August 11, 2022
I am going to draw another analogy from music. But first, some background.
One of the major problems in the developed world today is obesity, or being overweight. Another problem is the lack of personal safety.
Let us look at Krav Maga as being in the category of Problem Solving. We see problems and we need solutions. In particular I would like to focus on problems that are very common, and that many seek solutions for, and many solutions are offered, and yet the vast majority of those who attempt those solutions, fail. They fail miserably, time and time again.
Let us look at some examples;
Learning a Language - Many want to learn another language, for work, for expected travel, or for the sheer pleasure of being able to communicate in another language. The overwhelming majority will quit in utter desperation, having failed miserably. As such there are huge business opportunities. There are countless programs to learn languages, and most advertisements will begin with...have you tried to learn a language and failed?
Starting your own Business - Again, many dream of being a business owner. Advertisements will begin with - have you ever dreamed of leaving your job, being financially independent, spending your time doing what YOU want to do?
and again, the vast majority will fail, lose their entire investment and come crawling back to their old job humbly requesting to return to the position that they loath.
Learning a Musical Instrument - Ever dream of playing the piano, the guitar, etc. I cannot count how many homes I have been in where I see a nice looking guitar and I asked; Oh, do you play the guitar? and the answer is almost always - oh, I tried at one point.
My first guitar came to me from my dear Uncle Jack. He too wanted to play the guitar but quickly gave up on that dream.
Losing Weight - Well, need we explain that one? How many fad diets pop up every year and yet the obesity rate continues to climb.
Getting Fit - Same story. Thousands of on-line advertisements to get in shape, etc. and the vast majority fail as soon as they start.
and then of course Martial Arts where the failure rate is beyond 99%. They say for every 1,000 people that put on a white belt perhaps 4 will someday wear the black belt.
Enough said. So, we have established that learning something new, or changing our lifestyle, as an adult, is far from easy.
I have some experience in this department, learning something new at an older age. I will attempt to share a few points.
Do not fear the reaper. Do not be afraid of failure. Do not be afraid to be a beginner. I started martial arts at a relatively advanced age, I walked into the Oyama Kyokushin dojo in New York City and was overwhelmed by the skill I saw there. I joined. I jumped right in. I fought. I ended up in the hospital. St. Vincent's'. I got up at the crack of dawn. I trained with the Uchi Dechis's from Japan. I participated in all the fighting classes. I ended up in the hospital. St. Luke's, Roosevelt. Got stiches, came back.
I came to Italy for my first visit, my first seminar. I learned some Italian on line, I gave the seminar in Italian. I have also done seminars in German, Spanish, Portuguese, and...I do play the guitar. I have had many challenges, obstacles, along the way, no doubt. But...I am never afraid to fail. I arrive in Holland and begin using the 3 words that I know, by the end of the trip I am having a basic conversation in Dutch (Nederlands). I make mistakes, that is OK.
So here is today's tip. Do not be afraid. What do I mean?
You are learning a new song on the guitar, the intro is a little tricky. So each time as you are about to play it, you fear that you will make a mistake, so you hesitate. The hesitation causes the mistake. I will repeat that, the hesitation is the cause of the mistake.
Practice it slowly, for sure, many times, and then, when you are ready, just play it as if you have performed it live 1,000 times. Yes, just do it like you are born to do it. Do not hesitate, do not slow down, do not fear the mistake.
and if a mistake happens, fine, do it again, but play it like you were born to play it, and eventually it will be perfect. and then people will watch you play and say, Man, he makes it look so easy, I wish you could play like that.
The secret is, they can play like that, if they lose their fear, their inhibition, their hesitation. Never fear, just do it.
Now to Krav Maga. I see students analyzing every step of every more. Their thoughts paralyze them. They ask me how did I do this part and how did I do that part. And I tell them, I don't know. I just flow with it. I demonstrate the technique but there is still hesitation. At a certain point you have to trust yourself, trust your body, trust the process and just do it. Let it go, Let it flow and it will be more natural. Yes, slow at first, yes, step by step, but at a certain point lose the hesitation and just do it.
Play your song and it will be right.
Sometimes the older guys can offer some value advice, life lessons, the school of hard knocks. Reality Training.
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