You can not become any kind of warrior in a weekend period. Warriorship is based on lifelong consistency. A true warrior learns to harness the mind, body, spirit, soul and essence; ergo The Quintessential Warrior.
There are truly no external battles; war is waged and settled within. If you conquer the self, you conquer the illusions of the world. The application of actual physical combat, if necessary, is swift and effective. Warriorship is an internal quest for personal excellence. You may ask why. I would answer, for effortlessness. Is the time it takes worth it? Yes!
Human beings tend to live life in indecision and struggle, relentlessly seeking answers outside of themselves. Unlike other animals, we are not trained to trust our instincts. From birth, the arrow is pointed outward. A warrior, on the other hand, understands that through the discipline and training of self, the answers to all are evident in mere awareness of self and situation.
Yet, I feel that we are not any of these things; mind, body, spirit, soul or essence; these are but the tools that we use to engage and be effective in this world. The Mind is the sword, The Body is the vessel, The Spirit is the power, The Soul is the artist, The Essence is what we paint or sculpt from, the inspiration. We are not any of them.
We are the space in between the strokes and rhythm; the aforementioned five aspects are tools that say, “We are living in the art that we are giving forth as life.” The Warrior listens for this space and moves from this place in all that they do, because it is who and what they are.
And I do understand that this is outside of the norm, but it is truly how it happens. As you disappear, you emerge.
At the age of 5, starting upon this quest, I was resistant and undisciplined to the point where my Sensei and Master would ask me to leave the class. I was taking Judo and Kung-fu. I was a brat. I didn’t understand what drills had to do with Martial Arts. I thought that they were out of their minds asking us to squat-walk around the Dojo 100 times, along with countless push-ups on hands, fingers and knuckles. Yet, somehow, they eventually broke me…well, along with my mother. I transcended the pain and repetition and saw my way to the art.
Years of training in NYC’s Chinatown and on the streets gave me an unmatched awareness of situation and application of self. Then, a life-threatening and crippling accident when I was 13 forced me to use what I learned to first save my life then avoid amputation. I learned that life is chock-full of opportunities to prevail or fail. I made a choice early on to master myself so that I had a chance against the construct. I then began to systematically annihilate the self to taste true freedom.
The idea that anything can be done relative to the self in a weekend retreat is absurd; existence should be refined in every moment and become a skill, an art, of life. It takes a moment to decide to change your life and a lifetime to make that choice consistent. It was the discipline that I learned in the Dojo that showed me that it was possible to do anything, despite myself.
There is no fast track to this experiential understanding – no quick fix. So many false teachings offer those in need an external solution; it is never quick and it is always within. Training to be a warrior is long and hard – and to be clear, a fighter is not a warrior. Being a warrior has nothing to do with external conflict. It has to do with impeccable application of that which is integrated and forgotten; applied and released.
Warriorship is discipline. It is a way of life…not a Weekend!