Five F’s for Training

by Gaby R.

gaby_pinFortify Your Body – This one is pretty straightforward — get stronger; improve your stamina; eat right, exercise, and treat your body well so that it is powerful and reliable for you.

Find Your Way – This is an interesting one for a martial art, if you consider that the popular image of martial arts in the U.S. is of wizened guys shouting orders and demanding blind, unthinking, instant obedience. Finding your way requires more than that — it requires reflection, introspection, and some independent commitment toward the direction you want your life, or more literally your training, to take.

Fly Your Spirit – I like this one. Spirits aren’t bound by gravity, only bodies are. So why aim low, either figuratively or literally, in your training? Why not shoot for enlightenment, physical and metaphysical: flying kicks that soar and never come down, and transcendence that rockets past the stratosphere.

Feed Your Soul – Mmm, soul food. And being kind to yourself — training hard is good, but sometimes it’s important to prioritize the relationships and activities that sustain your heart. I skipped class last weekend — the weekend before the test — because I needed to visit my brother in N.C. That was important…this is about that.

Flow Your Ki – Have you ever had a dog, even a little dog, stare you down — and you had to look away? One instructor I had said “That dog was Ki-ing at you.” People can summon their inner whatever-you-want-to-call-it, too, and when you let it loose it can be a powerful thing. I think of comic book images of superheroes releasing energy from their fingertips, or jedi knights giving a “force-push” to their opponents. I also think of Qi Gong, relaxation and exercise routines that focus on drawing up and releasing energy  you can pull from the earth, sky, and surroundings.


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