For those of you that have gotten to know me, it may be hard to imagine me getting angry. Let me tell you, it happens! Why doesn’t it happen more often? It’s because I’ve been fortunate enough to hang out with some amazing people over the years who’ve talked about controlling my emotions and who’ve given me plenty of opportunities to develop patience within myself.
How does this relate to sparring? Well, do you like to get hit?? Neither do I! In my early days of sparring, I tended to sit back and wait for my opponents to take action, which often led to me attempting some sort of defense that failed after they’d thrown two or three attacks. I did get fairly good at blocking or evading the first couple of attacks, but they would inevitably get through my defenses with a well-thought-out combination. This was frustrating, to say the least!
I would get upset with myself for not countering quicker or attacking so I was not continually on defense. A lot of the time, this led to anger, sometimes at myself and sometimes at my partner or opponent. That feeling only made it worse as I narrowed my focus. I often made rash decisions that led to me getting hit even more because I only saw the fist flying at my head and not the wide-open, undefended body that was practically begging me to COUNTER HERE!
Gradually, I matured and gained quite a shift in perspective. As a martial arts teacher, I tend to look for ways these classroom lessons relate to life outside the dojo and was pretty quick to feel a moment of enlightenment as I realized there are constant CHALLENGES we face, almost every day, that equally produce OPPORTUNITIES for me to make some sort of improvement!
Take for example, my own aches and pains. I could wallow in the misery of not being able to do the things I used to be able to do, which I did for long enough, or I could appreciate how I have a perspective and insight into how other adults feel during exercise or martial arts practice. Because of MY experience, I can help OTHERS overcome and work through those physical, mental, or emotional challenges that may otherwise stop them from continuing their efforts and improvements!
I still struggle at times with not focusing too narrowly on the challenges that life throws at me, but because of my experience in martial arts and sparring, I know that with each of those challenges comes an opportunity. If I focus on that, then my attitude is one of positivity and I am much better equipped to seize the opportunity!
See you on the mat!
Located in Gresham, Oregon, Dynamic Martial Arts is a family based martial arts studio that is dedicated to inspiring students to recognize their potential, educate students to tap into their inner strength, and empower students to be leaders who inspire others. Taekwondo, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Karate, Escrima, and more are combined to help kids, teens, and adults improve strength, flexibility, and stamina and learn self-defense in a safe and enjoyable classroom.