Friday, March 26, 2010

Boldly go

I can actually feel myself getting stronger, physically and mentally. I wish that I could really put into words how much I'm learning from Sensei and Zach and everybody at The Refinery. I'm learning fast, fast, fast. Even though it takes me a few minutes to get the 'feel' for what's going on in class sometimes, I feel like I'm becoming more confident and better every day. 

I've stopped taking one hour of instruction every other day and have bumped myself up to two hours. I like being able to interact with the other people in the second class. It's fun. Also, I like having the chance to help the younger students. I am by no means a master of anything, since martial arts is all about refinement (hence the school name: 'Martial Arts Refinery'), but helping teach actually helps me learn too.

I think I'm starting to learn something. A big part of being a martial artist is having confidence in your abilities. You can have all the skill in the world, all the technique in the world; you can have the fastest and most powerful roundhouse kick out there, but if you don't have the confidence to strike when it matters, what do you really have? I mean...At first I was absolutely terrified of the idea of hurting a classmate or myself while practicing, so everything I did was on the defensive side. When sparring or in randori I always kept my distance. I thought so much about how to avoid certain things that I never got a hit in.

Yesterday, we were working front leg sweeps and osoto-gari and at the end of class we had a 'randori tournament', as Sensei called it. The difference this time was that there was absolutely no way for me to keep my distance from Zach when we had our arms locked together. The idea of that freaked me out but I got over it quickly. I think I may have got my first hit in

I've realized that it's a lot easier to think straight and to act when I'm not in defensive mode and I actually try for an offensive move. Also, it's FUN to trip people.

Confidence. You've gotta go out there and do it. Don't freak out and don't overthink things. Just do it.
And if you do it wrong, it's alright because you have your whole life to get it right.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes it's good to be on the defensive. That comes in handy in real life situations.
But in the dojo, it's practice. And while we're training for real life situations, we're also there for other things...Like skill refinement, character building and fun. (And of course to get that back-stance right!)

So, I'm learning. It's easy to be unsure about learning new things, of course. But it's not like it's life-or-death if I don't get everything perfectly right the first time. I get too caught up in too many different details and overthink everything because I don't want to mess up. But I really can't focus on refining a technique if I never actually do it, whether it's correct the first time or not.

But anyway, rambling aside, I can tell that I'm getting stronger. It's really really cool in ways that are not possible to describe.

Therefore, I shall leave this entry here.