NOTE: I originally wrote this for the Taiji community but, after posting it I realized the roots of it came from the off the floor teaching of Instructor Kajana. So... instead of repurposing my writing I am sharing it as it is to you. I believe the questions asked apply to this community as well. Freedom Fighters Hmmm, where do I begin. During a lifetime of study of the martial arts there has been one thing that continues to remind me of the spirit of these arts. I am reminded of over and over again of a particular theme during my reading, training and films about the historical conditions and origins of most of these arts that during each generation heroes emerge to face the injustices of the greater society. In some way this narrative has inspired me throughout the years. These heroes range from the Shaolin Monks, freedom fighter’s, Okinawa’s resistances, and Japanese Samurai in the Asian region of the world. They enhanced their skills to defend the people who were targets of tyranny, corrupt rulers, criminals and invaders. Not only did some of these heroes perfect the martial abilities but in additon became masters of the various healing modalities and gave birth to the growth of Traditional Chinese and Asian Medicine. This evolution also allowed them to tend to the healing of the people. It is this heroes journey and the underlying responsibility of this role one inherits during this quest that has driven me in my practice throughout the years. Now we are in strange and interesting times and the call of this inherited responsibility reminds me once more that there is a role of honor that is far grander than just the practice physical from but there is the responsibility of the teacher to point a finger beyond the discipline to see the stars. There is a fire being stoked the smoke is in the air – there are questions on what side of history do we play. Even in the shaded history of Taiji it is said that Chen Taiji came out of the need to protect the people of the village while Yang evolve for many reasons (political and martial) and masked its martial power while focusing it attention on the healing aspects of this art. These two road once more present themselves. So, I ask this community what is our role during these turbulent times what role do we have to play in the current unrest, social events, and this health pandemic we now face. Do we ignore it all and pretend that this is just a glitch? Or is it our turn to be the freedom fighters and heroes of the past? There is also the middle road where like the Wudang Daoist we flee to the mountains and attempt to escape the world of illusion? What path do we take?