A mistake is just a lesson in progress
Are you the type of instructor that does not want to make a mistake or worse still are you the type of instructor who is scared to make a mistake?
In martial arts when we first learn new principles or techniques we will not perform them to a good standard this is quite normal and anyone who practices martial arts for a long time knows this but it is a natural way to proceed.
Let’s break it down, you practice the technique/principle then you will adjust it and do any modifications necessary to make it better then perform it again and then make some more refinements to the technique or principle to get it to where it is acceptable for that moment in time as we know it can always be better but sometimes we have to say that it is OK for this moment and then return to it at a later date. This will then give our mind more time to work out more details and to let the cognitive functions settle down in our body.
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If we go back to our childhood when we first started to learn to walk, we did not try to stand, fall down and never try again. It was a constant trial and error making adjustments and trying again until we could walk and then we did not think about it any more.The same can be said of many things, driving a car, riding a bike, playing a musical instrument. etc.
When you want to do something you will find a way, if you don’t want to do it you will find a way out.
There are so many martial arts instructors missing out on new experiences and ways to improve themselves just because they are afraid to make a mistake. This could also be that they do not want to show that they do not know something but instead they only teach what they are good at but this may not be the necessary things that their students require to further their knowledge and education.
My background as anyone who knows me is in Shotokan Karate for 35 years, I am proud of this fact but that does not mean that I must only ever do Shotokan Karate for the rest of my life.
So I started to practice Filipino martial arts, this included sticks, swords, knifes, dirty boxing and many more things, but over the years I have practiced aikido, small circle jujitsu, karambit, sarong, axe, light saber (just joking) and pressure points this gave me a rounded education of martial arts. As a high graded karate guy I could of just stayed with what I knew, but I really wanted to learn and my drive and thirst for knowledge was such that I was not worried about making a mistake as I wanted to learn more than I was frightened to make a mistake and possibly look stupid.
Between you and me I really struggled with the sticks at the start to the point of throwing them down in disgust and my dear friend Master Pip was laughing so hard which was made all the funnier as we were standing next to a ten year old boy who was doing the movements a lot better than myself and Master Pip I might add but I really wanted to learn so I persevered to obtain some level of respectability but of course this can always be improved upon.
Now looking back on that experience it was one of the best things that I could ever do, it also taught me to persevere and to achieve your goals even when things get difficult this then becomes a good habit and a lesson for life.
An old instructor of mine once said ‘‘I never trust anyone who is afraid to make mistakes as they will never learn anything.’’
Make a mistake and make some progress.
by GM Angelo