Who’s the Master?

Who’s the Master?

Balogun Oyabode Abeegunde

In 1972, I began the study and practice of the African martial arts under the tutelage of my father. In 1987, after fifteen years of study, I was recognized by my father and my martial arts peers as a martial arts “master”. It was not until 1992, however, that I was allowed to publicly refer to myself as a Master Instructor and to initiate students to Full Instructor Level. Today, in McDojos around the world, you find six year old “Masters” advising thirty year-olds to be more focused, to eat their vegetables and to just say “no”. Those thirty-year olds bow in reverence to a brat who begs his mama for ten cents so he can buy a lollipop. Absolutely ridiculous.

This kind of foolishness exists because the adult instructors in these McDojos have no clue what a master is, or what mastery really means.

A “Master” is a person who possesses the ability to instantly, instinctively and flawlessly match energy and intention to the task at hand. In other words, a master can instantly access the skills best-suited to flawlessly perform a specific task.

“Mastery” is the place where intellectual, physical, and/or emotional preparation meets pure instinct.

Now, you may be wondering if it is possible for Ray-Ray or Taquanisha Q. Public to ever reach such lofty heights.

The answer is an emphatic “Yes, they can!” And so can you, as long as you recognize and always remember these three truths:

  1. Attaining mastery of anything requires hard work and quite often, pain.
  2. While hard work is required, the road to mastery is deceptively simple.
  3. You won’t have much competition. Very few people are willing to do what it takes to be excellent in life. Most people are quick to tell you “Let’s get together and build”, however, they aren’t really talking about building anything…they merely wish to discuss things with you. Building is done with the hands, not the mouth. If someone tells you they discussed your new house into creation, you’d be a fool to show up with a truck full of furniture and ask for the keys.

Walking the Path
In order to cultivate your instinct, energy and intellect so as to maximize your results as a martial artist, chef, entertainer, entrepreneur, wife, father, or anything else, you must give your self honest feedback about the way you are presently functioning in the world. You must strip away illusion and be truthful about who we are and the world we live in. As we say in Egbe Ogun: “The mat is the truth.” The “mat” represents, the world and, indeed, the entire universe.

In order to be certain that you are accurate in your assessments, you must take full responsibility for your life and what you have – and have NOT – achieved. Avoid the emotions of guilt, blame and shame; they only prevent you from honestly evaluating your life.

Commit to excellence.

Balogun Oyabode Abeegunde , the author of “Discovering The Warrior Within: Afrikan Martial Arts” is available for workshops, consultations, lectures and private instruction. He is also Director and Master Instructor of the African Martial Arts Institute, which has branches throughout Atlanta Metro.

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