Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mistakes Are Opportunities

The theme of my practice today became: Mistakes and accidents are opportunities for learning. This is a well-known principle where I come from. All someone has to say is, ‘Nitsi’pahtsa’pssi’ (I made a mistake), and everyone assumes they will try to learn from it. Of course, when the mistake involves posturing and movement of the body, you have to try to correct it on the spot, if you’re aware of it, and then remember to do it right the next time around. For some learning, you end up making the same mistake many times before the correction sticks. Main thing is to keep that correction in mind, and make the effort to do the movement over and over and over again, trying to improve it each time. This is why it helps when others are able to witness and point out your faults, even the ones you’re aware of… it’s not a thing to begrudge, but another means of motivation

When I arrived at my training grounds this morning, I found that one of the larger trees had lost a huge branch. You’ll see how I try to take advantage of this situation to learn something that could even save my life in the future, i.e. how to predict which tree branches may be in danger of breaking. I then proceed into the cardio part of my workout, starting with some bends-and-thrusts with push-ups, then sit-ups, then aikido-style tumbling.  As usual, I have taped a bunch of stuff today, a little bit of everything that I was playing with. I recognize that even these abridged offerings are long videos, and people might not want to sit through the entirety. That’s why I’m giving this description, so if there’s something particular that interests you, the video can be forwarded to that point

Anyway, after the rolls, I got down to stance and kata practice. I worked some more on the CLF start, but on review I’d say this is not much better than the first time around, a couple days ago. I did integrate a more dynamic cross punch with loose return hand into the horse stance with the CLF. Between rounds of this leg-burner, I also practiced the seipai kata from goju, which is another one I’m just learning. You will see that I attempt to do the kata with an opposite start as well. Whenever I’m training a new kata or form, once I’ve kind of got the basics of it, I make sure to practice it on both sides. If it normally starts with a movement on the left, I will also practice it with the start on the right, and so on through the whole thing. You’d be surprised how hard it is for even very, very experienced people to perform their katas starting in the opposite direction. Me… I see part of the martial arts practice as a pursuit (never entirely achieved) to be able to move your body, in a split second, exactly the way you want it to move. Attempting to learn new kata is always a good reminder of where one stands currently in relation to this pursuit. So… I fumble, and that’s okay. I’ve left in one good stretch of video where you can see me botching it, fixing, repeating, etc. I end this practice with another attempt at the CLF. Next time, I will try to flow through at least two rounds of the stances without break. At the end of my video, I’ve returned home, changed into shorts, and then taken up hitting my backyard makiwara and doing a few exercises with a log (including holding it on my outstretched forearms while in a horse stance, which was not really easy). All good fun though :)


  1. Awesome!!! Thanks for video description for shifting through video

  2. I love this. I am happy to be a part of the community. I need to choose a name.

    1. It's good to see you on here Andre, I hope to hear more from you!

  3. Great video Ryan, thanks for sharing. That horse stance log hold at the end looked brutal!


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