The Art of Winning Blog

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hooray for Awkward Moments

Every martial artist struggles with graceful transitions. Whether we're discussing the transfer of weight between feet or the shift from student to Coach, everyone struggles to maximize grace and minimize awkwardness. Yet the awkwardness holds for us the greatest moments of revelation. Too often, I watch students trying to rush through the awkwardness, pretend it's not there, or make it insignificant to the final result. Despite any negativity about our own shortcomings, we should instead embrace them. Our awkwardness is to be celebrated!

Every day offers opportunities to witness our awkwardness. Did you have a awkward phone call that you know could have gone better? Did you snap at someone who was trying to help but you weren't ready for that help? Did you try to execute a forward throw, only to fall down when you got the results your tried to create?

Awesome! Truly this is a process, a revelationary moment to be viewed with amazement at the depth and complexity of a single moment. This is also a perfect moment for true connection with someone if you can gracefully own your part in the awkwardness, people will gravitate to your authenticity, rather than be intimidated by your attempt at perfection.

My advice for martial artists or anyone looking to improve themselves: Get off the Busy Bus. Too often the mantra of "I'm so busy" has become the answer to the question "How are you?" Stop it. Slow down and watch what you are doing. Some of my biggest breakthroughs have come from slowing down long enough to see what mistake I am making. "Stop, stop. Stay back. And give your brain room to breathe".

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