Sport which is not fantasy but the true story of Frank Dux), I like them because although they are Fantasy they bring out in us what we would like to have as real and they INSPIRE us to be more than we can be, to "just do it", to "go the distance", to not accept our limited reality.
My friend Gerry in Thailand and I have been communicating about our desire and temptation as younger men for all the great adds in Black Belt and similar magazines, the "100 Deadly moves", the "Be a Killer in one afternoon of training". We confessed to having to hide our credit cards. He expressed the same feelings as me, being torn, wanting to order it so badly…but limited finances made us come to a saner decision.
As I have written in previous blogs, at times I did give in to temptation but it always lead to disappointment; there was "No easy way out, no short cut home" (Rocky)
The only advertisement that did work out for me was when I decided to attend Karate College. I flew to the USA and trained for 12 hours each day. I learned a great deal but there was a catch; I had to work hard.
Now here is the secret, the only secret you have to know, and it is free, totally free, so put away your credit card my fellow magazine warriors.
My secret? Work hard, train hard, put in your time. First do some research; find a system that suits your needs, in my case it is reality Krav Maga, and then put in the time and the focus.
Your credit card can not buy you great skills, sorry guys; you will have to work for this one. So don't pull out your check book and say, "Name your price". Although of course training involves money (so don't forget our on line training , classes, and DVD's. Sorry, a little self promotion here, we all need to make a living). As Dilbert said at one point, "I am afraid this involves a bit of actual work."
The path to martial arts skills is on the training mat, get down and dirty, put in your time, and put away your credit card. Leave the fancy "100 Deadly Moves" to the next sucker. So just put your fear of pain somewhere else, do some pre-class meditation as we did back at the Oyama dojo, and forget everything but your training. Just do it. Take as your weapon your mindset, your attitude, your real skills, not the Old Peter Pan checkbook.
I am not as young as I used to be. The blows hurt a little bit more, the bruises the aches and the pain take a little longer to go away but I know that I cannot buy my way to greater skills.
Ben, you needed some training inspiration, so this goes out to you. Gerry, you inspired this blog with your recent e mail, so this goes out to you. And Joan, for seeing God so clearly in everything I do this goes out to you.
And to everybody out there, everyone who needs a little inspiration to get started in the morning, everyone who needs a little push to get to the gym, everyone who needs a laugh and some sunshine, this is for you.