circa 2009, Israel
Dedicated to Mothers everywhere
Mothers' wisdom is crucial to success in life. Life lessons can be picked up anywhere, if you open your eyes. One of my students had a guest visiting from the USA, this guest was an impressive man, a kung fu champion and a graduate of Harvard school of Law. This guest honored us by visiting our school.
Rick is a terrific guy and we became friends that day. I am always interested in what motivates an individual to take up martial arts training.
He told me he began his kung fu training at age 4, and had been training right through college. I was really impressed with his staying power and asked how how he did it?
Didn't he ever think of quitting?
He told me he wanted to quit many times as a child but his mother would not allow this.
Sounded strange. This goes back to the mid 1970's, the benefits of martial arts training were not all that well known at the time. How would his mother have this sort of wisdom?
I stored that question in my mind for the appropriate opportunity.
A couple of years later I met his mother and I asked her; "Do you have any martial arts background? What made you so insistent on keeping your son in training?
She said, "I was a single mom, raising my kid alone while trying to make a living. I did not care about the martial arts; I cared about my son growing up right. I wanted him to have a positive male role model since there was no father in the picture. I wanted him to have discipline, to acquire the tools to succeed in life. I knew martial arts was the best way to achieve this."
Rick pursued his martial arts training, earned his black belt and began competing in tournaments. The first year he lost all his fights. But he was trained never to give up. His teacher did not allow one to quit. This became part of Rick's nature. So instead of getting frustrated, he got smarter.
Each time he lost he analyzed what went wrong, and where he could improve. Gradually he started winning, eventually becoming a champion and opening his own school.
When I met him he had just closed his school, for a good reason. He was going to Law School.
His mother does not care if he continues with martial arts. It was not the martial arts that interested her way back when he was four years old, it was the benefits of training.
Now that he graduated a top law school and went on to even greater achievements, his mom knows she made the right choice.
You can too.
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