“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” – The Litany Against Fear, Dune
Last weekend I took my first martial arts test. Let me back up a bit first, though, so I can explain this. I’m over 40 years old. I started learning the martial art of T’ai Chi about six and half years ago and only in the last two years or so have I begun studying Kung Fu. Most of the kids I study with could be *my* kids by their age alone. I’m certainly not the oldest person in class, but I am the oldest testing in the Kung Fu classes so far.
This test I took consisted of seven kids still in their teens and early twenties, a guy in his 30s (bless him for showing up), and me. It was more than a physical endurance test, though. In addition to demonstrating our ability to perform martial arts techniques accurately over time, we also had write a two-page paper (sweet Jesus so short!) answering the question “Why do you practice martial arts?” Continue reading