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Honesty and Hard Work Expected

I have been a martial artist ever since I was a child. Later this year, I will be 50. So I have practiced as a child, teenager, and adult.

I am an attorney by profession. When I have met martial artists in connection with my profession (other martial artists in the legal field), there are two unwritten assumptions. The first is that they will be honest and trustworthy. The second is that they will be hard working.

I know that these are generalizations, but they are generally true. Martial artists are honest. They act with courtesy out of a sincere sense of humility. When they say that they will do something, they do it. You can trust them. You can count on them.

Martial artists know the meaning of hard work and problem solving. As soon as you begin training, you are beginning a lifelong project of correcting and refining your movements. Most people would give up. But a martial artist will never give up. A martial artist knows the importance of working on himself. You are not just working on kata and waza -- you are working on yourself.

Martial artists challenge themselves mentally and physically. They have an iron will and sometimes an iron body too. Long after others will have given up, a martial artist will keep going.

When I proposed to my wife, we had to seek her parents' permission. The fact that I was a martial arts instructor was one consideration in their decision. In fact, my wife, her older brother, and her father, had all practiced Kenpo Karate. I was a Kenpo Karate instructor when I proposed. Again, the assumption was that my martial arts training reflected honesty, hard work, and character.

Are there martial artists who are bad people? Certainly. But that can be said about any class or group of people. There are always bad examples that make everyone else suffer. We should try our best to set good examples so that we will not let our Sensei down or make the martial arts look bad.

Martial artists should be people you can count on.


Charles C. Goodin