The Pillars of Kempo explain how we got here and – at the very least – try to explain where here is:
- Learning – We yearn to become more than we are.
- Integrity – We prove ourselves worthy of it, either intrinsically or through ordeal.
- Service We pass it on, sharing with the next generation so that they might have the benefit of our experiences.
Isn’t this how everything that is was developed? Why, then, is this interesting?
The Pillars act not only as a filter but as a forge. The process of becoming a student of Shaolin Kempo is a self-selection process — a filter. In order for an individual to become a student they must first express a desire to learn and they must take action on that desire. They must be deemed of sufficient Integrity by their instructor. Finally, they must reciprocally engage in a Service-based exchange of information and experience with their fellow students.
This means that all students already model the Pillars of Kempo as proven by their status as students. Right? Well, yes and no. Learning, Integrity, and Service are no more bimodal than strength or knowledge. There are many strong and knowledge people in the world, but they have not stopped striving to be stronger and more knowledgable. In fact, by and large, the strongest and the most knowledgeable are the most likely to be pursuing greater strength and knowledge.
In the same way, we, as practitioners of Shaolin Kempo, must daily strive to be the apotheosis of Learning, Integrity, and Service. We should be continually on the lookout for new and interesting things to learn about Kempo and everything else. We should guard ourselves continually to be sure we are people of unsurpassed Integrity in all that we do. We should work to find new and exciting ways to Serve others and help them reach their goals.
Being great people got us where we are. Now it is time to become ever better.
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It is in Service to our fellow man, while continuing to Learn and conduct ourselves with Integrity, that we reach the pinnacles of Kempo and of Life.