October 3, 2023, Israel
I am going through a bit of a quiet time. Sort of semi on the DL, disabled list, need to take it easy due to some chronic injuries, nothing serious, just the left knee, right elbow, neck, right hand and right big toe. Otherwise, perfect health.
So I am going back to an old hobby, guitar playing and revisiting some hold music I have not played in a long time, challenging myself with some more difficult pieces and guitar solos. And I find myself frustrated and delighted!
How can I be both?
I am brought back to my days of being a student, and that is both magnificent and frustrating. Because to climb the mountain is often greater than to sit on the top of the hill. I can't help it, but it reminds me of an old joke. An old man is sitting next to his equally old wife. They are very wealthy. He says, "Yes, I have a good life, many beautiful cars, but I yearn for the old days, for the struggle. I lived in a cheap rented apartment, I woke up every morning hungry, but next to a beautiful young woman. I had no money in the bank, drove a crappy old car, but I had love and passion and drive."
His wife turns to him and says, "Well, dear, you can have that again. If you do in fact wake up next to a young beautiful woman, I can guarantee you that once again your bank account will be empty, you will drive a crappy old car and live in a cheap rented apartment etc."
Nice joke but the point is the struggle, the joy of growth and progress. So this blog is actually just a break from working on a guitar solo by Jimmy Page. And there are times when I remember being a young guitar student, and my teacher would give me complex homework. At times I was so frustrated I wanted to throw my guitar against the wall, but my parents, may they rest in peace, would certainly not approve of such an outburst. So I contained myself and got back to work. And then, suddenly, there would be a breakthrough, that moment when the music came alive, when the guitar playing just happened. Magic.
Today I relearned these lessons. A section that just did not sound right, did not ring right (no pun intended but it works). So I went back to the beginning. As much as I wanted to play it fast, I said no. Be the Student again! Go back, from the beginning, the boring parts. Now play it slowly, note by note, until you get it. Yes, it takes a lot of time, and then review it, like a beginner. It is a slow and grueling process, but this is the way. This - Is - The - Way. And suddenly my teacher, Saiko Shihan Shigeru Oyama, may he rest in peace, is standing in front of me. Again! and do it right. Now faster Mash!
and slowly those breakthroughs come again, and I reminded - this is the path to mastery, of guitar and of martial arts. "Most people in the modern world think they can learn only with their head. They do not have the desire, determination, perseverance or patience to push themselves physically. They merely think about a technique and practice it several times and think they know it. this is the easy way; this is the wrong way." (Saiko Shihan S. Oyama)
Playing the guitar today, I worked on my part the entire day. And, this is the same part I worked on yesterday, and I will review it tomorrow. How did I get to where I did with the guitar? How did I achieve what I have achieved in martial arts? (which I must admit, with all due humility, is extraordinary and exceed all my expectations). How? by following those words: patience, perseverance, determination. There is no secret. Everyone can learn to play the guitar, everyone can learn Krav Maga. Well, that is everyone who is willing to follow this advice.
And now I will go back to being the student. I will not learn a new song, I will not even learn a new section of the solo, I will review and look for imperfections, and I can tell you this, at some point in the future someone will be watching me play, smoothly and effortlessly as if I were born with a guitar in my hand, and they will say, It is so easy for him, I wish I could play like him but he is a natural.
a natural my ass! Work, hard work, and more hard work in everything you want to succeed in. Now you know all my secrets to success.
Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.
What is the cultural background of Krav Maga? What makes it unique? What makes the Israeli military so effective? Why are Israeli security systems used all over the world?
What are the Biblical origins of Krav Maga and who was the first Krav Maga instructor?
What weapons and military strategies did our Biblical ancestors use?
How has Krav Maga developed in Israel and what are its goals?
All that and more in this unique book.
Start Your REAL Training TODAY
Or is someone coming to save you?
IKI Krav Maga online distance training - Leading to ranks and certification.
Personal Training - If you are interested in personal Krav Maga training please contact us on the form below.