We may claim to value something, but, quite often, our actions say otherwise.
What we say, or even think, and what we do are regularly at odds with one another.
Even when our actions do align with what we claim are our values, it is sometimes because we are motivated by external forces to act.
Whether for fear of consequences, desire for reward, or coercion, we take actions that mask what our inner-most values are.
Our true values reveal themselves by what we are willing to do when there are no impending consequences, rewards, or coercive forces driving us to act.
It is the actions taken when we are at our most free that prove what we actually value most.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.*
*Robert Van Valkenburgh’s black and white photography can be seen at My Darkness To Light
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