martial arts

Deeper Than the Surface: A Beautiful Lesson of Love from Martial Arts

Late last week, my youngest son, Waylan, learned a new move at his unified martial arts weekly lesson. He was sparring with a fellow artist, when the instructor said: “Remember, only extend your arm on my count, or you will punch your partner in the face!”

Finding humor in his words, I realized there was a hidden message just under the surface.

Every partnership in our lives, whether it be marriage, dating, children, working relationships, family members, trusted friends, or a valued sister or brother, all require a certain set of unwritten rules.

Scratch that.

The rules are actually written, and conveniently found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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These rules, along with the golden rule we all learned at a young age, most likely before entering kindergarten, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, serve as a beautiful allegory for life. For life with others, that is.

If we get to too far ahead of ourselves, or fail to consider the needs of those we love, we risk metaphorically slapping them in the face.

The same way my son and his martial arts partner could have blackened each other’s eye (thank goodness they listened to their instructor and no one wound up wounded).

It seems life is, indeed, a dance.

While Garth Brooks may have coined the allegory first, I would like to go on record as saying, you must wisely choose a partner, and then follow, or lead, whichever role seems most natural, and it may alternate with each situation, with every ounce of faith, loyalty, hope, and love in your arsenal of relationship tricks.

It is so amazing to me how there is a life lesson in nearly every minuscule moment of our lives.

I have not been paying as close attention lately, but I am attempting to tune in, and tighten up my approach to present moment living. It is the only way to grasp those blessed light-bulb moments of clarity I so desperately desire.

Little does this instructor know I caught not only his physical form on camera, but also, his barely scratching of the surface life lesson he inadvertently threw into the atmosphere at Waylan’s weekly martial arts practice.

Thank you, Mr. Miyagi (his real name is actually Mr. Danny, and he is a beautiful soul).

Turns out, this practice of ancient martial arts is more than just self-defense, ordered obedience, and the power of control, it may just be the key that unlocks the door to the world of relationship euphoria we all seek…

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