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Atonement

In Hebrew culture, this is now the start of a New Year; a time when God inscribes the fate of every man into the Book of Life. He seals his verdict on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. For observant Jews this is a time of reflection and effort to amend their behaviour, to fast and pray and earn God’s favour. It is possible to radically change our behaviour by associating the love of God with struggle and hard work. This way we can literally gain pleasure from working hard to pursue our goals and dreams.

Changing our conditioned response to our environment we can feel different about training, work, losing weight and even about how we feel about serving our country. One only has to look at the brainwashing of totalitarian regimes to see how this system of conditioning works. Most important is to take action, because everything we do starts the cause in motion to create a direction towards our goals and our destiny.

If someone wants to make their training more intense they should associate and focus on how getting fitter, having more energy and feeling more alive transform their life. To make lasting changes it has to be a gut feeling, to make training something that you will want to do on a regular basis. This approach can include all aspects of life. An old school friend of mine got married last week. To make marriage work one must associate it strongly with intimacy and connection rather than lack of freedom. This must make one feel phenomenal not just intellectually when talking about it but also have the gut-feel to feel great thinking about it every time.

In martial arts to think about a technique makes that technique too slow because you had to think about it; the technique has to be conditioned into our behaviour. Some think that I digress too much in my blogs but the philosophy of martial arts applies aptly to life and even has theological connections because it addresses how we focus and what we associate in our brains to change our behaviour. By working on changing a few key associations in our brains that are directing and controlling our lives; many changes can be made.

Over the last month, I have been steadily working toward professional certification in Microsoft and Sonicwall technologies. This is because of the associations I have made to the meaning that I want my life to have and what I will have to do, think and feel on a daily basis to reach my goals both as professional and a martial artist. To make changes in the way I feel and behave and how I use my body, but most importantly as an instructor to be able to have an effect on how others also feel and behave and make changes in their lives, makes me feel better than anything imaginable. I think anybody can make radical changes to how they feel about themselves, of who they are and what they are capable of by taking up martial arts training.

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