I'd like to say I found my purpose the first time I stepped into a dojo and threw my first punch, however, this is far from the truth. The reason I got started in martial arts, like many people, is that I was bullied as a kid and had very low self-esteem. Gradually by consistent practice I built up confidence and eventually was able to throw some decent punches, kicks and so on.
At that time I felt my purpose was not to get bullied. I would soon find out how shallow a purpose that was.
After a month or so I decided to take Kung Fu classes full time, the tai chi practice soon followed. With this practice came a new purpose, one that affected the rest of my life. This newfound purpose was a practice of self-development. Underlying this practice was a deep respect for culture, traditions, and lineage.
Some Kung Fu quotes helped me fortify this purpose:
"When you drink a glass of water, remember where it came from." -Grandmaster Feemon Ong
"Train hard! Better to have the skill and not need it, than to need it and not have it." -Sifu Dave Cial
"Always be mindfull, see through the red dust." -Grandmaster Feemon Ong
This purpose of self-development is a major factor to why I joined the USMC. To show myself what I was capable of. In those years of hardship, I shaped the purpose of my entire life, although at the time I didn't know it.
Daniel R. Hyde
Licensed Massage Therapist
OIF, OEF Veteran
U.S. Marine Corps
Tui Na, Chinese Massage
Shiatsu, Japanese Massage
Tai Chi Chuan
Kwan Ying Do Kung Fu