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hufford has been a member since November 30th -0001, and has created 4 posts from scratch.

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#3 The Right and Certain Way – Building Respect, Ethics and Morals into the Cornerstone of Your Life Through Martial Arts

Greetings and Welcome to the next installment of
“Martial Arts for Everyone”

 I was wondering  if people actually knew or understood why there are so many rituals and specific practices of etiquette in the martial arts. So, I thought today I might present my viewpoint on this topic.

Martial arts to me means building respect into your daily life. It is achieved by learning and following the often strict, ritual courtesy and etiquette that all students are told to follow when they are training in their martial arts school. Regardless of rank all must follow the prescribed guidelines for bowing, training, wearing of your uniform, speaking to senior students, entering the school, coming and going from the practice floor, leaving the school, and more.

The purpose of these rituals is not to force your respect for others but rather to develop a sincere and strong respect for yourself. If you do not respect yourself how can you respect others? When you respect yourself you can and will develop respect for others.

For example, take the action of “Bowing.” There are many that believe that they do not have to bow to another fellow student or person. That bowing is silly. That bowing has no meaning. That it is beneath them. But, this is not the correct way of thinking.

When you enter your martial arts school your mind should begin preparation for the training that is to follow. This initial bow allows you to focus your mind on what is ahead – your training for that day. It is like a key that unlocks your mind so that you are ready to receive the knowledge that will be transmitted that day. In reality you are showing respect for yourself and acknowledging that you want and are willing to learn.

During a martial arts class the act of bowing lets your seniors and fellow students know that you are paying attention and acknowledging the information or practice that they are conveying to you. It is respect for the mutual interaction that takes you along your journey in the martial arts.

At the end of class bowing is in essence showing your thanks and gratitude for your school – a place where you can come and learn, for your teachers – that they are there and willing to teach you and consider you as family, and for your fellow students – as they are the ones that assist you in your learning by practicing with you.

There is a right and certain way, a praxis, a way of behaving, that emerges from your paradigms and mental programming that must be learned, nurtured and developed if you are to succeed in the martial arts and in life itself. You must practice your martial art in your school and you must continue to mentally practice your martial art throughout every day and in every moment of your living.

Part of the right and certain way is the establishment of an ethical and moral code that you can use as mental programming to shape your paradigms and create your praxis. To that end you must consider the concepts of Rectitude, Heroism, Compassion, Courtesy, Truthfulness and Loyalty.

RECTITUDE simply means making the right decision with consistency in any and all situations that arise during the course of your life. And you know that the RIGHT DECISION is the Moral, Just and Honorable one.

HEROISM has many interpretations and often depends on the situation at hand. But, in everyday life heroism simply means TO DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE in the right and certain way. A true hero is someone who accomplishes that which they set out do.

COMPASSION although easy to describe is often difficult for many to express. Compassion is a feeling that you get inside when someone else is experiencing pain or suffering. The martial arts stresses action and to that end you must find ways to express compassion for your family, friends, and anyone who may be having problems in their life. Helping is an expression of compassion.

COURTESY is truly needed in today’s society. The “modern world” with its “all about me” attitude could greatly benefit from the simple acts of courtesy. Please, Thank You, Gratefulness, opening the door for someone who has their hands full are all easy expressions of courtesy and they cost you nothing! And you get so much in return. Remember YOU MUST GIVE IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE.

TRUTHFULNESS is the right and certain way. It is the way of sincerity. When dealing with yourself or others truth is the only way. To be truly aware and be able to see the path to your success you must be true to yourself and others in all dealings and interpersonal relationships. If you are untruthful then the universe will believe that you think being untruthful is acceptable and it will conspire to bring untruthfulness to you from all directions.

LOYALTY, devotion and obedience are all tied together. You should be loyal and devoted to your parents and family and realize that these are the origins, roots and foundation of your life. In the martial arts it is important to be loyal to the school or organization to which you belong. You should realize that it is they that are guiding you along your path of growth, development and improvement. If you can not be loyal you should not be there, it is as simple as that.

All of these things including developing a strong respect for yourself are the beliefs that you can use to shape your paradigm, develop your perceptions and create the praxis by which you live, love, laugh and succeed at everything in your life.

Martial Arts is for Everyone!

