Teaching #2 – Day 17 of 21

zencircle-150Training started today at 6 am. I felt good and I can feel my body adjusting to the early morning timetable. Near completion of the 21st repetition of Sochin kata I decided to add an extra #22 and that next practice will be 25 and building onwards so that day 21 will be 40 katas in total in preparation for Teaching #3.

It is important to always push yourself to getter heights in your training. Do not wait for your teacher or someone else to ask or suggest it, make a decision to grow. When I was studying my Master degree in The Netherlands the dutch teachers taught us many very valuable lessons. Dutch culture and society is relatively small but their culture has had a disproportionate effect on world history. They were masters of the seas and of commerce, one of the first hegemonies in the world. The dutch teachers taught me an invaluable lesson that “making a decision” is not the same as “taking a decision”. This might sound trifle at first until you notice in life and in business that many people make a whole host of decisions every day, but few of these same people put those decisions in to practice. Putting decisions in to practice (i.e.: taking a decision) is where the expertise and determination of the person comes in to play.

Now, we may not always have the expertise we need to effectively put a decision in to practice. If you are young and you decide that you want to be a black belt then you have made a decision. But having the courage to go to a dojo or find a teacher and begin training is where the real test lies. Taking the decision and not merely making the decision is the key. But you must recognize that your skill set is lacking to effectively become a black belt. This is why your teacher or guide is there. The teacher, or Sensei, is there to help you to acquire the necessary skill set so that you can take your decision to be a black belt. But it is immensely important to understand that they can not take the decision for you. Only you can do that. They can only assist you once you have taken the decision and start to act.

Often, I see students both in the martial arts and in academics falter and they often blame others for their failure. One of my Budo Sensei used to say that when you are looking for an excuse any excuse will do. And isn’t it so. Procrastination is one thing but insecurity is another. Procrastination often means that the person is lazy but not incapable. Insecurity often is at the root of the problem as to why many students make a decision but seem not able to take the decision. They are afraid of the consequences of not achieving their intended goal and so to avoid embarrassment they choose not to even start. This is bad thinking. So many inventors tried hundreds of times before their invention proved possible. The light bulb by Edison is one such well-known example. We must keep in mind the saying, “Touch the moon for reaching for the stars”. And the thought here is that by trying you will achieve. Even if you do not achieve your intended goal you will achieve something. And the benefit of that achievement might only show itself later in time.

So make a decision for change, take that decision (put it into practice) and reach the moon through continuous improvement. All Budoka understand and appreciate the importance of not just making decisions but putting decisions into practice. Budoka are action-oriented individuals who provide example to the world of their determination for continual improvement through action. Kata is action-based meditation and self-development. Achieving the intended goal is secondary, cultivating an attitude of ceaseless self-improvement and continuous striving for greater personal development through action is really the important inner trait of every Budoka.


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