KDA Wing Chun is part of a larger association, the KDA Karate Academy. The Academy’s tag line is, ‘Take Pride in Your Life’.
What does it mean to take pride in your life? Pride can have many meanings. A quick look at a thesaurus equates pride with arrogance, conceit, and self-importance. Certainly, KDA is not thinking in those terms. Pride also equates to satisfaction, pleasure, and gratification. However, these still do not hit the mark. Self-respect, dignity, and honor, KDA is pointing toward these meanings.
Take pride in your family and friends. Take pride in your job or schoolwork. Take pride in your hobbies. These three things, family, job or school, and hobbies are the totality of your life. That is all there is. You might think about free time, but you spend that with family, friends, or hobbies and interests.
What does it mean to take pride in your job, for example? It does not mean having an arrogant satisfaction in the job you have. Do not puff up your chest because your hobby is racecar driving and you have the coolest hotrod in town. Instead, take pride in the job you do. You may dislike your boss. The company may be the pits. Your stock car may not be the best on the track. You may find yourself doing a specific task with no real value that you can determine. Still, you should want to do it well. You should dot every I and cross every T. Pay attention to the rules and drive your speedster the best you know how. You want to be able to walk away from the job or task with your head erect. If the boss is a problem, the company approach is in error, or you pit crew sluffed on a tire change, you want to be able to point to your part and show you did what was requested, the way it was requested, with a touch of flair that shows you care about what you do. How you interact and handle the thing is what should give you esteem.
As most of you reading this have a job or hobby in martial arts, it seems strange to have to say these things. The martial arts, like any art or science, are about attention to detail with a personal flourish. When chatting with folk as you mention what you do, people may gush about your vocation. “Oh, wow, you do that Jackie Chan stuff?” Do not take pleasure in their excitement over the job or hobby. They do not know what you do, and they certainly do not know how you do it.
Taking pride in your life is not about what you have. It is taking pride in how you do everything you do.