The most important thing in my martial arts philosophy is "The Way".
Martial arts training is like an adventure you will go on. This adventure is your very own journey. Your journey and mine won't be the same. Imagine this journey as a path going up a mountain. Everybody wants to get to the top of the mountain. Getting to the top signifies accomplishing your goal.
The philosophy of "The Way" states that how you walk your path is more important than accomplishing your goal.
Take for example someone who gets to the top by cheating, breaking rules, and by being cut throat. This is no good, same with someone who gets to the top by being a bully.
Even if you don't make it to the top, if you helped others along the way, and you made some good friends, then this is great!
I cross train in the martial arts, this simply means that I train in more than one style of martial arts. This is not to be confused with a convert. A convert is someone who trained in one style and then completely switched over to another, abandoning the old usually because of a bad experience. Cross training is different because you train in various styles, with the intention to use all the styles you have trained in.
I cross train because I enjoy variety, I like different cultures, different perspectives, different strategies and techniques. Even though I enjoy cross training, and that's what I do, I still do not think it's the best way to practice martial arts. I believe there are many ways to climb to the top of the mountain and cross training is just one of those ways.
I firmly believe in this after one time I had a challenge match against an Okinawan Karate black belt named Robert. At the time I was cross training in many disciplines and he was mainly a Karate guy. I thought I would destroy him easily but to my surprise we ended in a draw. That's when I realized my method wasn't better than his. Staying in one style for many years and competing in Kata(forms) tournaments works for him, and that day I learned to respect that.
To me a good martial artist is professional.
A professional upholds certain standards of behavior.
A professional always puts safety as priority.
A professional always makes sure that the training environment is suitable for learning.
If there is a bully, a professional will do something about it.
If people are fooling around, a professional will do something about it.
There is a difference between fooling around and having fun.
There is negative fun and positive fun, we want to have positive fun.
Negative fun interferes with the learning, while positive fun helps with the learning.
In martial arts it is mighty important to seek out the truth. We don't want to live in a fantasy world. To use martial arts in real life you need to have a realistic view or it's not going to work well.
The truth can be harsh and not what we want it to be, that's why we must make ourselves into warriors. We must become strong so that we can handle the truth.
Keep in mind that the pursuit of truth must be done professionally. I see so many people online use the pursuit of truth as an excuse to be rude and cruel. They display tyrant like behavior all in the name of truth. This is not right and they don't deserve attention no matter how correct they are.