It's more than a virtue, it's a lifestyle.
In the martial arts there is something to be said for the value of patience. With patience we learn to slow down and truly understand our environment as well as each individual situation. It's through patience that we can avoid conflict altogether or peacefully resolve unavoidable conflict. I feel as though we have neglected that or are losing that not just in our training in the kwoon, but in life as well. If we actually slowed down, we would understand each other more. In this country and in our day to day lives there is a great deal of importance placed on getting to the next thing. No one ever just sits down or slows down to really ensure that what they are doing is actually to the best of their ability as much anymore. This is a wrong idea that has become the norm. I do not claim to be an expert, but I feel as though I have found a solution that if applied in our lives and in our training, we will not only be better martial artists but better people and representatives of the kwoon.
For our training:
As many of you can attest, no one learns everything that Sifu or the Sidais teach in one sitting. Martial arts as a whole is a lifetime of training, meditation and growth that will never truly be completed on this side of eternity. As Sifu recently had gone into, there have been changes made to the ranks that, in my opinion, were very much warranted and necessary. Each rank is a tangible symbol of patience. Not only have you spent enough time in the kwoon and mastered the physical requirements, but you have also gained a spiritual level of understanding that meets the requirements of that rank. You can not master everything in a week or a month.. and to be perfectly honest and frank, even by the time you hit the black rank and have met all of Sifu's requirements, that is when the journey truly starts. By simply acknowledging that you have made progress in patience.
For our day to day:
Being patient is a very difficult thing to do. Often times we run into people who we just don't mesh with or don't quite understand. At our jobs we run into coworkers or experience people who can really be difficult to deal with. But if we actually exercised patience with those people, we begin to step outside of ourselves and see their side of things. Perhaps why that one person or coworker is giving you attitude is because they themselves are having a bad day/bad morning. If you are patient with them, listening to what they have to say and truly and consciously watching how we respond, sometimes it will even brighten up that person's day. Imagine how much cohesion would take place if we made this approach daily with all who we encounter.
From my own life I can say that patience has been a big obstacle that I have yet to completely over come. By the grace of God, I am where I am now and have achieved the current level of patience with others as well as myself through great trail and understanding. This is by no means something that happened overnight but my desire to pursue it changed in an instant after a few years of running in the opposite direction. When you have a physical limitation as I do, you begin to undertand the necessity of slowing down so that you can understand how your body will react to the world around you as well as strengthening your resolve to either augment it, or move with it. I would compare my battle for patience with myself to that of a raging sea during a storm that has just been calmed, but is still moving. We must become as water and let the problems of the world flow through us. Through this understanding, I have become content with the pace at which I learn and gain strength, but my resolve is firm that I will learn all I can to fully represent the Gospel and the kwoon to those around me in the day to day as well as when I am training.
I believe that if we can master patience, we have then mastered love. Because all things in this world are interconnected, learning one will teach you about the others.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.