(Jonathan Ryan posting for Jen Schlameuss-Perry.)
I know that this is an entertainment blog, and that martial arts are not strictly “entertainment,” but they are “arts.” So, I’m going to write about that today. I want to tell you about my Yoda; my Master—Master Sue. She doesn’t look like a Muppet and she’s not wrinkled and green; she’s really gorgeous. And she’s awesome. Right now she’s kicking cancer’s ass, but she can kick yours (or your Master’s), too. Even in the midst of chemo and radiation she has been present and keeping her dojo open (with the help of some terrific Instructors). And, while I could write a whole blog just on that, I’m not going to. You can see her own thoughts (which are better than mine) on her Facebook page: A Warrior’s Journey.
Anhoo, she learned Martial Arts at a time when ladies generally didn’t do that, and she suffered for her art—it was old school training, and I’d say that it made her tough, but I know she already was. But, tough as she is, she is also one of the kindest, most encouraging people I’ve ever met. She teaches with precision, compassion and wisdom. I’ll get in trouble for saying this (because I’m not allowed to do negative talk), but I’m a spaz. I think I have an undiagnosed auditory processing delay, but I’m also clumsy; and she’s been able to teach me. She finds ways to teach everyone—no matter what level of spaz they are.
Some dojos test their pupils every month, but Master Sue waits until an individual is ready. Nothing is promised, and you only test if you have kept your commitment to learn and practice what is expected of you. She actually runs her dojo very much like an RCIA process (the process by which adults become Catholic). More is expected of a student than just knowledge—practice, understanding, personal growth and development are all part of it, too.
When sharing our faith, it’s important for us to listen to the experience of others, to meet them where they are and teach them on the level that they are best able to receive it. No one should ever be rushed into receiving Sacraments, or expected to be at a level of spiritual maturity other than where they are. We teach by example and journey with the person rather than blather at them. We show them how to be a Christian—teaching them the “moves” and building on the basics.
We have to be Yoda’s (some of us are wrinkled and green and look like Muppets) to the would-be Jedi’s seeking to learn the way of the Force; or if you can swing it, to be a Master Sue to the spazes who come to learn the ways of Bool Gwa Mool Do Kwan; or to be an extraordinary Catechist to the seekers of a deeper relationship with God…whichever is the authentic sharing of yourself.
Jen Schlameuss-Perry is a massive fan of sci-fi, cartoons and superheroes and loves to write about them in light of her Catholic tradition. She currently works for a Catholic Church and practices martial arts, cares for her family and pets and writes in her spare time. Check out some of Jen’s other stuff on her Facebook page or her website.