|CHRISTOPHER N. GEARY
||PROFILE OF A MARTIAL ARTS MASTER
I decided to tell my story for three reasons. First, in presenting
the unvarnished truth I want to rise above myself-to become
a better person and a better martial artist. As the saying
goes, the truth can set you free. Second, I hope that my story
will help you, the reader, to better understand the martial
arts and see my life in a more transparent way. Third, I want
this story to inspire my students (and any others who may
read my story) to persevere and find the right balance in
their martial arts training and in their lives. It's easy
to imitate others, but it is harder to create something new.
Now is the time for me to forge my own path and create my
own essence and my own way of doing things. Becoming a seventh-degree
black belt motivates me to become the kind of martial arts
master that I want to be. To understand where I'm going, it
is helpful to reflect on where I've been.
I have come to the conclusion that there is far too much "he
said, she said" in the martial arts today. People spend
entirely too much time arguing about which martial arts style
is the best and who is the best. If martial artists would
set aside the bickering and devote at least half of their
time and energy to improving their skills in the art that
they study, they would achieve so much more in their training
and in their personal development as martial artists.
are four secrets to being a good martial artist and a good
human being: self-discipline, tolerance, adaptability, and
patience. People who lack these characteristics find it easier
to make excuses and to blame others for their lack of success.
ago when I was running my first Kempo School at 3035 Harney
Street in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, it was one of the happiest
times in my life. I was a first-degree black belt promoted
under the well-known Professor Nick Cerio. Times were simpler
then, with no politics and no problems. But I am a very ambitious
person, and it's very hard for me to sit still for long. I
had, and still have, a drive to continually challenge myself
to do better and to achieve more. I want to be successful
and make my life as meaningful as I can. At that time, I promised
myself that when I became better known as a martial artist,
I would write something to let people know what it is like
to achieve success in this field.
in my martial arts career, I noticed that some instructors
seemed to drag students along, draining their wallets by tantalizing
them with the promise of some kind of martial arts holy grail.
I knew that I wanted to make things right for the love of
the art. For thousands of years, martial arts masters and
heads of religions have used these methods of withholding
"secrets" to gain control by instilling fear of
the unknown into people. This should not be the way of martial
arts, and it is not the way a human being ought to live. Control
should come from within and not from without. And finding
the truth-untying the knot-should be our ultimate goal.