"What does the martial arts mean to me?" This is a question I am often asked, generally by non-practicioners, or new practicioners, and it is a question which I have yet to answer, for the simple fact that it is difficult to condense 23 years (this June) of training and living, into a 15-second sound bite. On the several occasions that I have sat down and considered this question, I have found that I routinely come back to a quote from Terry Dobson, part of which is reflected in my signature line here on GlockTalk: "The secret of focus is virtuous intention. Nothing else. Any fool can concentrate; the real life, and deathness, comes in why you are focusing. If you set out to hurt, you will be cut down. If you set out with virtuous intention, you will go right through the opponent." The martial arts, for me, is a life-long exercise geared toward understanding the nature of that 'virtuous intention'. Someone, and I forget who, said "Perfection is attained, not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away", or words to that effect. This is absolutely correct. For me, the purpose of spending decades in the pursuit of something which will never be completed (the course of training), is to continually learn to refine and apply our sense of virtuous intention. Through the crucible of training, we burn away preconceptions, "conventional wisdom", artificial limitations, and any other impediments, with the goal of having a purely virtuous intention. Training becomes, then, the lens through which we view everything- and every experience we have, no matter how insignificant, becomes a part of our training. It's an on-going process, which (for the serious practicioner) never ends. So, what does the martial arts mean to you?