Living the Five Rules


Merrriam-Webster’s has defined effort as: conscious exertion of power; a serious attempt or try at something; the total work done to achieve a particular end. It is fitting that the five rules start with effort, for with no effort, there can be no learning! I once had a woman come to me and explain why her two children were going to quit.

They had only been attending for a few weeks and my feeling is that you can’t possibly make up your mind about something so large and complicated until you have studied for at least a year! What if the part you like is just around the corner, but you quit because you don’t like today’s lesson? Well, she said, “I never make my children do anything they don’t want to do!” Oh My God! There goes doctor, lawyer, accomplished musician, and anything else that takes a lot of work to obtain! Is this good parenting?

Or is it the easy way out? My feeling is that a good parent takes the more difficult path requiring effort
as a parent and effort from the young ones! Who’s guiding who?

I have been studying this art now for over 36 years and I still love it! It has been no effort because I have been enjoying every part of the journey, but for a youngster starting out, there is the temptation
to try whatever is the fad of the moment. How far up the martial arts tree will the student make it if every time he comes to a branch, he leaps onto it? It takes effort once again to stay the course, to remain fixed on the objective, to continue on to success! Nothing that is as complex as the Shaolin arts is going to be learned without EFFORT!