Practice what you preach is how the saying goes, but how often do we actually do as we say? In martial training, it’s easy to put into practice all the tenants of being an honorable student (respect, hard work, discipline, etc…) while we’re actually in the dojo. However, I would say it’s probably even more important that we support that belief system through diligent training (shugyo) outside its walls. How much do you actually spend in your school versus how much you interact with the world around you? Ask any personal trainer what the most important aspects of any exercise regimen and most likely they will rank diet and rest/recovery over the actual working out part. This is because most people’s workouts only occupy a fraction of their time compared with their average day or week.
At the core of any martial art is the basic element of self-defense, also known as dealing with conflict. Therefore, every confrontation we face, no matter how large or small and particularly those that occur outside of the dojo, presents us with the opportunity in which to put into practice our training and to ultimately become better people.