Not “Good Enough”


So often I work with students both young and mature. You can see them working on a specific pattern of moves or skills and they tend to accept a level of performance. When attempting to encourage them to reach for a greater level of precision they become frustrated.

Probably the worse “Attitude” to progress in their development is this thought “That’s Good Enough!” I absolutely cringe every time their body language expresses and/or they verbally state that sentiment. One of the things that draws several people to the Martial Arts is the concept of Perfection. We see skilled Martial Artists performing forms and routines and their precision is impeccable. It truly amazes and inspires many.

However, after 40 years of training; the one thing you learn to understand is that perfection simply cannot be achieved. Every time one gets close they gain a new understanding about what they are doing and develop an awareness that there is much more that is attainable. You can do the move: faster, stronger, more effective, higher, lower, tighter, easier, etc. What I like to call “More Right!”

I tend to express this when working with members and have recognized a concept that “Nothing is Wrong!” In my opinion for self-defense any choice acted upon is a right choice. (Note: Even doing nothing is a right choice sometimes.) The important thing is that there is always a more “right” choice and through training and awareness we learn what that is and work to gravitate to those.

In our training we need to recognize the same concept when performing a physical action, move or pattern of moves. How we do it- may work, feel right, etc. but we should never settle for “That’s Good Enough!” We should recognize that there is always a “More Right” way of doing what we are working on.

I’m okay with the concept of accepting what I just performed as “It is what it is!” Remember once an action has been executed you only have results some good, some not as good- some successful, some not so successful. There are “forces” outside our control that are working for and against us. Obviously we are always working to be aware of those forces and comply with those for us and mitigate those that are working against us.

However, whether I’m a competitive Martial Artist, a training Martial Artist, or a Martial Hobbyist the acceptance of “Good Enough” should never exist. We should always be striving to understand, find, perform that “More Right” action and/or choice. Recognize that it is not always a quick resolution, instead it can easily be a “lifelong” journey.

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