Thursday, July 4, 2013

Do you prioritize or limit yourself?

Do you prioritize or limit yourself?

In the mid to late 90s I was training in Aikido, and that is a difficult art to learn because so many people do not understand it. Let me clarify what I mean by that. I am not here to pass judgement and say, your understanding of Aikido is more correct or incorrect, I simply mean that there are many people who look at Aikido and do not understand how to make it work for them, so they pass judgement on it and say things like it is a dance, or it is bullshit. I'm saying those people do not understand Aikido, and there seems to be a lot of them. If someone like Steven Seagal wants to do Aikido in a more combative way, I am not against that even though I may not do that, because this is martial ART, that is his expression of it, and who am I to say his expression is wrong or right.

Anyways because Aikido has so much to offer, for example, exercises, health, fitness, agility, techniques, philosophy, weapons, etc, I felt overwhelmed and I couldn't spend all my time studying everything it has to offer, especially since I wanted to study other styles too. so I prioritized and said to myself, let me just do the stuff that is practical and effective. 

In other words if I didn't understand how to make it practical and effective I left it alone, now this is different from someone who says, that is practical and that is not practical and they are judging. Because what I'm saying is, I believe this is good stuff, just not for me right now. Or at my level I don't get it.

So I studied and trained in various martial arts and did what I wanted, making my own style like Frankenstein's monster, piecing together things that I thought were practical and effective at the time. 

One time I was talking to a fellow martial artist and buddy who was taking some Tai Chi. I basically completely disagreed with him and killed all of his opinions in the name of truth and practical and effective. at this point I realized I was a dick. I thought I was a top level fighter, but I was not, I was just a top level asshole. 

So then I realized that my prioritizing has turned into limiting myself, and closing my mind, so now I need to open my mind, and prove it. 

So against my instincts I went to a Capoeira school, and focused not on "practical and effective", but on having a good time. It took a while for me to chill out and the funny thing is once I did that, my combat skills went up.