By: Mr. Joel Farran
In our new series of essays, “Ways to Follow Your Creed“, we offer this entry from Mr. Joel, a Black Belt Candidate, who has advanced steadily in skill over the past six months through his consistent training online with GrandMaster Yu.
During this Fall Season, as we plan for #OutstandingOctober and our Healthy reopening, perhaps some of his ideas will spark some ideas for how you too can allow your Student Creed to Guide YOU! Look for more posts from our students on this vast and important topic.
How has the Student Creed helped guide you over the past several months?
Like many of us, I have found myself thinking about what happened to all of the activities and things I thought I would be doing the last six months.
Where did the time go? How must I respond when time and
organizations as I knew them evolve? Importantly, how can I continue to draw on what Senior GrandMaster Yu and my Martial Arts community teaches me?
Respond with discipline. I have found myself often thinking “#9 Discipline yourself!” I have reflected on how the Martial Arts have endured through centuries—wars, natural disasters, displacement, and even plagues.
They have endured because of structure, tradition, writings, lessons, and codes and creeds. Most of all Martial Arts have endured because of teachers and students who perpetually commit and discipline themselves to learn and teach and learn and teach again and again to build a community and a living, permanent legacy of Martial Artists.
Study Harder! Never Give Up! Be the Best of the Best!
When places of work, school, extra curricular activities and especially the Dojhang are limited in how they can provide familiar physical structure, organization, learning, and fun, we must discipline ourselves even more to set our purpose and goals. We can establish new ways of adapting to live our lives, love our friends and family in new ways, and grow even when we feel stuck.
While many of us have experienced loss and frustration to varying degrees there is comfort in being grounded in the Martial Arts and what we have been taught. I have journaled a lot—visualizing self-defense techniques, kicks, and forms; recalling the structure and tradition we have been taught; and replaying the voices of Senior GrandMaster Yu and my Instructors guiding me. I have set intentions for my remote practice and this has placed physical and mental demands on me that have kept me healthy and emotionally sharp.
At times like these our self-discipline not only drives us, but it can fill the void of uncertainty we face. I intend to return to the Dojhang stronger and healthier. This intention has spilled over into other parts of my life.
Just as I intend to return to the Dojhang stronger and healthier, I intend to bring strength and resiliency to everything I do as we face unfamiliar and new demands on our lives.
When we have more questions than answers, setting our intentions and focusing on the things that we can control is empowering. But this takes discipline.
Always Follow Your Student Creed
Our Student Creed can continue to guide us even when we aren’t together to recite it. When we are distanced from each other, our self-discipline and commitment to Martial Arts is one of the things that keeps our community together; one of the ways we love and respect each other; one of the ways we respect our Teachers, our very own Lives.
In this way, we are following our Creed.
Thank you for taking the time to read my essay.