Tracy's Kenpo Karate Shreveport, LA

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I don't know who wrote this, but it is excellent.  If you know the name of the author, or where the full text may be found, please let me know!

 

from the "Journey of the Vanishing Martial Artist"...

"As I stared at the face in the glass, I asked for the answer to life and the inner strength to deal with the challenges and adversities I faces ahead. One day I faced a choice in my life of two paths. I chose the one less traveled, to see why the others have passed it by.

"My path was the way of the martial artist. I did so because I wanted the challenge of facing those greater than myself. In doing so, I have walked the hard wooden floors of the dojo, kick after kick, punch after punch, and as I reached 1000, I chose to begin again as I searched for the answer of my being. I struck the makiwara board until the blood of my knuckles turned the rope red, as I desired to find The Way.

"I became a strong and fast tiger, in no time breaking boards and bricks with quickness and power. Still I strived for perfection, although knowing it doesn't exist, knowing only that each level of excellence is another level of beginning I would face as I sought life's secrets. I stared stone cold into the eyes of the enemy; those many great warriors who chose to test their martial skills in a battle against mine. I sought the way while barefoot in the cold winter, forcing my mind to ignore my bloody feet that left blood, red footprints in the crystal white snow. My gi dripped with sweat as my feet blistered on the hot sand and rock while their only relief was a thousand kicks high into the desert air.

"I have done these things because I have chosen to. I chose to seek my limits while seeking to find myself. Then one day, I realized that while the tiger was quick; there was another beast more powerful - the dragon. I learned in time that the dragon's power was far greater. For with one sweep of its tail or a blow of its fiery breath, it could defeat any opponent. But the dragon, knowing it had the power, chose not to use it. For it knew that true power was also patience and control of such power. This, I learned, was real power. Knowing you could defeat your opponent, and choosing not to.

"One day, as my sweaty and tired body staggered towards the mirror at the end of my workout, I felt the power of the dragon come to me. Then suddenly, I realized, I was always a dragon. For the answers of life and the search for the dragon within me was hidden, within my own desire, to grasp it. To believe in myself enough to let me become it. To accept my own strength, my own courage, my own power. I cleansed my body with the sweat from my pores and as I wiped it away, I realized where the dragon lies.

"It was always in the face staring back in the glass."

The Ultimate in Self Defense Training

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