“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.“
– Aristotle [384 BC – 322 BC]
2009 promises to be our biggest and best Fall Event Series yet with Sifu Klaus Brand, WingChun Grandmaster and IAW Founder.
We need each and every one of you to realize the personal value of this opportunity. Repeated instruction by and direct interaction with the highest embodiment of an art is the goal of all artists. And it’s something easily taken for granted, even though the opposite case is true. No one knows if the next chance is the last chance. So when you’re able to access an irreplaceable moment, willingness is the sole remaining step. In actuality, all instants are uniquely once in a lifetime because none ever repeats itself exactly again.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. We can go further with modern media and claim a video is worth a thousand pictures. Finally, an experience is worth a thousand videos or, doing the math, a billion words. The most articulate collected volumes of scholarly text or deluxe high-definition DVD box sets of every known lecture on, for instance, Nature is still inescapably vicarious to one authentic contact with natural reality. The double filter – the output of an author’s mind as attempted communication and the input into the observer’s mind as alledged comprehension – of second-hand knowledge is never quite enough, always falling short.
So it is so with Self-Defense education. Through each of your senses you learn an aspect of the whole. But through all of them in simultaneous synergy, via the perceptive powers your entire human organism, you gain more than partial understanding. You can read explanations of Pak Sao (Slapping Arm). You can see photos of it. You can watch clips of it. These are decent but insufficient approximations that still leave you with persistent questions and permanent doubts. Then there is actually performing, really engaging, simply savoring a Pak Sao in motion. Until you thus subjectively do, act, and feel for yourself in the first person, objectivity is unconvincing.
Yet you can’t start merely with the decision to act, but a decisive action, which creates a defined behavior, which solidifies a determined habit. It only matters that – not how or why or when – you begin. Reach your next goal, become your better self. Your greatest chance to do so begins on October 16.