Thursday, June 09, 2011

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WHY I TRAIN: simplicity and complexity

This is a question I have answered in different ways at different times of my life. The reasons why I have continued to train have evolved and changed over the years – some are no longer valid others are continuing to mean more and more to me …
Once upon a time …. I was very much lacking in self-confidence; and so I turned to the martial arts, seeking super-powers and extra-ordinary athletic ability. As it turned out, these things seemed always just out of reach, and so either stubbornness or desperate hope, kept me at the game. Eventually, I became over-confident – my problem had swung the other way; and by that time, it was the physicality and athletic challenge of martial arts training that kept me there day after day, year after year. Slowly, I think my over-confidence gave way to a more balanced appraisal of my true self and I began to realize that I was in it for the adventure. Far-flung and exotic styles were as Christmas presents under the tree to an over-excited child; I couldn’t get enough of the adventure of it all. Slowly I settled, and organically developed a more steady and professional approach to training – in an effort to learn and develop, I found that I had to acquire skill-sets other than the purely physical. I became addicted to problem-solving, to unraveling the science that lies beneath extra-ordinary physical skill. It’s all been a process – and my own personal development as a human being has been underpinned by my approach to and practice of the martial arts.
Present Day: Now it is a paradoxical mix of the simplicity and complexity of the martial arts that holds my attention. I see parallels to life (and how to live) at every turn; the discovery of principles that cross over into the living of our lives as I believe they should be lived continues to rivet my attention.
The simplicity of the underlying techniques and strategies makes for highly effective martial arts practice and so satisfies my need for functionality; while the complexity of it all, as I peel back the layers of those techniques and strategies, keeps me there doing the work – every day.
I love it. And I love sharing it!
JBW

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4 Comments

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Thanks for sharing this. Always enjoy reading your insights and garnering what I can that relates to my own training and evolution as a martial artist & human being. Much appreciated.

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Kevin Garty 9:14 am

Great blog John and how true, this entry really resonates. Thanks for all your perspective on BJJ, I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts.

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Thanks Travis - thanks kevin - I also really enjoyed writing this particular post. Writing these things helps me crystallise my thoughts - I get as much if not more out of t than you ... thanks again. JBW

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