Archive for the ‘Martial Arts’ Category

Make The Choice Man, Make The Choice

November 18, 2015

The Power of Choice

The Power of Choice

Martial Arts in the Park

I was teaching a private martial arts lesson
in the park a couple days ago.

The student I was working with was having trouble
moving his arms in a particular way.
I wanted him to move one hand forward
while the other hand move backward.

Struggling to Move Correctly

The thing is he kept moving both hands
in the same direction and it was a great struggle
for him to move them differently.

We tried all sorts of things to help him.
He would just start to get it and then reverted back.
We must have worked on it for 15 minutes and nothing really changed.

Make The Choice Man

At one point he just stared at his hand and said
“I don’t understand why it’s moving that way.”

I said to him
“It’s not like your hand has a little brain inside of it
and it is making a choice to move differently
from how you want it to move.

It’s your hand man just choose.
Make the choice.
Make the choice man,
make the choice”.

The Truth Clicked

At that moment something clicked inside of him
and he was suddenly able to move his hands
in the way he wanted.
He recognized his power as a conscious human being
and made a choice that was different from his habitual way of moving.

I exclaimed with a big loud YES
and gave him bear hug, clapping him on the back!

Choice is Power

Then I told him don’t forget this feeling.
It’s this feeling of choice that I’m celebrating
because this is the power that allowed you
to overcome your perceived limitation.

Applying the Lesson to the Rest of Life

I have been thinking about this since that moment.
It was a beautiful example of how much power we really have.
This can be applied to so much more than physical movements.
We have mental habits,
emotional habits
and even spiritual habits

When we act from this place of programmed motivation
we are really not using our full potential.
When we are tempted to act in ways that we would rather not
we are able to make a different choice.

Making a Conscious Choice is Difficult

I will admit though that making this choice
against our programming, against our habits
is not an easy task.
At times it may actually be the most difficult thing we can do.

Just yesterday somebody was saying to me that
they feel like when someone is genetically disposed
towards anger or when they are programmed deeply
and early on in life it is not possible
for them to behave any other way.

I recognize that it may be exceedingly difficult to act differently,
to make different choices, but I do believe it is possible.

Find the Power to Choose

I think it is probably something each of us
has to find within ourselves.
The power to choose when we
are being pulled in different directions.

Act Instead of React

In close relationships with other people
I think making conscious choices can go a long way
towards creating harmony.

I find often I react with triggers from my past
rather than making choices in the present.

Choice is in the Present

When I’m able to be conscious of myself
and aware of the other person in this moment
then I I’m able to make a choice.
I am able to act instead of react.

As a friend,
as a lover,
as a parent,
as a son and
as a teacher
Being able to act instead of react
is profoundly beneficial.

The Past Tries To Control Me, The Future Tries To Scare Me!

August 2, 2015

kacem (1)
At the moment I am in Poughkeepsie New York.
I am attending a martial arts seminar with my teacher Kacem Zoughari.
He is one of the best martial artists in the world.

I first met him in 2006 and my life has never been the same.
In fact I learned more from him in the first year I met him then I did in the previous 20!

I see him approximately two or three times a year, sometimes less.
I learn many things from him in these brief visits and then I must spend the intervening months practicing what I learned.

I also get very nervous in advance of seeing him.
I am usually quite terrified but I will not have practiced enough and he will be disappointed in my movement.

This time in particular I have put myself through a lot of stress in anticipation of experiencing his disapproval.
Of course the reason I am going to him is not for his approval but my education.
And yet the fear persists.

Once I actually arrived here I have had the most wonderful weekend.
Kacem has given me many corrections,
but he’s being extremely nice to me and I have experienced nothing but kindness and love from the man.

All of my fears were in my head and not directly reflective of reality.

Oh man how I torture myself!
It seems I do not really need anyone else to torture me,
I do a pretty good job of it all on my own.

As I am fond of saying
“The past tries to control us,
the future tries to scare us
Only in the present
do we have power and choice.”

Will I learn this lesson?
Or will I freak out again the next time I’m getting ready to see my teacher?
I’ll probably freak out!

Maybe I’ll put a reminder in my phone to read this post in early October a few weeks before the next seminar.

Sigh… Change is a slow and painful process.
At least I can laugh at myself.
It makes the journey a little easier.