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Take a bite of the reality pie – Get out of your comfort zone!

Komichidojo - Shihan Peter WhiteKomichidojo - Shihan Peter White

To begin something new or to grow your business or to change your health through special dietary requirements or to  improve your career (the list goes on and on) you must first be willing to change what you are doing right now! After you’ve made that decision to change you are then willing to get out of your comfort zone and take a calculated risk! This is how any success or greatness is achieved, it all begins with some form of change and getting out of that comfort zone or else you can guarantee nothing will change!

We can fall in this same trap with training in Budo! Unless we are willing to question what we do and evaluate how we do things, in all aspects of training and life in general, we will always be caught up in the past! To live and train in the now and train for the future, we must truly ask, “are we really training realistic budo?” Do you have the eyes and ears to be able to measure up what is effective and what isn’t it? 

In some cases, a person having more wit or a smart person, might just as easily win against a person who calls himself a martial artist. The smart person might be better at using his surroundings in his defences against a martial artist who knows techniques well. Just having ability is not enough! It is important to control both ‘Fear and Anger’ in any given situation, if you can not, this will weaken your abilities to control your attacker(s)!

It takes many years in training to find the ‘Nack’. This where one strives in training to find the ‘tai sabaki uke nagashi’ (solve the body movement in motion and flow with the opponent)  and be able to move without hesitation and change in any direction at any given time, apply ‘kyojutsu‘ (deception) and use weapons. The essence in the art that we are studying is to be ‘Mu’(nothing/zero) and ‘Banpen Fugyo’ (practice 10,000+ different ways, no surprises!). Having trained your instincts to help you move safely so that you will survive, our body’s muscle memory will remember the ‘taijutsu’ (body movement). If you to look at a trained soldier in the army for example, they will practice muscle memory in gun drills over and over so they will have the ability to reload and fire without hesitation and with fluidity so that there is minimal time lost when faced with the enemy firing upon you.

The ‘Ura’ (opposite) to this is that we must understand ‘ukemi’ (to receive body) so that we can flow with force being put onto us in an attack and be able to keep going! If you happen to get hit you can take it! This is ‘Cause and Effect’, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and we must be prepared for both – to be able to survive. This is a law of nature!

Through consistent training and persistent attitude of never give up, some of these points on training can help you think out of your comfort zone;

  • Firstly, keep training! Most important and harder than you think!
  • Keep changing direction so your attacker doesn’t understand your movements to counter them! Don’t stand still!
  • Don’t grab your attacker from the beginning, just feel the attackers movements by sticking to a part of your attacker so you can change direction subtly. (quote)“Cherrish your connection” – Soke Hatsumi sensei. (Note: By grabbing we tie ourselves up, like rope! Grabbing is good for finishing!)
  • Loosen your hands, allow your footwork to control the attacker by placing your body weight in a position that will counter the attacker’s ‘kazushi point’ (weak point of balance), then allowing your hand movements to be more effective when applying any ‘Gyakku waza’ (hand/arm lock variations).
  • Every technique practised unarmed should be practised armed in the same fashion to deepen your understanding of the ‘taijutsu’ (body movement). For example, if you want to master knife techniques, in order to defend well against knife you must equally be very good at attacking with the knife! You can’t be just good at defending or attacking, you need to be both! This why Kihon Happou foundations are important to link the taijutsu unarmed movements to the taijutsu weapon movements.
  • Make weapons out of ordinary things that are not a weapon and train with all different types, it’s entirely your imagination!
  • Embrace the arts by trying something new (learning an instrument, learning a new craft-painting, pottery, bonsai, etc).
In the words of Winston Churchill,
“We are still masters of our fate…We are still captains of our souls.”

Buffu Ikkan (Keep Going!)

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