Many of you know that I am a newcomer in the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). I’m not even a year into it yet but my head has already swollen!
You see, I spend a lot of time watching FMA videos on the net. (Too much time, I think, that I’m beginning to suspect hubby planning a curfew on my surfing soon). I’m hooked because I just adore the great skills many masters and practitioners show.
But there were also times when I raised my eyebrows, rolled my eyes, and smirked at some videos.
In my six months of training with my FMA instructor, Master Cris, I never heard him say anything derogatory about another martial artist nor did I ever observe him act smugly around anyone.
But me, newbie me (!), was arrogant enough to scoff at others.
That was exactly what I was doing late last night….
when suddenly, our internet server stopped working.
A little frustrated (I was enjoying my meanness), I picked up a book on my bedside table, one I have been reading on and off: Modern Arnis, Philippine Style of Stick Fighting by Grandmaster Remy Amador Presas.
As if he was writing directly to me, I read,
The cardinal principle in Arnis is respect for one’s opponent as a person, as a fighter, and as a sportsman….he is a human being with dignity…worthy of respect.
I put the book down, affected by the timing of the message.
Oh my…I feel guilty…
What am I doing?
Could I really go far if I continue in this proud, self-righteous path?
I don’t think so…
After some serious thinking, I made a decision. For my own good, I’ll try to stop being smug. Instead, I’lI work on having an honest view of myself and remember GM Presas’s message:
Strive to always have a high regard for everyone. They are sportsmen, human beings with dignity, worthy of respect.
Thank you very much, Grandmaster Remy Amador Presas. Pugay po!