Nope, I’m not referring to a poor quality karate uniform in desperate need of fabric softener. I’m referring to the idea of getting comfortable with change. Change is inevitable, exciting, aggravating, stimulating, and necessary.
For all living and thriving things, change is a constant, right? What isn’t growing is dying, so to speak. There is no improvement of performance without evolution in training and the consequent change in muscles and habits. Comfort means stagnation.
At the risk of sounding cliché, there are two kinds of black belts: those who see the achievement of rank as completion, and those who see it as the beginning. The Japanese word “mushen” means “beginner’s mind”. It depicts a student coming full circle in their training. There is always more to learn and more ways to improve. Those who see it as completion are not bothered by the hassles of challenging themselves, aches from new kinds of training, or the time commitment of extra workout sessions. Different people challenge themselves different ways, but those choosing a rut are inadvertently choosing less than their potential and ultimately boredom and burnout.
Recently, I’ve found myself comfortable with some aspects of my training and change is WAY overdue. There are two things I’ve undertaken. One is learning several very high level forms. The other is improving my basic stances, specifically the three stances that white belts learn in the first month of class. I’ve found that improving basic stances is far more difficult than learning advanced forms. Changing years of faulty muscle memory is like psychological burlap, but it sure beats willingly continuing in a bad rut, as comfortable as it was.
Do they make burlap pajamas with pockets?
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