“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” - Muhammad Ali.
When I first started practicing yoga, one of the more compelling things about it was the autonomy it allowed. It meant that I didn’t have to rely on anyone to win and, most importantly, no one had to rely on me to win. And thankfully the only game I was trying to win happened in my head, it did not involve sticks, rackets, clubs, gloves, balls, nunchucks and most importantly, blood.
Yes, Yoga is a practice of the mind. The swiftness in which a thought could take me down had to be matched with cunning placement of intuition and confidence to block it’s blow. It’s a practice which requires will, builds strength of character and courage. Most importantly it begs you to never give up.
This is also true of Martial Arts.
Now, I’ve never actually engaged in any kind of Martial Art (the blood!) but I do understand the autonomy, the will to never give up and the fight (in yoga, it’s usually for the good life – not against other people). A Martial Art is about precision and requires complete attention. Like Yoga, it encourages surrendering to the movement and form, not trying to force it.
Bruce Lee once said “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
I think the video below exemplifies this. These men, regardless of their skill, when asked to be a martial artist – become a marital artist! Most importantly, their will was most definitely more entertaining than their skill!
Never give up……particularly if you have a mild concussion and nunchucks.
**This will induce ridiculous laughter (which is also very yogic!)