This post was intended to be a sequel to this earlier post regarding how hand-holding in ones life is not conducive of productive growth.
In that post I brought up the example of my high school friend who unfortunately didn’t have a very good life in terms having the chance of “diving into the deep end” of life.
I promised a follow-up; yet I found it hard to keep that train of thought going. So instead I thought I’d bring up something that both martial artists and non-martial artists might relate to:
Relearning things is just part of life.
Let me explain with my career in Aikido: I actually began in college as an undergraduate student. The Sensei was a middle age white American man who was in his late 40s at that time. I don’t remember much about his actually skill in Aikido but I do remember it having a lot of Jujitsu influences since that was his first art. He was a good guy, but his classes were quite technical. And rough. Every once in a while he would have us line up and have every male student get up to him and try to apply Aikido techniques on him in front of the class. Basically he’d ask the males to fight (within rules and reason) him using Aikido.
Naturally of course these bouts quickly reduced themselves into sparring/wrestling matches. I remember one time a fellow green belt went up to and the match climaxed to some groin shots delivered! How’s that for an Aikido class! As me, I don’t quite remember my own occasions, only the sensation of a tackle here and there.
I eventually went up to green belt, what I believe to be 3rd Kyu in that dojo. While the memories from those times were good (I got to meet Chiba Sensei, one of the few remaining black belts who studied under the founder), they were quickly superseded by my training here at my current dojo.
What is the point of me bringing this up? I bring this up because not only is relearning so integral in training, but also in everyday life.
In Training – Every day is new, every training is new. Not one technique/move is exactly the same way you did it yesterday. As a result, new information is always gathered. Not all are considered, but eventually, this new information is allowed to filter into your techniques, which in turn are different. They may not be better than yesterday, but they are different. What I think I know now will eventually be renewed and replaced – it’s something that I’ve come to accept in my training. The changes themselves can be as minor as positioning; or as great as getting my ego/I out of the way and allowing a whole body movement to happen. Nikkyo use to be my most hated technique to execute mainly because I couldn’t do it, nowadays I don’t mind it at all!
I am constantly relearning how I perceive movements and techniques – and how I absorb new information. Training (when I have the chance) is like a constant swirl of ideas, light bulb moments, humbling moments, attacks as an uke, and periods as a nage. However, fruitful training can only be taken advantage of through fruitful perception, I learned. Which leads me to my next point.
In Life – How you perceive things is, I’m finding out more and more everyday (hah!), is more important than what actually happens in your life. How you take in the information that is presented to one influences how one uses the information. How I see myself yesterday, is not how I see myself today. How I saw myself yesterday, can be superceded/made better today and eventually tomorrow as well. How I view my parents and their roles in my life for example, is constantly being “updated” and refreshed everyday – some encouraging, others not so much. This information is sometimes positive, sometimes negative. How I’ve come to view my retail job has changed since I’ve began as well. Though this position that I go was, still is, and probably will be a drag – I’ve come to take in certain lessons and information regarding myself that I probably will not have gathered anywhere else.
Perception is so powerful, so crucial, yet any misperception can be so detrimental on us. What’ I’ve come to realize is a lot of the information that I perceive one day, has been always in front of my eyes yesterday. Yet it took a change – an “upgrade” of perception on my part in order to drawn on it more thoroughly and honestly – for better or for worse. This constant process of relearning is such an integral part that since then it has worked its way into my life off the mat.
Which for the record, is one of my intentions of training in Aikido: to improve myself off the mat.
Who knew that how one perceives a punch coming at them in training, can be brought over to how one perceives how they relate to their peers in everyday life? Regardless of what you do (i.e. diving into the deep end for the first time), you will not be able to appreciate – or learn from, for that matter – the experience of diving into the deep end if your perception is “updated” before and after you dive. Or at least, after a good laugh!
That’s my two cents on how to learn things through life. Till next time.