After eight classes of Jungshin in the DC area, and after many more classes in the Bay Area, I am coming to realize that a martial artist does not necessarily have to know martial arts, nor wear a belt. A martial artist is someone who steps easily into alignment with what is present in front of them, grounds to an incredible source of inner power, and has a lightness of being that is kind and humble. I am seeing this more and more in those who step up into the practice of Jungshin, pick up the sword, and begin to let the way of the sword work them from deep within.
This is truly what I understood as I walked into every health club over the last two days and saw seasoned martial artists, cyclists, swimmers, body pumpers, kick boxers, and yogis step into the practice of Jungshin. It brought me joy!
I was also super excited when tonight at 4:30 I walked into the PTO (the Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia) to teach a Sport and Health Jungshin demo class. The PTO is the very place that patented and trademarked Jungshin over two years ago! And here I am bringing the swords into the lobby for x-ray, examination, and a grand welcoming of 35+ people ready to sweat the Jungshin way. Life is a full circle. If I had been paying more attention to the words of the universe, or God, or that higher being, I would have known this: Oh right, birth-life-death, a circle. There it is. But I am learning about this circle as I experience the ‘life’ part. And here it is again.
At the age of fourteen, I discovered true athletic mastery through rowing for the Poughkeepsie crew team, and winning the New York State championships. It makes perfect sense that the east coast–the ground, the land–is welcoming Jungshin with such open arms. I was trained here as a kid—it’s the very story on my web site that I tell about perseverance. I am humbled. And here I thought I was in control!
I remember my dear friend and colleague, Master Duncan Wong, urging me to, “Find the land that welcomes you the most because that is where you belong.” Have I found it? Time will tell.