Mastery of Kali takes time. The transformation that occurs throughout our time for practice is both internal and external. It is not smooth and flowing like the movements we practice. Sometimes it is challenging and painstaking... sometimes deeply moving or thought-provoking, sometimes it confirms our beliefs and values... sometimes it changes us.
When we really want something (or in some cases "someone"), we have to be willing to pay the price... sometimes it is not monetary... in fact at most, the currency is blood, sweat, tears... and time.
How do we develop patience?
1. PRACTICE GRATITUDE. Every time I conclude my training, I summarize what I have learned and recognize the discoveries I made. I celebrate that with a few energizing deep breaths or when I am training with others, share a laugh and a high-five.
2. SHIFT PERSPECTIVE. When I hear unpleasant things, I shift my perspective to something positive, logical, or hilarious. Some examples include:
"Why learn knife defense? Just shoot the guy!"
I say, "Who says I don't know how to shoot?"
"You know nothing."
I say, "There are actually advantages for being a blank slate."
3. UNDERSTAND HUMAN NATURE. As long as there are people, politics and drama exist. Understand that we are humans. Nothing is perfect and certain. We are all learning in life. People exist in different levels and grow in different paces. It's okay. To keep your sanity, develop wisdom (and #4 of this list).
4. PRACTICE FORGIVENESS, HUMILITY, HONOR, AND COURAGE. Since we are striving to reach our highest potential, mistakes and imperfections are inevitable. Learn to forgive others and learn to forgive yourself. Need I say more?
To forgive, we have to be humble. You come to training not as a doctor, an executive, an officer, a black belt.. etc.. you come to Kali practice as a being... yearning for knowledge that the ancestors have passed on from generation to generation.
Be humble enough to accept the gift of Kali, honorable enough to practice its values, and courageous enough to protect the art.