mental. (re-post from 07/09/10)

    “The manner in which a warrior carries himself is of the utmost importance both physically and mentally. You are undoubtedly familiar with men who are quiet and strong and seem to be doing nothing.
    They do not appear to be tense and do not appear to be in disarray. They simply appear. This is exactly the appearance for which they strive. When it is necessary to attack, they do so with complete resolve, sure of themselves, neither over-bearing in attitude nor with false humility.
    They attack with one purpose and one purpose only- to destroy the enemy.
    They do not take false postures when they prepare for attack.
    They simply attack with all their heart and soul…
    Whether on or off the battlefield, there is no difference in spirit.
    The warrior sees all of life as the battlefield.”

    Miyamoto Musashi, from his Book of Five Ringsas interpreted by Hanshi Steve Kaufman

    My first real martial arts instructor, Carlos Macias, gave me the book the above quote is taken from about 2 years into our relationship. It was his personal copy, and was painstakingly highlighted. Contained within were concepts that felt very familiar, though I had never seen them on paper or known their origins. I was aware of the importance of strategy in fighting and in business, but never had I seen clearly how important it was to carry that type of discipline and mentality throughout everyday life.

    As I moved on to different physical aspects of martial arts, the gift of the book from Mr. Macias enabled me to learn more thoroughly, find incredible importance in the smallest of details, draw knowledge from any and all fields of expertise, and most importantly, introduced me to the difference between a “warrior” and a “sport” mentality.

    Though Musashi was writing from the perspective of an ancient Japanese swordsman, the theories and ideas he put forth are timeless, and transferable to almost anything.

    If you are struggling with the path you are on or simply want to take the path further, you may find value in reading “Book of Five Rings.”