November’s Champion Theme


Nobody can teach you patience. You have to learn it for yourself. The reason you can’t be taught this is because it’s against most people’s instincts. When you see or think of something you want, you want it now. And why shouldn’t you have it now? If you want the latest iPhone and your parents say you’ve got to wait until your birthday, what’s your reaction? Do you stick your bottom lip out a bit and have a moan? Do you try and make them give in and buy it for you now? “Be patient”, they say, but you don’t like it much.

When it comes to patience, have you noticed the difference between a dog and a cat? The dog sees something and goes tearing after it immediately. But watch what the cat does. It sizes up the situation. If necessary, it will sit for hours watching its prey, until the right moment arrives to strike. That’s why cats get into less trouble than dogs, and why they’re better survivors (have you heard the saying “a cat has nine lives”?).

Patience means control. You’ll never be a good martial artist if you don’t have control. You have to learn when to be a dog and when to be a cat. When to rush in right away, and when to hold back patiently. You can’t always get what you want right away. Sometimes, we have students who say, “I want a black belt in 3 months”. But it just isn’t possible. There’s too much to learn. They have to be patient, train regularly, and earn their black belt. It isn’t a gift.

So it is with many things in life. When you see something you want, ask yourself if you’re a dog or a cat. Can you rush in and just take it? Or have you got to study it first, plan how to get it, and then put the work in?

So much for being patient with yourself. But what about patience with other people? Do some people get on your nerves because they’re not as quick or as bright as you? Just remember, there’s always someone quicker and brighter than you! Be patient with people you think aren’t as good as you are. Always encourage them and give them praise for what they do. That way they’ll learn from you and respect you. In the end, we all achieve more with a little patience.

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