In Gratitude!
Hanshi Hufford
Your Martial Arts Mentor
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#2 The Beginner’s Mind Is a State of Being

Greetings and Welcome to the next installment of
“Martial Arts for Everyone”

I was thinking about someone beginning the martial arts – karate, kungfu, jujitsu, taichi, qigong, etc. and asked myself where to start? I realized that there is only one place to start and that is in you own mind. That there is only one place to start and that is at the BEGINNING.

In Japan they have the phrase “SO SHIN” which means “Beginner’s Mind.” It was Shunryo Suzuki that said, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are very few.”

When you decide to start a martial art it is key to think that you are a beginner, that your beginner’s mind is open to new experience and trusting that you will be learning skills, both mental and physical, that can be key to you living an awesome life.

With an open and receiving mind you will be able to absorb this new information into your consciousness and allow it to become part of your own understanding forming new habits and paradigms within your subconscious mind.

But your mind is tricky, whenever you learn something new about someone or something, your mind reaches into your subconscious and accesses your old comfortable habits and paradigms and creates your perception through the formation of opinions, preconceptions and judgements that inhibit the true knowledge that you are learning.

During your practice your goal should be that of maintaining the “beginner’s mind” because it is in this state that you have limitless possibilities and meaning through your original mind. The “beginner’s mind” is also something you hope to meet along your journey. It is not something that you consider as an object of your search.

It is a state of being (a state of mind) that includes everything within itself. It is a self-sufficient state of being – It is an empty mind that is ready and willing to receive, it is open to everything.

If you consciously rationalize and think too much, discriminate too much, then you limit yourself through ingrained paradigms, perceptions and behavior. In the beginner’s mind there is no thought of attainment. Remember, all self-centered thought limits the vastness of your mind and your limitless potential.

The most difficult thing is to always keep and be in the state of beginner’s mind. It is always necessary for you to be in the state of your original mind and the best way to do that is with a deep and sincere expression of gratitude for all that you have, all that you can be, and all that you are.

You live in the limitless abundance of the Universe!

In Gratitude!
Hanshi Hufford
Your Martial Arts Mentor
P.S. Take a Moment to Check Out our FREE CLASS OFFER or our CD/DVD STORE.

#1 A Creed for Self-Discipline

Greetings and Welcome to the next installment of
“Martial Arts for Everyone”

Self-Discipline is an attribute that many people and many martial artists strive for.  It is often more difficult to attain than one thinks.  In this writing I have adapted affirmations for Self-Discipline from one of my mentors Bob Proctor.

I suggest that you take each one of these seven and write them on a card. Have the cards laminated and repeat them out loud and internally every day to develop a new paradigm of self-discipline.

Or you can type all of these onto a sheet of paper, laminate it and tack it up somewhere where you will see and be able to read it everyday. 

WILL POWER
“I realize the power of will is Supreme Court over all other departments of my mind, I will exercise it daily when I need the urge to action for any purpose. And I will form habits designed to bring the power of my will into action at least once every day.”

EMOTIONS
“I realize that my emotions are both positive and negative I will form daily habits which will encourage the development of the positive emotions, and aid me in converting the negative emotions into some form of useful action.”

REASON
“I realize that both my positive emotions and my negative emotions may be dangerous if they are not controlled and guided to desirable ends, I will submit all my desires, aims and purposes to my faculty of reason, and I will be guided by it in giving expression to these.”

IMAGINATION
“I realize the need for sound plans and ideas for the attainment of my desires. I will develop my imagination by calling upon it daily for help in the formation of my plans.”

CONSCIENCE
“I realize that my emotions often err in their over-enthusiasm, and my faculty of reason often is without the warmth of feeling that is necessary to enable me to combine justice with mercy in my judgments.” That is a tricky one. “I will encourage my conscience to guide me as to what is right and what is wrong, but I will never set aside the verdicts it renders, no matter what may be the cost of carrying them out.”

MEMORY
“I realize the value of an alert memory, I will encourage mine to become alert by taking care to impress it clearly with all thoughts I wish to recall, and by associating these thoughts with related subjects which I may call to mind frequently.”

SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
 “I realize the influence of my subconscious mind over my power of will, I shall take care to submit to it a clear and definite picture of my major purpose in life and all minor purposes leading to my major purpose, and I shall keep this picture constantly before my subconscious mind by repeating it daily.”

Enjoy!
Share these with Family and Friends
Sincerely,
Hanshi Hufford
Your friend in the Martial Art
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