We spend years of hard work with hours and hours of work to understand and internalize concepts and principles as we grow in the Martial Arts. However, there is a concern about developing this way. There is a tendency in all of us that when we learn something and understand it, the initial aspects become overly important to us. We find it difficult to change or alter the initial understanding.
For example if we are introduced to someone with one name and a few months down the road they tell us their “nick” name or if introduced with the “nick” name and then they tell us their proper name we struggle with identifying them other than how they were introduced to us.
However, we must be continuous learners so that our art doesn’t become limited. With that in mind, it is important that we approach each new lesson, each moment on the mat as a “white” belt. The difficult but exciting thing about Martial Arts training is that in fact it should always be evolving. Ironically, so much of what we learn is not ever truly permanent. It evolves, refines. The “principles” are sound but the reference point, the delivery angle, the parabolic release, the rotation, etc. all seemingly change as we develop a deeper awareness of and refine our skills and ACTIONs. If someone was watching us they may not detect the change but we recognize and feel the change.
Because of this as we become Senior Rank we tend to want to hang on or collect all of the experiences. This is understandable because they are part of our identity as a Senior Rank. It gives us all a sense of confidence in our accomplishments. Imagine the frustration if everything you learned you had to relearn the next day. It would be terrible. Unless of course you weren’t really having to relearn simply understand how to use what you know differently. (Read Day 2: Nothing’s Wrong from Nov. 2, 2019)
Instead of viewing the situation as something is wrong, it would be better to reframe it in a way that makes the learner more powerful. Think of it more like a new feature or app. We now have a cell phone that had another feature solving a continuing problem for us or making a process for us much easier. Yes, we have the learning curve to understand and develop but in time we can understand and use the new feature. It may replace an old feature that we have used for a long time or we might find that it isn’t as effective for us as originally intended. So we don’t use it in the long run however we are aware of it should the need arise.
With this said it is important to remember we shouldn’t necessarily view the new app or process through the “lens” of the old. Constantly comparing it. That is what truly creates the frustration. It is better to celebrate each individually and understand how they might work together.
As we grow and evolve in the Martial Arts we again should approach each lesson and/or training session by embracing the “White” Belt in us all. Enjoying that time when we didn’t know what we didn’t know. Everything was new and fresh and had this kind of magical quality. It allowed us to do things we didn’t think possible and armed us with skills we could only imagine. We grew quickly in a short time but that didn’t mean it was easy. Even as a Senior Rank growing and improving doesn’t always come easy but isn’t that what we learned to yearn for any way? We knew that the quality of our growth was directly related to the effort we put into it.
So what we should embrace is the only constant is change…
Absolute Commitment To Improve Now!