When King Leonides of Sparta (480 BC) had decided to face the invading Persians, he was assisted by the Achaeans and Arcadians. The Spartans were a warrior nation. Spartan men were warriors, period. Leonides famously chided an Arcadian tribal leader for not having enough skilled soldiers. “But I have all these men….” came the reply of the leader. Leonides then asked a few men about their trades. Many were farmers, potters, scribes and merchants. Leonides then asked his 300 men of their profession. A fearsome war cry echoed in response. While this all may be glamorized in film and novel, we do know thanks to the work of scribes, many details of that day on 9, August at Thermopylae.
What is your profession? I take pride that Jamie and I teach with all of our heart and give the best of what we have in each class. We welcomed a new Squire this week and it broke my heart to hear that the family had researched other martial arts schools in our area. Many calls went unreturned to the family and those that were returned focused only on cost, contract and lack of schedule flexibility. Martial arts training, like so much in life has been watered down to mere business run by those seeking to make a quick buck. I loved it when their child tried a few drills with the class, stayed on the floor with the support of the other Squires and said “This is where I want to be.” to his family prior to leaving. It makes a huge difference when you live what you love.
I train my body very hard on Monday and Fridays. I train all week yet give myself a hearty challenge each week to withstand some pretty rugged stuff. I wish to live my art and teach as though my teacher were always watching. My profession is saving lives through honest technique, warrior mindset and life enrichment. To do that begins with a simple return phone call and hand shake at the door.
What is your profession? Do you live what you love and give one hundred percent to each customer, client or student? It can be tough, burnout can set in but you can learn to rise above it. No matter your profession, do it well. Every word, every gesture builds the foundation upon your reputation.