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The importance of having role models to progress in all disciplines

The Warrior’s models

There are several types of models. Patterns to meditate well, relax, get in shape, perform well in a combat sport, apply strategies or tactics, etc. When you brush your teeth, you are using a model that has been programmed into your nervous system.

In this site and in this blog of the way of the warrior, we will present you with different models that you can integrate into your life in order to reach excellence in a particular field. We will come back to this last point in the next article of this blog.

In this article, we will instead talk about another kind of role model: mentors.

The best mentors are those who can help you replicate their resources.
Having mentors (human role models) is essential to walking the path we choose. One of my first mentors was Sosai Masutatsu Oyama when I started Kyokushinkai Karate in the early 1970s. His influence was mainly through reading his books. After that, Soshu Shigeru Oyama was another of my mentors with whom I studied for over a dozen years. Later, I joined the International Federation of Kyokushin Karate (IFK) with the man who would become another of my mentors, Hanshi Steve Arneil. In this article, I tell you about my mentors in the field of Karate. I have other mentors in many other areas that help guide my life so that I can continually improve and become a better version of myself.

But what is even more essential is the ability of these mentors to transfer their teachings into practical exercises, skills, values, principles, beliefs, etc. In short, to create patterns that we can replicate in our lives and encode in our muscles.

This is one of the goals I set for myself, over 40 years ago. To follow and create specific patterns that we can somatize (go down from the head to the muscles) into specific exercises and integrate these patterns into our disciplines. I have used them in my own practice, in my career as a high-level athlete (karate knock down: full contact without protection), in my coaching, and in teaching. I have had a multitude of mentors that I will share with you in these models.

The mentor does not have to be a real person who communicates directly with you. The important thing is that he or she is a good “modeler” to give you a map that is accurate enough for you to navigate the territory and replicate the qualities and skills you covet.

My first mentor was Bruce Lee. At the age of 13, I learned English to better understand his books.

Thanks to him, I understood that mastering a martial discipline and sport was a matter of cross-training and acquiring several “training models” (running, strengthening exercises, weight training, sprinting, jumping, belly exercises, etc.) and studying the principles of multiple martial disciplines and combat sports.

The Mind-Body Connection
Bruce Lee also understood that training only the body had its limits. The principle of cross-training can be transposed to the intellectual level as well. The mind is much more powerful than the body. Bruce Lee has therefore read a multitude of books on the power of the mind, psychology, and philosophy. His field in college was philosophy. He was able to apply the lessons learned from human history and philosophy to his own martial arts research.

Somatizing our knowledge and bringing it down to our muscles
At the age of 15, I diversified my readings with these themes and models: martial arts, the martial way, Kyokushin karate, hypnosis and consciousness expansion techniques, esotericism, Buddhism (Zen, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan), meditation, etc.

Bruce Lee said: “You can’t learn to swim with a book, you have to jump into the water”. Similarly, you cannot learn to meditate by reading a book, you have to practice meditation in your body.

All the themes and different models on the Warrior’s way website can and should be somatized in the body. If it remains only in the head, in the cognitive mind, you will not be able to manifest it in the field of your existence (the field mind). For that, you must go through the somatic mind. You will discover this in one of the models the Warrior Model and it is the core of the warrior: the three centers or minds.

I hope you enjoy exploring this site and putting these models into practice to live a richer and more enlightened life as you follow the way of your heart.

Gaëtan Sauvé

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