Article – Paul Gioffi Well Weathered Edition 212018-03-28T09:35:16+00:00

Well Weathered

Travel Survival Notes & Other Curious Observations

Monthly Travel Column by Paul W. Gioffi
Edition 21

Disclaimer: While travel can be exciting and rewarding there are unforeseen dangers that may arise. The Information presented in Paul’s articles is the author’s personal opinion and what may have worked for him yesterday may not work for someone else today or tomorrow. Therefore, you agree to use any and all information provided by the author at your own risk and agree that you will hold the author and ISR harmless in regard to any and all instances that may arise or result from use of this material.

Following, you’ll find travel tip 42 from Paul W. Gioffi. To read the introduction to this column which began in February of 2006 please see Edition 1. To access other previous editions please see the Index.

Entry 42: Excellent Way

Contrary to popular belief, the martial arts are not a warlike state of being. They are not just run-of-the-mill exercises found on cable television. They are not a license to punch, jump and kick your way through billiards hall windows. In fact, accurate understanding teaches one how not to fight rather than how to fight. For those who truly understand and embrace the essence of the martial arts, each style is a complete way of thinking and living; a wholeness of being that is tremendously useful both at home and on the road. The origins, traditions, tenets, philosophies and practices of the martial arts are the aggregate of thousands of years of discipline. The martial arts can teach one integrity, respect, wisdom, courtesy, refinement, harmony, spiritual enlightenment, refinement, transcendence, and peaceful living. It would be extremely difficult for anyone to argue against the benefits of all of these concepts. Its physical advantages have also been proven. Where to begin? Do your own research about the martial arts and schools of instruction. Investigate. Decide what the martial arts have to offer and how you can use them to improve your life. Learn its past to help you make the correct decisions in the present. After this initial stage, many join a school. If enlisting in an organization, it’s just as important to choose a good style as it is an honest school and instructor. Steer clear of the draconian, dojo warlords and the money-sucking membership plans. Good instruction and careful study is just the beginning. Emulate but do not imitate. In my own practice, I’ve become my own mentor, and have moved on to realize my own aspirations. The Chinese term gung fu (sometimes written as kung fu when it crosses the Pacific Ocean) can be translated as ‘excellent way,’ and does not necessarily shackle itself to pugilistic fighting systems. Having an excellent way means doing something to the best of your ability. It means choosing to excel at something, refining your talents, expressing yourself, and sharing a little bit of your positive energy to make some improvement in the world. Having excellence in some aspect of your life is something to be proud of. Remember, while there are many honorable martial arts schools out there, you don’t always need to join one to show excellence. You will discover that a whole-hearted grasp of the martial arts will find its attributes pervading all areas of your life. People have assimilated its characteristics with religion, other philosophies and other everyday practices. Its ability to synthesize and augment is one of its beauties. Whether combined with your religious beliefs, a physical fitness program, the term paper in your comparative philosophies class, or left on its own, the martial arts offer something good for almost everyone, regardless of culture. Once put into practice, both home and abroad, others will come to recognize your reserved (almost taciturn) and respectful demeanor, your ability to speak a clear and concise truth, your humble yet noble actions and a well-disciplined and productive lifestyle. Pursue your excellent way

Well Weathered Article Index

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s edition of Well-Weathered Travel Survival Notes & Other Curious Observations. Check back next month for a new entry. Until then, safe travels.
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