We all encounter activities, events and individuals that give us either a sense of ease and comfort or a sense of unease and concern.
I remember my first lesson walking into the school many years ago. I had a private introductory lesson and the training floor was blocked from view of the lobby but I could hear this fairly loud “whack” every few second through the open door way. My instructor came and got me and gave me a brief tour of the training area. The powerful looking blue belt that was working his kicks on the heavy bag saw that we were about to begin my lesson so he ended his training on the bag. I remember thinking how hard he was hitting the bag and the huge indentations his foot was leaving in the heavy bag. I was truly impressed but even more so, the sense of unease was overwhelming. “What had I gotten into? Surely, I would never be able to take such a kick and I doubted if I would ever be able to generate such power. I wanted more than ever just to leave but now it was too late, the lesson was beginning.
Through the years that imagine has still remained but I’ve been able to view it from a more realistic perspective due to several Experiences. Yes, the blue belt was strong and his kick were good but the bag was much more worn and pliable than I had thought and the indentations we actually easy to achieve.
When it comes to our Martial Arts training, we first are introduced to the moves and patterns we must learn, there is most commonly a level of awe and often we probably do not believe we have the abilities to perform them. Normally, someone with a level of skill is introducing them to us so they already have a sense of ease when demonstrating. However it is a process of changing the unknown to the known that starts to transform our Uneasy Feelings (Anxious and Apprehensive) into Easy Feelings (Relaxed and requiring minimal effort). As we experience and train the simple concepts and moves, we then can connect them into a more advance and effect pattern of executions.
Through both positive and negative Experiences our belief in our abilities can and will grow. An understanding of how the methods work and flow together will also be enhanced. We will learn to identify how the interactions are related and how actions have more similarities than differences. At this point, we strengthen our belief in ourselves and in how our set of skills will aid us. With this, we are armed and ready to start to analyze new yet similar challenges. (Note as stated above the challenge can come in the form of an activities, events or person(s).) Through Experience we develop the awareness to ascertain the risks involved with the challenge that is ahead of us.
One process in transforming Uneasy Feelings into Easy Feelings would be to analyze and answer the following questions:
• What are the perceived rewards for overcoming this Challenge?
• What are the perceived risks associated with the Challenge?
After recognizing the risk vs. reward and you have determined that there is a greater value in the rewards here should be the next questions you should ask yourself:
• Do I believe there is personal value in undertaking this Challenge?
• Do I possess the skills necessary to undertake this Challenge?
If you have a positive response to each of these question you should be able to recognize an Easy feeling about the endeavor.
If the answer is negative to the first question then you should have an Easy feeling about “walking away” from the Challenge. If you can’t “walk away” you have no choice but to commit yourself to the opportunity.
If you have time to prepare for the challenge, and you have a negative response to the second question. You should seek advice and direction form experienced mentors. They will help you to establish “Skill Exercises” that range from simple to more intensive and will help you to simulate what you might experience during the undertaking of the Challenge. All the time you should answer the following:
• Do I recognize the relevance of the exercises required for developing and/or improving the Skills I will need?
If the answer is “no,” work with your mentor to get a deeper understanding and/or develop a new exercise. If the answer is “yes” work the exercises preparing for that moment you need to undertake the Challenge.
lease be aware that non-of this guarantees “Success.” However, the Easier the feelings you have the more you are open to the experience and the more you are open to improving from the experience regardless of success or failure. Which in turn prepares you for other experiences and expands your sense of Ease overall.