Another Great W.Palm Trip

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was another amazing journey to W. Palm. I use the term “journey” as it represents more of what I experience. In other words, in the past few years, it has become a lot more than just Systema training.

The weather was brutal on the way down. Unfortunately, a number of ugly accidents occurred. When I see this, I am reminded of what my teacher Stephen Russell (Barefoot Doctor) constantly harps on:  “You are here. You are alive. Therefore, you are already winning the game. Staying alive is the game.”  I am here. I made it safely and I am winning the game. Gratitude.

Upon arrival, the training began. There was only one other person beside Rick and David (and yours truly). The huge emphasis was on details — footwork, specific angles and overall movement. 90 degrees, move your feet, rotate on the heels and other details were stated, re-stated, -re-re-stated. You get the picture.

Truth be told, at times,  this was very, very frustrating. Repeating the same mistakes and having it pointed out time and again is not the most enjoyable way to spend a rainy Wednesday.

Moments like this that are what I wrote about in our prior Blog post — the point. Do you suck it up, take the information, do your best to make the changes, practice, make more mistakes, practice, make mistakes, practice etc. etc. etc.

Or make the excuses, give in to your fears and quit.

Those are the options. For any martial artist worth their salt, the former is the only way.

The rest of the evening was physical as evidenced by an assortment of bruises noted this morning.  Overall, in spite of the frustrations and repeated mistakes, it is one of the greatest gifts ever. . . .not just in my martial arts. . . . to have the opportunity to train with 2 people at this elite levels for so many years.

The ride home was filled with sightings of about a dozen deer and a deep feeling of passion for the greatest art on the planet.

There is that word – passion. Without it, life is gray and bland. With it, there is endless color, energy and zest. I think of the most skilled teachers and martial artist in our circle — Vlad, Eddie, Carbone Sensei, Bob Elder Sensei,  Sifu Jeff. Though they all have unique styles and practice different arts, they share the love and passion for their arts. This is one of the many gifts they give to their students. Some get it and have their lives changed for the better. Others do not quite understand, at least not yet.

In our own school, I see Christy is going to Repticon. (Is anyone reaaaally surprised?). Why is would anyone study bugs and other assorted creatures that most people are trying to eliminate? I do not know but isn’t is great that people like her, live with passion. Nothing sadder than someone is a numb to life. A life of Blankness.

When I was in practice, the number one cause of disease was not a virus or bacteria. It was not poor nutrition, nor lack of exercise (though those were major contributors). The number one cause of disease was lack of passion in life. No question about it.

As I rolled out of bed this morning, I am filled with the eagerness for sharing this information in class on Monday and returning to S. FL next month.

This is why I call my W. Palm trips,  a journey.