Many martial artists mistake the tool for the task.

Imagine a fine set of wood chisels. These chisels are well made and the owner keeps them sharpened and clean. Ready for use. The owner of these chisels brings friends and family over to look at his beautiful chisels. He puts each chisel in a frame and hangs it on the wall. He may even go so far as to build a shrine around his chisels and worship them.

Like the owner of the fine, high quality, chisels. A martial artist that does nothing more than practice his technique. Will have done nothing more than the man that has only sharpened his chisels and not used them to create anything of value or beauty in the world. What value are the chisels if they are not used to create something?

What is the task of the martial arts? To defeat our own ego? To find the path of balance between confidence and humility? To express our warrior strength into, and for the betterment of, the world? What value is our training if we do nothing but hone our bodies as weapons? What good and beauty can we create in the world when we turn our minds towards solving the problems in our communities and expressing the courage, discipline, self confidence and balance our martial arts training has brought us?

I believe that many martial artists mistake the tool for the task. What is the task of the chisel? It must be kept sharp and taken care of to work well. But the chisels task is to create. What is the task of our training? We must be sharp in our execution of technique and our bodies must be taken care of to work well. But the task is to create. Don’t worship the tool, rather use it to create something of value and then clean it off and sharpen it again. Keeping it ready for it’s next use.