Once upon a time, very long ago in ancient China, a certain emperor asks of his best court doctor (who is the youngest member in a family of healers), "who -- in your family -- is considered the best of the healers?"
The young doctor, who later was historically named as the best healer of all times in all of China, was placed in an uncomfortable predicament in front of all his brothers also standing at the Emperor's bidding, answered, "My eldest brother can heal the spirit before illnesses can ever take shape, so his name never gets out of the house. Now my elder brother can take care of illness when it's still very minute, so his name never gets out of the village. As for me, I puncture veins, massage skin and prescribe herbs so from time-to-time, my name gets to be well-known among the lords and palaces."
As in the ancient story of the royal healer, the best strategy to a war or battle is never to have to engage in one at all. The best self-defense is never to allow a situation to come to a need to have to defend yourself. Therefore the best martial arts is the art of defusing a potential escalation of conflict.
Bearing that in mind, the above is the foremost important secret to all serious martial artists. To develop the heart of a martial artist, you must continue training in all aspects of the martial arts, including the healing side, not just your own style. You must study the healing art if you are to exercise the deadly art. Your road begins when you reach that first degree black belt. A Black Belt marks the beginning of your real journey. It means you have the appropriate tools to continue your arts. So let's go!
One of my favorite martial arts teaching came from the movie Star Wars' character, Yoda, while teaching Luke Skywalker to be a Jedi Knight.
Click for a streaming video in Windows' Media Player format (size: 1.7 MB)
Clips courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.