It was 1999. My first step stepping into TAR College led me to the world of Martial Arts. From the day I started my first lesson in Shito-Ryu Karate-do, every single drop of my blood, every single breath, every single step, every single movement of my hand was actually filled by the spirit of Martial Arts.
My Master, Mr. Lim You Sie has spent a lot of times, efforts, and patients in teaching and training me to become a good Martial Artist. I was solely trained by Mr. Lim, he is as my teacher, also as my father who brought me up during my darkest period in college time, he is the one who raise my self confidence, self awareness, and lastly, self emptiness.
He is the one who taught us the philosophies of Martial Arts, ‘Kara’ (空), ‘te’ (手), ‘do’ (道), means the way of empty hand, in fact, the hidden meaning is the empty mind.
‘As solid as the mountain, as empty as the sky’ – means your step and stance were as firm as a mountain, your mind has come to the level of emptiness, your movements flow as nature as the water without hesitation.
‘空手无先手’ – means as a Karete-ka, we will never release the first strike or simply that we can never initiate a fight.
Above were just 2 examples of thousands philosophies in Karate-do, a Japanese Martial Art. The students were well trained to strengthen their physical and mental fitness. It is a perfect ground for a person to shape their personal values. In TARC dojo (training center) under the guidance of Mr. Lim, the students were taught to let go their ego, and the students were taught not to fight instead of how to fight.
About 1 year ago, Mr. Lim had a sudden severe health problem where I was almost to loss my beloved teacher. I felt so regret that I did not manage to inherit the knowledge that he has passed to me because I had been stop training for recent 1 to 2 years. The club was supported by Mr. Lim for more than 10 years or perhaps 20 years, the seniors that he had trained were gone one by one after graduation or after few years working in the business world, and I was one of them.
I received Mr. Lim’s call last week, he was asking me to come back and teach the newbies in the college. I immediately said I can’t since I have not been training for so long. He was pissed off and for the first time he shouted at me:
‘I have trained you so hard, how can you say you cannot? Once a black belt, always a black belt!’
I kept silent for seconds, felt so embarrassed and useless. I respect my teacher and hence I obey his instruction. For me, it meant once a master, always the father.
I have to go back, like a salmon fish, have to swim against the stream and back to its origin place to lay its eggs.
It is a responsibility, no matter you like it or not, you must carry out the task that has been assigned to you.