We are now looking at the last of the 5 Important Actions of WǔDé (武德) – Martial Morality, which defines a Truly Great Martial Arts Practitioner, and this is Trust.
Trust (信 – Xìn)
Who do you trust? Do people trust you? Trust works on the basis that a person is of good character and one who will seek to fulfil promises, uphold ethical values and be law abiding.
When you encounter a fellow martial arts practitioner do you trust them to keep a confidence, to give you the correct answer to a question, to help you understand a technique without abusing you, to support you and not betray you at the first opportunity? These are things you should consider carefully and also look at in your own behaviour. Do you take advantage of knowledge gained through trust? Do you take the first opportunity to “gossip” with fellow students about something you’ve heard about someone else? Do you take advantage of someone who is not as experienced or knowledgeable as you, then reap the rewards? Do you seek to undermine a fellow practitioner for your own gain? Be extremely careful about your own behaviour as “Trust” is a very sharp sword... what you give is what you get.
Conversely, if you truly trust your Teacher and fellow students, and they you, the amount you gain is way in excess of what you could ever hope to gain through any other means. So, maybe it’s time to rethink? Remember, trust is very hard to build and very easy to lose.
Trust is also of particular importance when sparring or duelling. One incorrect movement when you are learning or practising a technique or routine can end with someone permanently injured. This is not the time to “point-score” or let your ego get in the way. If you are more skilled than your partner, you should know what can happen if you make a mistake and be able to trust that your partner will learn from you carefully and diligently. If you are less skilled than your partner, you should be able to trust that your partner is not trying to show off. You both need to have ultimate trust in the other to make your practice and learning beneficial and injury free.
“Two barrels of tears will not heal a bruise.”