We live near a very beautiful park and there is always much to see when out on our morning walk. Many enjoy to come and do their exercise routine in the park. This can be a gym routine on the exercise equipment, it can be yoga, stretching, walking or running. Then there are those who come to the park to complete their daily martial arts. The most usual martial arts we see is Tai Chi and there is something quite distinct about those who do Tai Chi in the park.

A few days ago, someone strode passed us on his way to find his exercise spot. This person was different from the others. As we completed our circuits of brisk walking, I could not help but take note of a number of lessons learned over about 10–15 minutes. I do believe the lessons are transferrable to many areas of life.

1) Dress the part

The first impression and lesson learned from the master of martial arts is how he dressed to do a session in martial arts. He had his Gi or white martial arts suit on together with an appropriate belt which let us know he was a master and a few badges. It made an immediate impression and quite a contrast to many who might begin their exercise routine as though they were going out shopping, out with a friend or just enjoying the day. What we wear gives an impression to others and to ourselves about who we are and what the next set period of time is about

2) Set a Goal

The martial arts expert had a definite goal which was very evident in the items he carried with him and how he approached the place he selected for his time doing his martial art.

3) Confidence

The martial arts expert exhumed confidence. The way he walked, the way he held the items he had with him, how he carried himself made it very evident that this was someone who was confident about who he is, what he was about to do and his ability to carryout the exercise he was about to engage in. Being confident is important in all areas of our lives and is a quality that definitely improves with training and experience.

4) Centering / Balance

The first detail to catch my attention was the stance of the Martial Arts expert when starting his initial standing position. Seeing the master get into position left a very strong impression. There is something very striking about a master of martial arts when he takes up his stance; totally centred with absolute balance. It was very evident that not much would sway him, push him over or distract him from his stance and his goal / focus. The impression is not easy to capture in words but the contrast between the master and the others who come to the park to practice their martial arts was very evident just in this one position.

It makes one realize the power of setting a goal that one focuses on with full concentration and dedication. It also drove home the message of the importance of getting one’s being, one’s whole body to be united, centred and calm. For anyone wanting to know what being relaxed and focused looks like, I recommend watching a master of martial arts prepare to do a martial arts routine.

5) Preparation

The martial arts expert came prepared and ready to prepare. As already mentioned he came dressed the part which required preparing ahead of time. He brought with him the equipment or materials he would be using, it looked like he would be either practicing or teaching use of weapons. He also spent quite some time in preparing himself prior to doing any routine. There was no rushing into his exercise. I did not time how long his preparation took, but clearly, success in martial arts requires setting aside time for preparation.

What a wonderful lesson for life. Preparing for any task gives one the potential to be successful far more than just rushing into a task. It is also possible to be calm and confident about what one is about to do when you have taken the trouble to prepare effectively.

6) Pace yourself

While we completed our circuits of brisk walking, the martial arts expert began with his standing position and then moved on to some meditation while sitting before beginning the next stage of his process. Each aspect of the routine that he was involved in had a set time and steady pace.

The result from the preparation, pacing, concentration and balance was very evident in beautiful controlled movements that were smooth, focused with direction and confidence.

These were the lessons learned while observing the master of martial arts while we completed a few circuits in the park. At this stage, we had completed our morning exercise routine and it was time to move on to our next task and venue for the day. I have no doubt that had I stayed to observe for longer that I would have gained many more lessons. We may have only seen the martial arts expert for about 10–15 minutes, but the experience left an indelible impression and clear lessons that can be taken into any life experience.

Originally published at beahappymom.com on November 7, 2016.

Originally published at medium.com