You, our dear hero, venture out into the world on a quest to find adventure, challenge and dragons! After battles, contests and brave feats, you return home a new person; stronger, more courageous & yes, victorious, after slaying ogres! Back within your village, you share all you’ve learned. Congratulations, now you are the teacher, the mentor, a true champion. And this, dear adventurer, is the story of the hero’s journey.
“If a path already exists, it is somebody else’s path.” – Joseph Campbell
As Joseph Campbell describes it, you’ll find these concepts in the mythologies of societies throughout history and all around the world. “Star Wars”, “Lord of the Rings” and “Jayne Eyre” are good examples of this theme in our popular culture.
As you ponder the notion of the hero’s journey, you are challenged to think about your own life. When faced with a choice, which way do you go? You arrive at a fork in the road. One way is flat, straight, smooth, and looks rather pleasant. The other route is full of tall mountains, deep ravines, dark misty forests, challenges, tests and trials. One road is an easy stroll which meanders along at a comfortable pace. The other way, though it is full of unknown dangers, leads you to find your own truth, to self-knowledge, empowerment and transformation. Which way do you choose?
“The snake which cannot cast its skin must perish.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
If you’re already walking a hero’s journey, or if you could use inspiration to get back on the road less travelled, I’ve come upon a wonderful little documentary called “Finding Joe”. It’s great little movie for kids, teens and adults alike. It’s a tad cheesy, and they didn’t use enough women and girls in my humble estimation, but the terms are easy to understand, the interviews are interesting and the visuals are illustrative. It’s definitely worth a watch when you’ve got some time.
Here is a link to the trailer and the full documentary:
It’s quite inspiring!
What, you ask, does this have to do with training martial arts?
At Naga, we specialize in guiding heroes like you in your quest for adventure, courage and transformation. If you are curious about what it looks like to grow along the way of a peaceful warrior in a supportive community, take a look: