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Learning Alone is Not Worth Much

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I am writing here about martial arts today, but, as usual, what applies to the disciplines of the martial arts applies to all of life.


There is too much of an emphasis on “learning” in the arts today, as if learning were a pill or an exercise machine to do it all for you, as the commercials say; “without all those sweaty workouts, diets and…” discipline.


What we seek is change in us for the better, and such changes only come through experiences, usually the difficult experiences that build virtues in us such as diligence, perseverance, strength, endurance, balance, discernment, etc.


But, unfortunately, learning today is as haphazard as it is antiseptic and dissociated from reality and from that gritty, difficult experience thing. As a result, this clinical “learning” rarely produces any lasting changes in us if any at all.


Hearing the lecture, reading the book or pondering the point won’t take you where the experiences will when you finally decide to get up on your feet, step outside and walk the real Path in all its difficulties, discoveries, pains, joys and glories.


As I have drummed into my students’ heads over the years; “Learning is the enabler of doing. Doing is the enabler of becoming. And becoming is everything.”


My advice then:

Turn off the TV set, discover that there are people in your life, and go live it with them.
Do the difficult.
Face and defeat every challenge (or at least be able to say you tried with everything you had).
Work hard.
Play hard.
Rest deep.
Love without fear.
Life life to the fullest.
Defy tyranny… especially that sneaky kind that comes from within.









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