The dictionary defines inspiration as: an animating action or influence.
Martial artists are keenly aware of this influence. We can usually trace our interest in the arts to some inspiring moment in our lives. We see a movie, read a book, hear a story. It awakens something in us. We don’t know what it is, but we feel compelled to act, to seek, to find. It seeps into our dreams.
The word inspiration comes from the Latin noun inspiratio, which means “to blow into.” It was believed that when you were inspired, God was filling you with his spirit.
Martial inspiration can come from anywhere. A kung fu movie, a picture of a martial artist doing something “impossible”,
a cartoon on TV.
Samurai warriors riding into battle in full armor, ninjas stalking a castle in the night, the hero, surrounded by enemies, fighting till the end.
Inspiration can come from the words of a master, a quote that makes us feel different, see different. These influences can be powerful. They can stay with us forever. They move us to train hard and to excel.
This transference of energy, from image into reality, is a common occurrence in the life of a martial artist. Think about training. We see the technique in our mind and then we execute it. We spend hours and hours, making it look like that picture we have in our heads. It’s how we humans operate. Thoughts have power. They help us see our goals, overcome obstacles and stay focused.
So next time you’re sweating in the gym, visualize yourself as your favorite hero. Why not? It’ll help you. After all, you’re a member of a long line of martial artists, all those who came before you, from present day, and into the far reaches of history. Their stories and achievements shape you. You shape them as well, with your work. You become a part of their tale, a continuation of their spirit. You become… legend.
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