I’m clear on this: If you really want to experience the ultimate of a martial art – or any art for that matter – then you have to prepare yourself for the long haul and preferably sooner than later understand that:

You are the Seed!

The seed analogy is one I could return to again and again.  It implies transformation, a rebirth, a throwing away of shackles and fear.  It speaks of growth and unfolding, things seen and felt clearer day on day in a martial journey, things that make you grateful for persisting through the ham-fisted-ness of sloppy technique and the weight of early misgivings, things that make you feel sorry for those who have quit ever so early.

Put simply, you plant the seed when you first take yourself to the class.   You water it by training regularly and well (at least twice a week).  And the sun and sustenance of it is your ever-improving focus and belief in yourself, as well as your art.

Yes, there will be doubt and discomfort, perhaps even pain, in the beginning.  But if you have heart and a big enough WHY for being there in the first place, if you persist, one day you may well look back and remember with a deep and unending smile who you once were – and see you have changed.

Just as we cannot see a seed beneath the ground, it is forming a sprout and one day it will break the crust of the earth.   So too will it one day flower.  One day you will ask yourself:

Where is the seed?

The sad fact of it is that many give up as soon as they’ve hardly begun (even after a year or two’s practice – that’s not near long enough!).  They see the long road stretching before them and they decide at some point that it’s not worth the effort.  They think having taken a few tentative steps along the road they are making an informed decision and that although nothing is gained, nothing is lost.  And so they miss out on a wonderful thing:

The death of the seed

Consider these words of Osho:

The death of the seed will be the birth of the tree, and there will be great foliage and flowering and fruits, and birds will come and sit on the branches and make their nests, and people will sit under the shade of the tree; and the tree will talk to the clouds and the stars in the night, and will play with the sky, and will dance in the winds; and there will be great rejoicing.  But how can this be known to the poor seed which has never been anything else?