Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Position in Martial Arts as well as Some Funny Bounces

Position is a critical element in martial arts, strategy and virtually all aspects of our lives. Below is an excerpt from the excellent Karate Thoughts Blog. The full post may be read here.

Before getting to the post however, I'd like to bring up recent experience and some funny bounces.

On a Thursday, I was coming down with the symptoms of a flu. I was very cold, all the energy was just drained from me and I ended up going to be at 8 pm.

The next morning I got up, found the coffee tasted lousy (and I LOVE coffee; if it tasted bad, then I truly was sick) and went back to bed.

I had a transaction that I needed to complete with a customer though. He was a few time zones over so I had a chance to get some sleep before working on it.

So there I am working the email and text messages; up to my elbows in a data base, trying to help him get this urgent order placed and moving.

The phone rings. It's my boss. 

Ok. He usually calls me on Fridays to catch up on what I've been doing. "I'm here with Stacy from HR." I knew what was coming. Yep. There was a reduction in force and I am among the number. Welcome to Dumpsville, population me.

The thing is, it didn't effect me one bit. My mind didn't freeze. There was no "gap."

Ok. The job is over, I have to get a new one now.

I finished letting the customer know what he needed to do and whom to contact to finish his transaction with text messages (my work email was cut off right away), then I got to work on LinkedIn to start stirring things up.

I've always made a point of making sure that my customers know that I do the very best I can for them within the constraints of my organization and that has always helped me. I am in an industry (the Internet of Things) that is growing fast. 

I am in a good position for something to happen relatively quickly. I'll let you know how it goes.

And now, to the article ...

My eldest son practices Kendo, and has (on and off) since he was about 12.  He has been a member of Hawaii's team to the World Kendo Tournament three times.  I am sharing this to give you a feel that he is pretty serious about Kendo.

In fact, when he is at my house, he often goes through Kendo movements and stomps his right foot (like they do in Kendo).  I always have to tell him to stop because I am afraid that he will crack our marble floors.  I secretly think that he may have already done so.

Anyway, we often speak about Kendo and he always tells me about a new technique or strategy he is working on or just thought of.  I am always amazed because he has been practicing Kendo for a while.  Nevertheless, he always seems to have come up with something new.

Recently, he told me (I am paraphrasing) that he realized that Kendo is not as much about hitting as it is about getting into the best position to hit.

Now I have heard so many of these thoughts -- maybe hundreds over the years -- but this one made me think... Kendo is not as much about hitting as it is about getting into the best position to hit.

We talked about it.  It certainly takes skill to hit right in Kendo.  But most people who do hit are not in the best position when they do so.  As a result, their hit may be effective, or they may be hit themselves or countered.  There are a lot of considerations.  But when you are in the best position, your hit will probably be better and you will be in a stronger position.

I started to think about how this applies to Karate.  If Karate is about punching, blocking, kicking, etc., then it is certainly true that getting into the best position before we do these things is extremely important.  In some cases, getting into the best position could even make certain things unnecessary.


Angelika said...

First thing that came to my mind is that's what internal means to me: get myself (my body & mind, my position) right before I go "outside"!

P.S.: Wish you all the best for the new job!

Rick Matz said...

Thank you.

I'm already interviewing.

I'm in a growing field and am sure that something will turn up quickly.