Things I Have Learned About Acquiring Knowledge and Wisdom
First things first, I would like to define a few terms I will be using in this post.
Knowledge – what one knows, all that is known and can be learned, the fact of knowing, the act of knowing
Wisdom – Ability to apply knowledge, experience, understanding, or common sense and insight
Exception – A case in point that does not conform to a rule or generalization
Some martial artists get stuck because they have more knowledge than wisdom. And this could be related to any one or all of the 3 areas most martial artists seek to master. Those are the Physical, Mental, and Spiritual aspects of their chosen art. The reason some martial artists get stuck is because they haven’t accumulated enough facts in their search for knowledge to be able to turn the information into wisdom.
You can’t make an intelligent decision with only half of information about any subject matter. So, what do you do when you get stuck in any one of those 3 areas in your training? My personal opinion is that an all encompassing traditional art seeks to improve all these areas on an individual level. One must always be a seeker of knowledge and continually self educate. Use any number of mediums, such as books, videos, teachers, seminars, etc… You must critique and learn to set the standard for the application of this knowledge into your “Way”. Remember that there is NO FREE LUNCH.
Now some martial artists unfortunately believe that they have more wisdom than others. The “enlightened” ones, if I may use that term loosely, have an unbalanced standard for the practice and mastery of the Physical, Mental, and Spiritual. We read about these people sometimes and wonder how they ever got into the head position of their martial arts studio.
While these martial artists harm only themselves, most of the time, one must be careful not to pick one of these people as a teacher!
An “exception” is like the Yin and Yang. It can be viewed from a positive or negative angle. Most people believe that they are unique, their situation is different than everyone else’s, and that their personal experience is the exception to the norm. Some martial artists, in the pursuit of the mastery of their chosen art and when faced with challenges in perfecting the Physical, Mental, and Spiritual, often times believe that that their obstacles, challenges, roadblocks and situation are unique. Other martial artists, in the pursuit of the mastery of their chosen art, believe that they have reached a pinnacle and no longer have to grow or improve themselves physically, mentally and\or spiritually. And this can be very readily seen in the physical condition of some teachers externally. It is much more difficult to see the mental and spiritual state of these teachers because you can’t look into them internally.
To those martial artists that believe they are somehow unique, that their situation is somehow different than everyone else’s, and that their personal experience is the exception to the norm, the answer is; one must revert to the ROOT of the art and the techniques that were somehow lost in their pursuit.
Finally, life has taught me that one must APPLY the knowledge that has been acquired, in order to TURN IT into wisdom and WITHOUT exceptions.
Don’t make the same mistake everyone else does! Follow your own path.
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