World Black Belt Blog
Journeys My Inspiration
By Linda Bustamante
(Photo: Linda Bustamante with her Sensei Master Martiniano Martinez Jr.)
In movies and television today, "teacher", "sensei", or "master" are common titles used to describe a martial arts instructor, but the true essence of a martial arts instructor is much more than a title can ever express. Instructors are not just people one learns combative techniques from; they are individuals who mold character and help one in every aspect of one’s life. Instructors give their students the courage to set foot inside a ring and fight against a person they have never met before with the mindset, "I might not be the best in the world, but I am sure going to give it my best!" Instructors give their students the confidence to believe in themselves; knowledge, passion, and growth start with the want and drive of an individual. With courage and belief in oneself comes a positive attitude.
If one person can integrate a positive sense of mind, others would definitely appreciate and benefit from that optimistic influence. Finally, the most valuable aspect gained from a martial arts instructor is respect. My first understanding of respect came from my father, who instructed that the maintainence of humility and remembrance of where we came from is vital to success, acceptance and appreciation of who we are. Through the combined teachings of my father and my instructor, I have learned that respect is the highest achievement that can only be earned through hard work, dedication, humility, and the unselfish sharing of one's knowledge and love for the martial arts.
Through my journey as a martial artist, my instructor has not only been an inspiration to me, but to others as well. His name is Master Martiniano Martinez Jr. and, in many ways, he is an example of what I strive to be like as an instructor. Master Martinez went through struggles that many of us face today yet, maintained his focus through the martial arts, and now teaches, Goju-Ryu Japanese Karate Yellow Tiger System, to children and adults of all ages hoping to make a difference in their lives. He has trained constantly for the past thirty-nine years in an array of styles which include: Judo, Jiu-jitsu, Wrestling, Grappling, Boxing, Kickboxing, and Tae Kwon Do, to name a few. He was inducted to the prestigious World Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 1997 and into the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 1998, currently holding an international rank of Black Belt 8th Dan in the art of Karate.
As a guest speaker through the National Hispanic Martial Arts Association, Inc. he travels throughout the valley promoting Martial Arts and serves in a Drug Prevention Program Task Force bringing positivity to his community. Through his unfailing leadership in his community, he has helped the City of Edinburg Parks and Recreation Department and the Edinburg Boys and Girls Club receive additional funding through his abiding efforts in public speaking about the Martial Arts.
Just as I give thanks to my father for my martial arts foundation, which I mentioned on my previous article, my instructor also gives thanks to his father for introducing him to the martial arts. My instructor and I both have great gratitude for these great people in our lives for, without these individuals in our lives, we would not be where we are today. A person once told me, "You are only as good as you want to be", but my instructor went one step further to say, "You must also have the heart for, without it, we are merely mechanical robots responding and going through the motions... not showing any emotion or love for what we are doing."
He continues, "It's our love for Martial Arts that separates each and every individual. This shows who the dreamers are, and the ones who actually attempt to try and achieve their goals by making them a reality." It is one’s love for the martial arts that will mirror one’s instructor’s reputable teachings and inspire one to emulate him making his lessons one’s own. Through the foundation my father has given me, and the teachings my instructor has passed down to me, I, the student, have now become the instructor.
I am thankful, and feel blessed to have the opportunity to share with everyone, how special individuals can be in guiding one's life. Thank You for letting me share with you these special individuals in my life who have helped me be the best that I can be.
(If anybody would like to share who their heroes are, I would love to hear from you!
Please contact me at LindaBustamante@worldblackbelt.com. Take care, God Bless and can't wait to here from Everyone!)
This has been a Youth E-Zine Article.