On this episode of the MaArtial Podcast, we speak with Paul Bielak, a Canadian whose international modeling career brought him to Japan. In Asia, he became a devoted martial artist and learned the life philosophies and training techniques of masters that he continues to live by.
Paul’s passion and integrity, and some eye-opening insights from his journey, provide an exciting perspective on personal development and spiritual growth.
Paul’s experiences in Japan led him to adopt the teachings of the samurai, passed down through generations and bestowed upon him by his masters.
“One of the notes that Takahita Sensei wrote for me one time was that ‘a samurai is a man of man who is alone in a high quality of mind.’”
“And what is meant by ‘alone and in a high quality of mind’ is that you are not influenced as much by pop culture, by style, by trends, by media, by external influences. By any sort of let’s say reward that is beyond what you need. Lust, etc., all of those things.”
“[It’s] personal authority and personal control. So it doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy any of those things, it just means that you don’t allow your life to be run by them and that you have very deeply seated principles.”
When most people hear the word ‘warrior’, they imagine a fighter or combatant, someone who battles through sweat and blood. But the samurai had a very different concept of what a warrior really was.
“A warrior is someone who cultivates themselves to be an example to others,” Paul told us.
A warrior is someone that can be an example of health, of honest success, of character. So for me first and foremost a warrior lives what they preach, if they preach at all.
Mainly they’re probably an example, there’s also an aspect of servitude, so developing skill in order to help others.”
Paul also told us about the culture of respect in Japan, and how young student would draw on their elders and ancestors for courage.
“Most people show the respect to their ancestors, number one but also some of them will draw courage whether it be from the actual rituals, from religious rituals or just from spending time contemplating their their origins.”
“Bringing their spirit into the room, that’s very powerful.”
To discover how you can apply principles from martial arts into your own life, subscribe to the MaArtial YouTube channel for weekly interviews with leading personal development and business experts.
To get in touch with Paul Bielak for training or coaching, visit him on the web at Advanced Training.