Patience, easy to say, a bit harder to come by. Patience is an Art. You must first have a lot of patience to learn to have patience!
Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance with anger. We all have experienced the feeling of impatience. How long will I have to do three step, how many times will I have to do my form, my little/big brother/sister takes so long! When will I get my next rank, I can’t wait!
It takes patience for a seed to sprout or a tomato to ripen. It takes more patience to ask a 5 year old to tie their shoes than to tie them yourself.
Leonardo da Vinci said that patience is a protection against wrongs in the same way that clothes protect a person from the cold. Isaac Newton believed that having the patience to pay attention was the reason why he made discoveries and discovered the law of gravity.
All of us have at one time or another in our Martial Arts career had these feelings. One of the most important aspects of Martial Arts training is learning patience and savoring the journey. Martial Arts films are famous for this aspect of the Art. The student starts in the school by scrubbing the floor, not even able to watch the students work out, then, after a number of years is able to begin his or her training, somewhere years and years later you see the same student as the Master, telling some other student, “patience grasshopper”.
I like to tell students that patience is like a good book or movie. You know that it will come to an end but you enjoy the journey. Each chapter of the book, each scene in the movie gives you enjoyment, so you wait it out. You have the patience to enjoy the moment, knowing all the while that the reward, the end, the rank, the feeling of accomplishment will come.
Approach Martial Arts the same way and the process becomes enjoyable.
Paint the fence, sand the floor, train those muscles to do what you want them to do. At some point it will be automatic and you will move on to the next level, continuing your journey, secure in the midst of all of us.
As instructors we develop a kind of patience that allows our students to make mistakes, to maybe be less attentive in class, all with the hope that this “scrubbing the floor” period will come to an end and they will join the class with hope, patience and the ability to enjoy the journey.
“Patience is the companion of wisdom” Saint Augustine (354 AD – 430 AD)
Grand Master John Rankin