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By VAHVA Fitness on January 1st. 2019
Be BOLD like a true Spartan warrior or a Samurai. Reach the level of boldness and commitment the masters had before us.
Thanks to the movie 300, you have probably heard the Spartan story where the small number of Spartans stood up against the Persian army 480 BC.
Spartans would make bold moves and do the right things regardless of the consequences. They would never surrender, never retreat and never give up.
If death was the outcome, so be it. That was their level of resolution and determination. Until death, literally.
Spartan mothers would tell their sons going to war: "with it or on it" referring to their shield. They either had to be victorious or die fighting (carrying the dead on a shield was a custom). Throwing away your shield to flee faster was not permitted.¹
We recently visited Miyamoto Musashi's birthplace and grave in the countryside of Japan. What the Samurais of Japan share with Spartans is that they had a similar level of resolution and acceptance of death.
Samurais had a saying that when given an opportunity between life and death - always choose death.²
This didn't mean that you would throw away your life for no purpose (self-preservation was still an important thing) but it meant that you would never dishonor yourself or your master.
You would see things resolved regardless of the odds or the outcome. You would always face things head on. You would never run away from your problems but aim to solve them with everything you got.
If a Samurai failed, the Samurai would conduct Seppuku where he performs a ritualistic suicide. This was the Samurai's last chance to retain his honor and dignity.
You either do what needs to be done or face death by your own hand (Seppuku). When you put things into context like this, doing the right thing becomes an easy thing to do.
There is probably nothing in your life that requires you to face death on a similar level as did the Spartans and Samurais of the past. We are not fighting each other with swords and shields after all.
But the principles still apply. The reason why we visited these holy places was to show respect to the masters before us.
We are traditional in this regard. We are not trying to reinvent everything when the masters before us had already figured a lot of things out.
We want to carry their spirit and make them proud like they were watching us from the heavens. Leonidas, Achilles, Hercules, Khalid ibn al-Walid, Musashi - they are all watching us.
If you have read our core values and philosophy, some of the mental values we hold are COURAGE and PERSISTENCE.
We try to live up to these values best to our ability in training and life in general. If you have followed for us for a while, we do things differently.
We are dedicated to finding the truth. That is our North Star and that is our true purpose. For the past many years we have done everything to find the best ways to develop the body in a sustainable way.
We have taken massive risks in training, videos and personal life to fulfill this mission. We want to live true to our values which we have inherited from the warriors of the past.
We have shared our truth regardless of the outcome. The support has been dominantly positive - but not always. For example, when we pointed out flaws in the street workout methods, it caused a storm.
If we only wanted to do what is popular, we would stick to the status quo and do what everyone is doing.
But this is not an honorable way especially when the methods of the status quo have massive holes and flaws in them which we continue to discover more of.
In the status quo, the ego controls the discourse. Everyone is dedicated to appearing strong instead of actually being strong.
If you look at the masters of the past, they were the real deal. The masters proved their worth with performance, not with their appearance. They were actually tough - they didn't need to act anything.
VAHVA means "strong" - both mentally and physically. Appearance matters but we would rather be the real deal than trying to fake it.
Why? We quickly realized that it's a shortcut that doesn't bring either happiness or fulfillment. It only makes the person feel like an imposter.
Everyone's circumstances are different but everyone has something they know they need to do.
It can be related to training or your personal life. Maybe you have studies you must focus on and get better at. Maybe you really need to study for the exam to get to the best school.
Maybe it's related to the quality of your work. Or maybe it's a man or a woman you really want to talk to and make something happen.
Since you are reading this, it's probably related to training and reaching the level of strength and physique you have been dreaming of. To reach this status, you have to pick a training program and stay consistent.
To produce the results you are looking for, you have to be committed. Spartans and Samurais were fully committed to their missions.
Commitment is the key to results because it produces consistency and without consistency you will have nothing.
The first step is to make bold moves. Be bold like a true Spartan and do what needs to be done. Afraid? It's part of life. Just do it.
Take the step and keep moving forward. Become committed to your goal and do not retreat. You need to attack your life like a Spartan would attack his enemies.
"With it or on it".
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