Bullfight critics ranked in rows
Crowd the enormous Plaza full;
But he's the only one who knows—
And he's the man who fights the bull.
~ Poem by Domingo Ortega
I know we're right in the middle of the Christmas holidays, but I just read about the above poem that was carried by John F. Kennedy. To me, it signifies how we are often criticized by others for doing the things we do. I'm sure you've all heard how others claim their style is better or YSB is too difficult to learn, the training is too harsh, circle turning doesn't make any sense, etc. Friends that train in other systems tend to dismiss YSB. I feel that is often due to having to let go of their ego and taking off a colored belt that represents their supposed proficiency. Sometimes, the critics are our family and non-martial art friends. They just don't understand what inspires us to spend our free time training. "Wouldn't it be more fun to join a gym and lift weights?" Or golf? Or whatever? Still those of us that love this art continue to train. We continue to attempt to refine ourselves through the proven forge of Bagua. Bagua is our toro. They are our spectators.
The poem is by Domingo Ortega. He was a noted bullfighter and poet. A curious combination, but is highly regarded in both of his passions. JFK thought highly of this poem. He is reported to have carried a copy of it in his wallet. He recited it to the media on the day he learned of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The day after he was assassinated, this poem was given to the Lyndon Johnson in a brief by the CIA.
Remember, my Bagua friends, that inside the ring, the bullfighter faces the bull. There is great speculation on his actions by all that watch, but that speculation does not have any effect on him. He alone must fight the bull.
I wish each of you a Merry Christmas and a New Year that is full, rich and rewarding. ~ Rand Cardwell
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